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  • 14 Jul 2019 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR USA conferences are designed to address the critical issues of the day from an intercultural perspective as well as important developments in the intercultural discipline and diversity and inclusion field. We’re interested in your thoughts and opinions and encourage you to add your voice to the conversations and expertise at the SIETAR USA 2019 conference.

    A review of today’s headline issues--globalization, race relations, refugees, immigration, equity, the political divide—underscores the need for improved cross-cultural communication. At the same time, the growing use of social media gives a sense of communicating without taking into consideration critical variables.

    The national SIETAR USA conference is a forum—as envisioned by our founders—for dialog, debate, difference and gathering to find commonality in the work we do, to learn from each other, and have the in-person interaction that sparks new ideas and ways of accomplishing our professional and personal goals.

    If you are planning to attend the conference, think also about participating in a Master Workshop. These half-day workshops are opportunities to sharpen skills and learn from experienced interculturalists. The Master Workshops are themed—you can choose two themed workshops to get a full day related to a certain topical area or select two non-themed workshops or take just one workshop, as you wish. Why might you want to take two, you ask? There is a discount for taking two Master Workshop and remember that these workshops are the intercultural and diversity & inclusion equivalent of “continuing education.” They are a way to refresh and receive.

    TRAINING. If you want a day of training for trainers, facilitators, and educators start in the morning on Wednesday with Daniel Yalowitz’s comprehensive look at how you make learning stick (The Game’s the Thing and It’s Meaning Is in the Debriefing). If you ever have questions about debriefing such as: How do I debrief a game with a multi-cultural group? Can you play and debrief a game designed for adults with children? Go to Daniel for the answers. Spend 4 hours with him for the gold nuggets of debriefing.

    And in the afternoon, you can join Basma Ibrahim DeVries and Jon DeVries for their workshop on Interactions and Intersections: Experiential Activities for Intercultural and Inclusion Work. If you are looking for a hands-on, interactive workshop with several unique intercultural learning activities (related to diverse communication styles, cultural values and dimensions, barriers to inclusion), this is the workshop for you. It includes discussion on adaptations for specific training goals. Workshop participants can expect to be creatively, experientially, and reflectively engaged.

    When your passion is DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION start your morning with Farzana Nyani in her Master Workshop Deepening Impact: Encouraging an Equity Lens in Diversity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Work. As trainers and consultants we all want our work to have an impact. Her equity lens is one that we all are—or should be—concerned about having as we face the challenges of training or consulting. In your 4 hours with Farzana you will gain an understanding of how diversity, equity and inclusion and intercultural concepts can come together to make deeper impact on the people you work with.

    Then in the afternoon, join Malii Watts Carolyn for The “Reel-ality” of Race: Engaging with the 2020 U.S. Presidential Debates. Review video snippets of select learning moments from the 2020 U.S. Presidential campaign debates and other election-related news for a candid conversation on the deliberate and complex role of diversity and inclusion in this contemporary, political drama. Use a critical lens on the intercultural and D&I fields with which participants are associated in order to begin constructing relevant and resonant ways to practice your work without perpetuating the divisions we seek to interrupt.

    INTERCULTURAL CAREER AND BUSINESS SKILLS. In the morning join Randall Stieghorst to focus on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage the business side of (a) being a self-employed interculturalist or D&I practitioner and/or (b) running a small business that provides professional services. If you have your own business or are thinking of starting one, be sure to check out Business Skills for Independent Interculturalists and Small Business Owners because with his 18 years of experience, Randall is the one you want to hear from.

    In the afternoon, for career planning, Mary Meares’ Master Workshop Developing Your Intercultural Career is the place to go. With her advice you can examine what skills you have, what skills you want to develop, and how that fits within the range of intercultural work? What about your knowledge, needs, passions, complications, and constraints? This workshop is for both beginning and more experienced interculturalists to think about how to move forward in public, nonprofit, and private sector contexts, as an employee or as an independent consultant.

    WORDS FROM A SAGE. As a special treat this year, you can choose to spend a whole day with George Renwick. In his morning workshop, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King: Outstanding Examples of Intercultural Competence he asks: What enabled each of them to be uniquely effective? What were the sources of their courage, commitment, creativity, and profound impact? You will watch Mother Teresa and Dr. King, listen to them, learn from them, and learn from each other during a discussion to clarify the personal qualities and professional capabilities that were essential to their extraordinary effectiveness. Then you will consider the most important implications for your own professional development and intercultural practice.

    In the afternoon George invites you to Creative Coaching: An Advanced Workshop where you will consider creative, uniquely effective ways to conduct coaching in challenging situations. During recent years, George has been experimenting with a variety of new ways of coaching, ways that are situation specific and culturally competent. The results of these experiments have sometimes been surprising (and usually very positive). During this workshop, George will share actual situations where he has used new coaching methods that seemed exactly appropriate and uniquely effective. Countries in which these challenging situations have occurred include the U.S., China, Korea, India and Saudi Arabia.

  • 14 Jul 2019 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 18th National SIETAR Conference Chair
    welcomes you to the 2019 National Conference in
    Atlanta, Georgia

    October 30 – November 2, 2019.

    Meet The Conference Chairperson
    Karen J Lokkesmoe

    My first intercultural experience was at the age of three when my brother and I moved to Western Manitoba, Canada and lived for 1.5 years with my aunt and uncle while my mother went back to school to finish her degree. While still with family and many shared traditions, there was much that was different and later in life I found myself interpreting expressions and actions between my Manitoba cousins and my older Minnesota siblings, who had not shared that experience. These were small things but left a lasting impression on me and I always understood that words and actions are not always interpreted the same way.

    Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have been able to live, work, and study in four countries and to travel to 66 countries. I have always enjoyed studying languages and engaging with people who are different from me. Working in international education has been a excellent fit for me. I am blessed to be able to count as friends and colleagues over 250 international students and scholars from all corners of the world. These current and future world leaders inspire me every day.

    Working as a professor and consultant in global leadership and intercultural competence development has been a perfect combination of my two great passions. For me one cannot be an effective global leader without also being interculturally competent. The two are intrinsically linked. Developing the Integrated Global Leadership Model through my Ph.D. research puts intercultural competence at the very center of a set of global leadership skills.

    SIETAR, both nationally and locally in Minnesota, has been a wonderful organization where professionals, scholars, learners, and the curious can come together to share knowledge and engage in inquiries about how to do our work better. I was one of the founding members of SIETAR Minnesota and have long been on the planning board helping to keep our local organization relevant, vital, and sustainable. Having attended and presented at several past SIETAR USA conferences, I was honored to be asked to chair the 2019 National Conference. I believe that the work we do as interculturalists is perhaps more critical today than ever. The role we play today goes beyond education, training, and research. We must reach out to our coworkers, bosses, family members, community, state, and national leaders to facilitate the ongoing bridging and understanding of those who have values and beliefs different from our own. The SIETAR USA Conference is a great place to revitalize, renew, and support that work.

    I invite you to join us in Atlanta, October 30-November 2, 2019 when we will engage with the theme: From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist.

    In addition to sessions of general intercultural interest that explore the conference theme, the conference program includes three tracks:

    • The Role of the Interculturalist: Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
    • The Role of the Interculturalist Working with Specific Cultures
    • The Role of the Interculturalist: Building Skills and Taking them to the Market Place

    The annual conference is a time of renewal of our commitment to the intercultural field. We return to our daily lives refreshed and energized to make a difference for the people who are our students, clients, colleagues. We work to bridge transformations caused by change. The system in which we live—boundaries, borders, nations—has accelerated change enormously, sometimes beyond human tolerance or comprehension. We are all involved somehow in this change: change of society, of organizations, of communities, of one person who wants to learn. And each change often puts into action unpredictable consequences, of which we may know little. Some changes amaze and delight; others, not so much.

    Please join me in Atlanta for a conference designed to support you with stimulating thinking, inspiring insights, expanding skills and renewing commitments—we will work together to explore important questions and seek avenues of human connection.

    Who Should Attend

    The SIETAR USA conference brings together professionals from many countries, ethnicities, occupations and industries for collaborative learning and stimulating exchange of ideas. The result is an increase in our own intercultural competency, along with support for our clients, trainees, and students as we all move forward in intercultural skills, awareness and knowledge.

    The conference is not only an event that allows people to learn about cutting-edge topics, but also a meeting place of people who care about how culture plays a role in daily life and the importance of finding avenues to effective relations across cultures.

    Whether you are a long-time SIETAR USA member, or this is your first experience with the organization, please plan to join us in Atlanta, GA this October!

    Conference attendees come from multiple fields, including:

    • Global Business and Multinational Corporations
    • Education
    • Health Services
    • Training and Coaching
    • Research
    • Government
    • Military
    • Refugee and Immigrant Support Services
    • Human Rights
    • Domestic Diversity
    • Global Diversity
    • Cultural Transitions
    • Peace and Conflict Resolution
    • Tourism
    • Communication and Dialogue Professions
    • Community Development

  • 14 Jul 2019 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Conference Scholarships

    Application deadline: August 15, 2019

    Apply now! Apply on-line


    First-time attendees who are registered students or employees and volunteers at a community-based non-profit, You must be willing to volunteer 4 - 7 hours at the conference, depending on award amount.


    Scholarships are sponsored by SIETAR USA as well as 3 independently financed Legacy Scholarships honoring former SIETAR members: Robin Bragge, Kyoung-Ah Nam, and R Michael Paige. Full details are available on the SUSA website as well at scholarships@sietarusa.org.

    Application links:

    • SIETAR USA Scholarships
    • Robin Bragge Minnesota LGBT Interculturalist Scholarship award
    • Kyoung-Ah Nam Scholarship award
    • R Michael Paige Scholarship award

  • 13 Jul 2019 5:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A jolt is an experiential learning activity that lasts for a brief period of time and illustrates one or more important learning points.

    My Swiss colleague Samuel van den Bergh recently facilitated this jolt in a diversity training workshop we conducted in Neftenbach, Switzerland. This jolt dramatically demonstrates the power of cooperation.

    Form groups. Ask the participants to organize themselves into groups of three. Appoint one person in each group to be the Referee. Give this person a blank sheet of paper.

    Brief the participants. Explain that there is a single rule for winning this simple game.

    Explain the role of the Referee. Ask the Referee to place the blank sheet of paper in the middle of the table.

    Ask the players to get ready. Ask the two players in each group to extend their right index fingers and hold the fingers approximately six inches above the blank sheet of paper.

    Give the rule. Make this statement: You win if make the other player’s index finger touch the blank sheet of paper first.

    Conduct the game. Say, "Let the game begin!" Ask the Referee to watch the two players and determine who won.

    Conclude the game. After about 2 minutes, announce the end of the activity. Identify the winners and congratulate them.

    Explain the cooperative strategy. Repeat the rule of the game: You win if you get the other player’s index finger to touch the blank sheet first. Point out that both players could have won if they cooperated to touch the blank sheet at the same time.


    Conduct a debriefing discussion with this question:

    • How many of you won the game? How do you feel about it?
    • How many of you lost the game? How do you feel about it?
    • How many of you have not completed the game? How do you feel about it?
    • How many of you used the strategy of both players touching the blank sheet of paper at the same time? How do you feel about it?
    • How many of assumed that if you win, the other player has to lose?
    • How does the game reflect events in your workplace?

    Learning Points

    1. Activities that involve winning automatically encourage competitive behavior.
    2. If we are willing to think cooperatively, it is possible for everyone to win.

  • 13 Jul 2019 5:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Elmer Dixon, President
    Executive Diversity Services

    Whether you are a seasoned HR professional, advising a client or hiring your own first employee, these tips serve as good reminders of good practices to support diverse staffing... The secret is maintaining community relationships year round. Having a staff that represents a diversity of background and perspectives doesn’t happen by accident. It takes commitment, strategy and planning.

    Here are tips to support diverse staffing, to get you started or serve as a reminder in your work with clients or in your own business:

    • Use community resources including key individuals, organizations and campuses that target services and membership for women and ethnic populations.
    • Develop and maintain personal relationships and networks in target communities on an ongoing basis, not just when you want to fill job openings.
    • Identify individuals within your organization who might help recruit from specific target communities.
    • Examine your current workforce for recruiting potential, for example, individuals who can be developed through job training or position competencies.
    • Provide information to applicants about any organizational benefits that might be attractive to diverse populations, e.g., new employee orientation, professional and personal development opportunities, mentoring programs, employee support groups, buddy systems, etc.

  • 13 Jul 2019 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Coming Events

    October 30-November 2, 2019

    SIETAR USA National Conference, From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist, Atlanta, GA


    July Holidays

    July 16: Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings.

    July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices: “It is in your hands now”. It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better.

    July 23: The birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia whom the Rastafarians consider to be their savior.

    July 24: Pioneer Day, observed by the Mormons to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter Day Saints pioneer in Salt Lake Valley.

    July 26: Disability Independence Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    July 30: International Day of Friendship, proclaimed in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

    August Holidays

    August 10-11 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith.

    August 10-11 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith.

    August 12-15: Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event.

    August 13-15: Obon (Ulambana), a Buddhist festival and Japanese custom for honoring the spirits of ancestors.

    August 15: Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese holiday where street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits.

    August 15: Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and sister. “Raksha” means “protection” in Hindi and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life.

    Holidays list courtesy of: https://www.diversitybestpractices.com/2019-diversity-holidays

  • 09 Jul 2019 8:51 AM | Karen Fouts (Administrator)

    A Few Items You Might Want to Know About - July 2019

    SIETAR USA NEWSLETTER: The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA is being prepared and will be ready to deploy next week. Articles include Craig Storti’s Bookmarks reviewing Michelle Gelfand’s Rule Makers/Rule Breakers, an article by Elmer Dixon, a Thiagi Training Tip, information about the conference and more. Watch for the email (check your 'Promotions' and spam just in case it goes there by mistake!).

    SIETAR USA CONFERENCE: All the information is in and the conference registration application is being formulated this week. We will let you know just as soon as registration is live! Presenters will hear very soon from the program committee regarding their proposals.

    SIETAR USA is taking a summer break, and webinars will resume in September. Meanwhile, SIETAR EUROPA is holding a webinar this month: "From Clashes to Creativity: TEAM READINESS for (Culturally) Diverse Teams" will be presented by Ursula Brinkmann, PhD., on July 16, 2019. For more information and to register for this webinar, click here.

    SIETAR ITALIA has started a crowdfunding campaign to support a book they would like to develop and publish. Visit http://sostieni.link/21183 to learn more and participate!

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR Europa held its biannual congress May 27th to June 2nd in the historic city of Leuven, Belgium. I attended this well-organized event and saw many similarities and some differences between the conferences of our two organizations. Their theme this year—somewhat similar to the SIETAR USA theme—addressed diversity and inclusion: Building Dialogs on Diversity—Towards a Future of Hope. Joyce Jenkins, President prior to the congress wrote in their program: “This theme is timely, given the problems and polarisations we see around the world today. It is also dear to the hearts of those involved in intercultural education, training and research, who approach diversity in a spirit of positivity. The congress continues our endeavor to promote and design dialogues which help us explore differences and derive lessons from them, building common ground towards a future of hope.” 

    Some similarities and differences between the two conference structures: SIETAR Europa had 5 tracks, SIETAR USA also uses a track system as a way to recruit and group similar sessions. Their tracks were Business and Organizational Challenges; Socio-political Concerns; Migration: Education and Intercultural Professions; and a 5th Academic Research track. They have 3 days of pre-congress workshops and post congress workshops as well whereas SIETAR USA has just one day of Master Workshops. The SIETAR EU schedule resembles the one SIETAR USA uses but we offer sessions of 60, 75 and 90 minutes. The structure of their program is all 90-minute presentations (except for the TED-style talks which were 30-minute sessions grouped into sets of 3 presentations plus discussion). They begin each day with two keynote addresses and go to the end of the day on Saturday (we usually end early so Saturday is a half day for us).

    One significant difference was that SIETAR Europa has had a Film Festival since their conference in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2007. They screen documentaries which have the added value in reaching people in a different more emotional way. According to their program: “Documentaries can be very useful as teaching and learning tools in education.  During this congress, SIETAR, again, offers opportunities on how to use films or film fragments for intercultural, virtual teaching, training and coaching.” Each film was followed by discussion of the content and each track was represented by two documentaries. I went to 3 of them and was most impressed with their selection. I was most moved by a film called “Nice People” that dealt with a small town in the backlands of Sweden that was attempting to accommodate 3,000 Somalis. A local journalist had the idea of letting sport unite the people so men who had never known temperatures below freezing or ice skating, were taught Bandy ice hockey. The film follows the intense, heartbreaking, comical struggle to get the team (the first national Bandy Ice Hockey Team of Somalia) ready for the championship tournament in Siberia. I have to admit to both laughing and crying.

    The venue for the congress was Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven campus located at the edge of town and reached by bus. Participants stayed in hotels and B&Bs all over town. Some of us bought our lunches on the way to the bus since you could register and pay for a box lunch but we didn’t all choose that option. By having our USA conferences in hotels, lunch is provided as part of registration. Probably the biggest overall difference between the two conferences is the venue. 

    Whova played an important role in creating a sense of community. We will have Whova available at the SIETAR USA conference too. We will let you know when you can sign up for Whova. It’s fun and informative.

    A culminating event was the gala banquet on Friday evening. The new President of SIETAR Europa was “crowned” and she is an American Expat currently living in Ireland: Tamara Cherie Thorpe. Tamara was the head of the SIETAR USA scholarship committee for many years and has served in other governance capacities. She is also our June webinar speaker.I know it is difficult to get a picture of an event that you didn’t attend. I hope it is interesting for you to see that we share some ways of organizing our conferences as well as some differences. The bottom line is that the people make the conference. I was so proud of the large number of American participants and especially the American presenters. They were the best! But I must say that the Europeans (and international presenters) did a fine job as well. 

    According to current plans, SIETAR USA will get on an every other year schedule such that the year that SIETAR Europa has its congress, we will not have a conference in the United States. To do that, SIETAR USA will hold a conference next year (2020 which is our 20th anniversary) and then not again until 2022. That makes it quite possible to attend the conference in Europe one year and in the United States the following year. I hope that brings many more Europeans to our conferences and vice versa—many more Americans attending their congresses. European and American collaboration has long been a hallmark of SIETAR. I look forward to a close relationship between SIETAR Europa and SIETAR USA in the coming years.

    Sandra M. Fowler
    President, SIETAR USA

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There are 4 open positions on the Board of Directors. We are looking for good volunteers to fill those open spots on the SIETAR USA Board. Interested? Let’s talk. Please contact us at info@sietarsusa.org for more information

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR USA commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising (also known as the Stonewall Riots or Rebellion). Pride Month, which began June 1st is a time to reflect on the vast cultural change over the past 50 years—it is a time to celebrate the progress in civil rights for the LGBTQ community since the uprising. However, Pride is relevant as long as any discrimination exits and there is still an undercurrent of inequity. Despite many steps forward over the 5 decades, a conscious erosion of civil rights is present in the current administration.

    LGBTQ people across the country and around the world celebrate Pride Month with parades, parties, rallies and other events. During Pride Month, gay rights get more attention from news media making it a great opportunity to learn more about the issues and to get involved. SIETAR USA will continue to use the platform of our annual conference in Atlanta to support our LGBT members.

    Stonewall, set in the activist decade of the 1960s began on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's West Village, was the location of the civil protest that began when bar patrons and area residents, tired of harassment allowed by law, clashed with police officers who had come to raid the nightspot. Turbulence and demonstrations continued for the next several nights. Those events were not the first resistance act of the gay rights movement, but they galvanized activism in the United States and around the world, leading to many achievements and ultimately resulting in the Marriage Equality Act of 2015.

    SIETAR USA, since its inception, has included and welcomed LGBTQ members who have served on the Board of Directors and presented at the conferences. We have had at least one LGBTQ session at each conference since our first conference in 2000. For example, in the year 2000 in Fairfax, VA Rita Wuebbeler and David Beverly presented a session on Expat Gay Employees: Issues and Concerns. In San Diego in 2017 Rob Pusch and Randall Stieghorst discussed the worldviews of gay men and transgendered persons in their session Strategies for Understanding the Impact of Formative Factors: Gay and Trans Identities. In Spokane in 2010, Randy and Rob were joined by Rebecca Parrilla, Susan Gore, Rita Wuebbeler, and Vivek Saxena to explore the Cultural Values of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities. Many years ago, a GLBT (yes, that’s what it was called) scholarship was established to attract and support members of the LGBTQ community to SIETAR conferences. Further, for many years the Pride Special Interest Group has been the most active SIG.

    We are grateful for the contributions of our LGBTQ members in all aspects of the association – from governance to the conferences—and wish them well in their fight for freedom from discrimination, respect, dignity, and their very human rights.

    (NYC Pride image by gagnonm1993 from Pixabay)

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