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  • 10 Jun 2019 9:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Interview with Joe Lurie, Executive Director Emeritus, UC Berkeley International House

    With this month’s column, we’re happy to bring back our author interview feature. Our last two authors, Ursula Le Guin and Freya Stark, were deceased, but Joe is very much alive, and we’re happy to present his thoughts.

    1. Why did you write this book?

    With YouTubes, tweets and fake news crossing cultures instantly and without context and with a surge of migrants encountering new hosts from different countries for the first time and without preparation, I sensed a growing collision of cultures. The alarming increase in intercultural misperceptions and miscommunications makes it more essential than ever to understand the actual meanings and intentions behind words and actions which may seem abnormal, provocative, even threatening. And so I wrote the book to heighten awareness of these misunderstandings and to provide tools for understanding culture clashes in the news of the day, in business, technology, diplomacy, language, religion, generational divides and migration. In a recent talk I illustrated a key theme in the book by showing how and why a simple bus seat in Norway was widely perceived as a burqua! https://youtu.be/EG_pv0gTNvY

    2. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from this book?

    An awareness of how the limitations of our experiences, no matter how extensive, within and across cultures, can blind us to and distort the underlying reality and meaning of behaviors, values, and beliefs never before encountered. As a 4th century Chinese poem ponders: "How shall I explain the sea to a frog that has never left its pond?" Or, as noted in this video clip, how all of us are in a sense locked in a perceptual cage of finite experiences. https://youtu.be/aIVsmbhi3RI

    3. Name one or two books in our field that influenced you the most, that you think all interculturalists should be familiar with? Why?

    The Geography of Thought-How Asians and Westerners Think Differently and Why  by Richard E, Nisbett. A fascinating exploration of common East/West cultural contrasts that explains how differing world views and behaviors are often rooted in contrasting social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China. It's a thought-provoking challenge to the widespread assumption among cognitive scientists that thinking across cultures is fundamentally the same.

    The scholarly article "Cross-Cultural Training Across The Individualism-Collectivism Divide" by Triandis, Brislin and Hui. I use this superb tool in my classes and training sessions, not only to help explain these contrasts but more importantly to provide powerful guidance for individualists on how to understand and interact with collectivists, and vice-versa.

    4. What is one of the most significant, most memorable cross-cultural experiences you have had?

    As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya and as one who is heterosexual, I was shocked and deeply disturbed when men held my hand for extended periods of time while strolling or engaged in casual conversation .It took awhile to understand that this had nothing to do with homosexuality, that throughout Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia this is a common male heterosexual behavior. This experience was my awakening to how culture can shape the meaning of behavior, and it was the origin and inspiration for a lifetime of intercultural discoveries.

    5. If you could pass on only one insight/one lesson learned to others about crossing cultures, what would you say?

    When encountering someone from another culture whose behavior seems confusing, bizarre or offensive, think of the West African Dogon proverb, "The Stranger Sees only What He Knows," then pause and ask yourself: What else could this mean?

    6. This newsletter goes to nearly 1,000 readers, folks who are either in or interested in the field of intercultural communications. If you’d like to say something else to these folks, something we have not asked about in this questionnaire, feel free to add your brief comments here.

    To better cope with the disrupting forces of globalization, the expanded 2018 edition of my book offers a broad array of interactive questions and activities at the end of each chapter, including some from Cultural Detective's superb internationally tested, research-based, on-line intercultural competence tool box. All of the questions and activities are designed to develop and heighten cultural self-awareness and sensitivity to and understanding across cultures among students and professionals of all backgrounds and fields of interest.

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Perception and Deception: A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures, Joe Lurie, Cultural Detective, 2018, 235 pages. Reviewed by Craig Storti

    You’re going to love Joe Lurie. It’s important to get that on the record straight away because although this book is not entirely a first-person narrative, much of it is. And if you don’t warm to the person in a first-person narrative, you’re in for a long slog. But Joe is so genuine, so modest—so charming—you’ll be quite content to linger in his company.

    Now it’s time for an embarrassing confession. When I was first asked to review this book, I was skeptical. Perception and Deception is basically a series of colorful, amusing, and sometimes poignant anecdotes illustrating all manner of cultural differences, a collection of the kind of stories we have all heard before, most probably early on in our intercultural career. My first reaction, in short, was: This is pretty basic; there’s not much new here.

    My second reaction was: How elitist and patronizing. Basic for whom? Nothing new to whom? Maybe not to professional interculturalists, but not everyone is a professional interculturalist, including folks who read this newsletter. There are neophyte or beginning interculturalists, for example, and there are lots of folks who’ve never even heard the words intercultural or cross-cultural but who might be intrigued if someone bothered to introduce them to this world. Which is exactly what Joe Lurie, to his enormous credit, is trying to do with Perception and Deception. Joe is not trying to impress experienced interculturalists; he’s trying to create new ones. Are we all so interculturally evolved that we can no longer remember a time when we first encountered a cultural difference—for many of us of a certain generation that was probably the time a foreign exchange student came to our high school—and were bowled over and utterly fascinated? And wanted to learn more?

    Our field needs more books like this, books we can hand to young people who have shown a budding interest in culture and want to read about it, or even to mature adults who’ve just never thought about culture. But these folks don’t want theory or paradigms; they want incidents, examples. They want stories. And Perception and Deception is full of them. Here are three to give you a feel for the book.

    Ideas of how respect is perceived across cultures is illustrated in an exchange that took place during an official visit of a U. S. delegation to China in 1978, shortly after US-Chinese diplomatic relations reopened. While touring an important Beijing cemetery, one U. S. delegate noticed oranges placed on many gravesites. Jokingly, he asked the Chinese guide, “When will you ancestors come up to eat the oranges?” The guide paused and then, clearly irritated, answered: “When your ancestors come up to smell the flowers.”

    Ayaka was often shaken by her coworkers’ directness. For example when she asked, “Can we review the agenda?” her coworker replied curtly, “No. I don’t have time now.” In the Japanese workplace people aren’t so direct and confrontational, Ayaka explained. In Japan the response might be, “Please let me think about that.” Japanese know that sentence means “No.” This behavior reminded me of the wonderful book, Sixteen Ways to Avoid Saying No. Author Masaaki Imai explains that one way to say “no” in Japanese is to say “yes.” It is not surprising that another of his books is titled Never Take Yes for an Answer.

    When marketing across cultures, and even within countries, companies must be sensitive to language…. A British company spent millions of dollars launching its new curry sauce, Bundh, but the negative response among curry-loving Punjabi speakers was surprising; in Punjabi bundh means “ass.” When Microsoft was promoting its search engine Bing in China, it discovered that in Mandarin Chinese bing sounds like “illness” and it can also mean “pancake,” depending on which tone (3rd or 4th) is used. Microsoft changed the name to the more commercially appealing biying—which means “seek and you shall find” (James Hookway, Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2012).

    To be sure, stories like these, as wonderful as they are, start to lose their punch when they are repeated one after the other, page after page. That’s a challenge in a book like this, but Lurie knows the risk and has addressed the redundancy problem by creating categories; so there are stories about the news of the day, business, technology, diplomacy, language, religion, generational divides, and migration. If the stories start to blur, just put the book down for a while; a book such as Perception and Deception is not meant to be read at one sitting.

    I’ve saved the best for last: the cover. It features the back of a man’s completely shaved head with the words Militant? Monk? Punk? Patient? superimposed on it. Brilliant. Actually, that’s the cover of the 2nd edition; if anything, the cover of the first edition is even better. It features the face of a cow looking directly at you with the words: What am I? Divine? Dowry? Dinner? Is there anyone who could resist opening a book with that cover?

    To recap: this book is basic. And we should all be grateful because now we have the perfect book to show people when they ask us what we do, when we tell them, and then when they say: “Really? Cultures can’t be all that different.”

  • 10 Jun 2019 8:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Insight is essential to vision. The first insight underlying the original vision for the intercultural field came more than 40 years ago.

    The first insight was this: Thousands of men and women in many parts of the world are working every day with individuals and groups whose backgrounds are very different from their own. Their work is important to them, to their communities, to social justice and peace. Intercultural competence is essential to their effectiveness. Among these women and men are diplomats, teachers, international students, corporate managers, inner city social workers, medical doctors and nurses, journalists, military personnel, interpreters and translators.

    A second insight underlying the original vision was this: these men and women all face similar intercultural challenges and require similar intercultural knowledge and skills. Therefore, they are a part of a significant professional community but are not aware of it. They have many colleagues -- interesting, capable colleagues, but don't realize this.

    A third insight: Many of these men and women do their intercultural work alone. And most were not prepared during their education for the intercultural aspects of their responsibilities.

    The vision then was this: To enable every one of these women and men to do their important intercultural work more effectively. This was to be accomplished through establishing a communications network and providing relevant materials. The network (newsletters, conferences, and directories) would enable them to contact and learn from one another. The materials (books, articles, research reports, course and program designs, and the many "fugitive materials" being developed) would enable them to build their intercultural knowledge.

    Access to colleagues and their best work was the key. Contributing one's own best work to colleagues was even more important.

    The larger, longer term vision was to create a whole new, fully legitimate field in the Social Sciences. This field would have its own distinctive standards, methods, body of literature, concepts and theories. A critical part of the conceptual foundation had been provided by Edward T. Hall when he recognized and demonstrated brilliantly the connection between culture and communication.

    This new field would draw on the relevant parts of the established academic disciplines in the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. It might, therefore, actually become the first real Interdiscipline. And it would be the first field to consistently integrate theory with practice and to achieve consistent collaboration between researchers, teachers and trainers.

    With a substantial, creative field supporting them, the thousands of men and women engaged in intercultural relations around the world would gain credibility and capability.

    In fact, they would gain a significant new professional identity.

    David Hoopes was the first to articulate and passionately pursue this vision. He and Toby Frank built the original SIETAR, both its organization and its spirit.

    The results, the first members of SIETAR hoped, would be intercultural courses from kindergarten through graduate school, Intercultural Communication Workshops on university campuses across the U.S., illuminating research into all kinds of intercultural relations, intercultural training in all major multinational corporations, intercultural competence in government agencies (both local and national), intercultural specialists in the United Nations, and intercultural specialists involved at the center of every major urban and international conflict.

    The first members genuinely believed that widespread intercultural competence could have major social consequences, even political consequences.

    The inaugural SIETAR Conference was held in 1975. The Society then grew to 2,000 members.

    A State of the Art Study was conducted. This was funded by a grant to SIETAR from the Kettering Foundation. Some of the findings:

    • 541 organizations were involved in intercultural education, training and research.
    • 31, 000 intercultural courses, training programs and research projects had been conducted in 45 states in the U.S. and in 89 other countries. These had involved 990,000 students and trainees.

    SIETAR International was established. It included a Regional Affiliate (SIETAR Europa) and several Country Affiliates (SIETAR USA, UK, Deutschland, France, Netherlands, Japan and Indonesia). It also included some Local Affiliates (Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Chicago, Houston and Metro Washington). Then, for several years, Young SIETAR was very active.

    Over the following years, SIETAR International was dissolved and many of the country and local affiliates were dissolved.

    Given the original compelling vision described above, then the creation and dissolution of SIETAR International and many of the national and local SIETARs, what are the implications for us today? And tomorrow?

    George W. Renwick, M.Div., Ph.D.

    George has attended and conducted sessions at every annual SIETAR conference since 1976. He is a founding faculty member, along with John Condon, of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and has conducted workshops there for 41 years.

    With David Hoopes and Peggy Pusch he founded the Intercultural Press and served with them on its Board of Directors.

    As president of his consulting firm, he has completed assignments in 26 countries for 45 multinational corporations.

  • 10 Jun 2019 8:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Usually, at the end of an encounter with foreigners, we ruminate about what we could have said and done better. In real life, we don’t get another chance to re-do the encounter. But in this roleplay activity, that’s exactly what we do.

    Prepare a scenario. Select the type of interpersonal interaction that you want your participants to handle. Specify a few details about the role of the two people involved in this situation.

    Here’s the scenario I created for use at last year’s SIETAR-USA conference:

    I will play the role of a foreign participant who is wandering around the meeting rooms at a professional conference, looking lost. You will play role of a friendly local who wants to help him without appearing to be patronizing.

    Surprise the participants. Randomly select a participant to play the role of the person in an intercultural interaction. Explain that you will play the role of the other person, a foreigner. 

    Specify the scenario. Explain the situation in which you meet each other.

    Conduct the roleplay. Let the other person initiate the conversation. Respond to him or her in your role as a foreigner.

    Conclude the roleplay. At the end of 2 or 3 minutes, abruptly announce the end of role play.

    Repeat the roleplay. Ask the roleplaying participant if he or she has second thoughts about what could have been done better. Explain that you are going to rewind the roleplay tape and start all over again. Invite the participant to begin the roleplay again from scratch.

    Repeat with coaching from the audience. After a suitable length of time, conclude the second round. Ask the participant to mingle with the other participants and collect their suggestions for improving the interaction. Tell the roleplayer that he or she may ignore or modify any of these suggestions. As before, invite the roleplayer to start from scratch.

    Repeat the roleplay with another participant. After about 2 minutes, invite someone else to replace the roleplayer. Use the same scenario and roles. If time permits, conduct two or three more rounds.

    Debrief. Begin with the roleplaying participants. Ask them to recall the changes they made between the rounds and the reasons for these changes. Also ask them what they would do differently if they were to start all over again. Invite other participants for their comments about what they observed and how they would coach future roleplayers.

  • 10 Jun 2019 8:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Why did his wife and close friend Michael Bond call him Ulysses?
    Answer: because Harry—like his countryman—led an amazing intercultural life.

    In Tribute to Harry Triandis

    We will have an article in the August issue of The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA regarding the career and contributions of Harry Triandis. Michelle Gelfand, a former graduate student of Harry’s, and author of the recent book Rule Makers/Rule Breakers has agreed to write about her mentor and his many contributions to the intercultural field.

    I would like to take this opportunity to write about my friend and colleague Harry Triandis. In the mid-1980s Harry invited me to be on a symposium at the meeting of the International Association of Applied Psychology in Edinburgh, Scotland. I knew who he was because I had read and cited him. I had no idea that he knew who I was. At that time I was the head of the US Navy’s Overseas Duty Support Program, the Navy’s equivalent of an intercultural program in the civilian world. I was honored to have received the invitation and that was the beginning of a relationship with both Harry and his wife, Pola that lasted until his death on June 1, 2019.

    Fast forward to 2009. The SIETAR USA 9th annual conference was to be held in Cary, North Carolina with the theme: Intercultural Solutions for Challenging Times. The Conference Chair, Kelli McLoud-Schingen needed a keynote speaker so, I offered to contact Harry. When I called and explained what we needed, his immediate response was: yes, of course, he and Pola would be pleased to attend. His keynote address was titled Troubling Times Across Cultures, in which he examined how cultural factors interact with the problems of troubled times. Harry had recently published his 7th book, Fooling Ourselves: Self-Deception in Politics, Religion, and Terrorism (Praeger Publishers, 2009) and he used many of the ideas from that book in his talk. I remember that the response was controversial. Neal Goodman in particular took issue with Harry’s conclusions, which Harry enjoyed. He liked being challenged and was always willing to talk through the challenger’s response.

    Harry and my husband Ray Fowler were good friends over many years so when Harry and Pola started coming to San Diego for several winter months we often got together for dinner. They began thinking about moving to San Diego to be closer to their daughter Louisa and their two grandsons (and escape the Illinois winter weather) and after a few years of trying it out, moved permanently to Carlsbad (where I currently live). They relished their retirement community; Pola was a member of the Food Committee, Harry led topical discussions, they went to the opera and symphony concerts and developed a whole new cadre of friends. Harry loved to talk politics but found he had to be careful what he said to whom.

    Harry’s most recent appearance at a SIETAR USA Conference was in 2017 when he was the speaker for a Fireside Chat. He said a few things and opened the floor to questions and comments. Jon DeVries remembered how open and gracious he was. We had invited both Harry and Pola to speak at the session but Pola couldn’t make it due to illness. She passed on about a year ago and since that time, I had a monthly dinner with Harry. It still seems impossible that he won’t be waiting for me to pick him up outside of his home in Carlsbad By The Sea, so that we could go to a local restaurant to talk about the world and the current administration.

    Last November I contacted Harry to ask him if he would write a column for the new SIETAR USA newsletter. He asked what the deadline was and I said it would be in January after I assumed the Presidency. He responded that at age 92 he wasn’t sure he’d be around in January so he’d do it right away. I got the article the next day and it was published as he wrote it. For readers who would like to know more about Harry, his autobiography, An Intercultural Life, is available at http://www.iaccp.org/ebooks. It’s well worth the time to read to get the full flavor of Harry’s intercultural career. And I am sure that all of Harry’s fans have a favorite book of his—mine is Culture and Social Behavior (McGraw-Hill, 1994). In this book Harry covered everything I wanted to know about culture and introduced me to some new ideas. The 3 cultural syndromes that he described and their relationship which was most useful for me in designing a simulation game that most people have not heard of: TTOIRAM.

    In closing, I’d like to quote Adam Komisarof from the International Academy of Intercultural Research list serve: “I met Harry only once briefly at an IAIR conference, but to a young scholar like me who had cited him extensively, it was a watershed moment.  As so many of you have reflected, Harry was kind and gracious when I met him.  I hope that all of us established in the field can share Harry's spirit by welcoming and encouraging younger researchers with the same warmth and humility.  That way, both his academic work and his personal ethos will live on.” I will add that Harry’s spirit would welcome not just the intercultural researchers but also the practitioners and educators. He would embrace us all.

    Sandra M. Fowler

    President SIETAR USA

  • 10 Jun 2019 7:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Now that summer is upon us, the SIETARUSA 2019 Conference Committee and Volunteers have been taking time out of sunny weekends and warm evenings to review the 90+ conference proposals submitted for the SIETARUSA 2019 National Conference: From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist. taking place October 30-November 2 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 

    We are excited to see so many timely and important proposals emphasizing the importance of the role of interculturalists in bridging differences in our increasingly polarized society.  They show how we can articulate and embrace our similarities and differences to better engage, communicate, and cooperate with one another.   Thanks to those of you who have submitted proposals!  You will be informed in early July of your acceptance to the conference. 

    The make-up of this year’s proposals are as follows:


    Tracks Submissions Format Sessions Proposed
    From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist (24) 24 Presentations 25
    Diversity, Incl & Social Justice 26 Workshops 33
    Specific Cultures 26 Ned Talks 10
    Building Skills and Taking them to the Market Place 16 Research 10
        Panel Discussions 7
        Reflective forums 6
        Artistic Expression 1

  • 10 Jun 2019 7:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Considering the recent legislation by the Georgia State Government greatly restricting a woman’s right to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term or terminate the pregnancy, some people have suggested that SIETAR USA should boycott the state and move our conference elsewhere. We don’t have a crystal ball and had no idea that something like this was pending. We have never taken a poll of the SIETAR USA membership regarding people’s feelings about abortion—nor will we. Considering the diversity on so many subjects within SIETAR USA, it is likely that our members have many thoughts and feelings about the abortion issue.

    The penalties to cancel our hotel contract and the time and energy required to find a new venue are just too costly. That alone is a major reason to continue with the plan to meet in Atlanta. In addition, we had no conference in 2018 so having a conference this year is important to our membership, association and partnerships. We have over 90 excellent proposals and the presenters are counting on a conference. But there is another reason that might be most important. Our presence there with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to civil and human rights would speak louder than our absence.

    Atlanta has played a major role in the global human rights movement. The civil rights movement in the American South was one of the most significant and successful social movements in the modern world. From Atlanta to the most rural counties in Georgia’s southwest Cotton Belt, Black activists protested White supremacy in many ways—from legal challenges and mass demonstrations to strikes and self-defense. The protection of life and the right of women to choose is at its heart a concern about human rights—the rights of the mother to make decisions regarding her own body as well as the rights of the fetus. Being in Atlanta where civil rights is always at the forefront is an opportunity for SIETAR USA to add its voice to this complicated and sensitive, ethical and moral issue. Please join us in Atlanta as we continue our discussions of the issues we face as we work toward a more inclusive, just world.

  • 10 Jun 2019 7:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you checked out the Master Workshops for the 2019 conference? Registration is opening soon so be prepared to reserve your spot in your top-choice workshop!

    Presenting: The SIETAR USA 2019 Master Workshops!

    Master Workshops have been a highlight of the SIETAR USA conferences since the beginning. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from leaders in the intercultural and diversity and inclusion fields who have special expertise in their topic and represent the best for their subject—who also run a very fine workshop. This is your chance to experience these experts in action, up close, and personal! You will have direct access to respected leaders—professionals in the field. The workshops offer an intensive learning experience, focused on compelling topics. These workshops provide professional development opportunities for interculturalists of all levels of experience and they connect you with people who share your passion right from the start.

    These pre-conference workshops are all on Wednesday, 30 October. The 2019 list of Master Workshops is especially impressive. To get the full flavor of the Master Workshops, you can see pictures of the presenters and read the descriptions of the workshops and bios of the workshop leaders, by going to the SIETAR USA website conference page. When you hover over information, Master Workshops come up as an option. Click there! Here is a taste of what you will find in the list:


    1. Daniel Yalowitz: The Game’s the Thing and It’s Meaning is in The Debriefing. In this highly experiential master workshop, we’ll focus on the two primary aspects of play as a form and forum for community and teambuilding: the game and the debrief.  Both are ideal and essential as elements of bringing groups of people together to enable greater cooperation, collaboration, and deeper connection with one another and their respective organizations, teams, and work units. 

    2. Farzana Nayani: Going Beyond Intercultural Awareness: Making Deep Impact in Your IC Practice and D&I Practice through an Equity Lens. Are you a diversity educator, intercultural trainer, cross-cultural consultant, or a leader within an organization, and are wondering if you are making a real difference beyond cultural awareness? Through self-reflection exercises, discussion, and a sharing of best practices, this session will allow you to explore your vision for your work, address challenges, and advance a path forward utilizing an equity lens.

    3. Randy Stieghorst: Business Skills for Independent Interculturalists and Small Business Owners.  This master workshop will focus on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage the business side of (a) being a self-employed interculturalist and/or (b) running a small business that provides professional services. The facilitator, Randall Stieghorst, will leverage his 18 years of experience managing Language & Culture Worldwide (LCW) to explore such topics as: marketing, pricing, contracts, collaboration, technology, and strategy.

    4. George Renwick: Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King:  Outstanding Examples of Intercultural Competence. What enabled each of them to be uniquely effective? What were the sources of their courage, commitment, creativity, and profound impact? In this workshop you will watch Mother Teresa and Dr. King, listen to them, learn from them, and learn from each other. We will discuss and clarify the personal qualities and professional capabilities that were essential to their extraordinary effectiveness. Then we will consider the most important implications for our own professional development and intercultural practice.


    5. Basma Ibrahim DeVries & Jon DeVries:  Interactions and Intersections: Experiential Activities for Intercultural and Inclusion Work. In these polarized times, interculturalists need to expand their toolkits to assist participants in understanding, truly appreciating, actively engaging, and ultimately, bridging and leveraging their differences. Fostering equity and inclusion requires heightened identity awareness, greater cultural sensitivities, and refined skills to bridge differences. This highly interactive session will engage you in several unique intercultural learning activities (related to diverse communication styles, cultural values and dimensions, barriers to inclusion) including discussion of adaptations for specific training goals.

    6. Soumaya Khalifa: Growing and Developing Diverse Leaders: Practical Model for Companies, Organizations and Communities. Empowering is a very popular idea and it is a tricky one. How do you do it in a way that does not feel like a top-down action done from a position of a well-meaning but unexamined privilege?    Developing leadership skills within underprivileged or marginalized populations has been a challenge for many groups and organizations.  This workshop will introduce you to a tried and true model of leadership development that can be immediately applied in diverse environments and communities, while engaging diverse participants in building their leadership capacity together.  Using the model developed and perfected by the extremely successful Islamic Speakers Bureau Leadership Institute (ISBLI) of Atlanta, GA, the workshop will explore how leadership programs are created, implemented and evaluated. 

    7. Mary Meares: Developing Your Intercultural Career. What skills do you have, what skills do you want to develop, and how does that fit within the range of intercultural work? What about your knowledge, needs, passions, complications, and constraints? This workshop will help both beginning and more experienced interculturalists think about how to move forward in public, nonprofit, and private sector contexts, as an employee or as an independent consultant. This workshop is NOT a comprehensive overview of all options of intercultural work, although many options will be discussed (and handouts will describe many of the “typical” options), but rather a chance to interactively assess your current self, build a set of goals, and strategically develop plans for reaching your short-term and long-term goals.

    8. George Renwick: Creative Coaching: An Advanced Workshop. Globalization has changed dramatically many organizations. The consequences: Many key people in these organizations must now communicate and collaborate every day with colleagues whose priorities, expectations and ways of interacting are deeply different from their own.  These cultural divides in organizations now can cost people their jobs. These cultural divides can destroy the organization. New interventions are necessary and coaching is one. But standard ways of coaching, often, are no longer effective.

    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). In this workshop George will explain 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. During the workshop, the participants can consider creative, uniquely effective ways to conduct their coaching in their own challenging situation.

  • 10 Jun 2019 7:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    July 7-10: International Academy for Intercultural Research Biennial Conference

    October 30-November 2, 2019: SIETAR USA National Conference, From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist, Atlanta, GA

    June Holidays

    June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on the world. LGBT groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings. The last Sunday in June is Gay Pride Day.

    June 15: Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans.

    June 16: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, observed by members of the Sikh faith. Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh guru and the first Sikh martyr.

    June 19: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas and Louisiana finally heard they were free, two months after the end of the Civil War. June 19, therefore, became the day of emancipation for thousands of African-Americans.

    June 21: Litha, the summer solstice celebrated by the Wiccans and Pagans. It is the longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”

    June 21: First Nations Day, a day that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada.

    June 23: All Saints’ Day, celebrated by many Eastern Christian churches on this day in June, in recognition of all known and unknown saints.

    June 29: Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, a liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome for the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

    Last Sunday in June: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day in the United States. It celebrates the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.

    July Holidays

    July 1: Canada Day, or Fête du Canada, is a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, which established the three former British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as a united nation called Canada.

    July 4: Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July), a United States federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America.

    July 11: World Population Day, an observance established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. The annual event is designed to raise awareness of global population issues.

    July 14: Bastille Day, a French federal holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that held political prisoners who had displeased the French nobility. The Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, was regarded as a turning point of the French Revolution. Celebrations are held throughout France.

    July 15: St. Vladimir of the Great Day, feast day for St. Vladimir celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

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


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

    The following information and my ideas are based on this article, Social Isolation: It Can Kill You, in the May issue of the Monitor on Psychology. Lately much of my time has been engaged with conference planning, so I have been thinking about the meaning of the conference to me and to the membership. I think that is why this article caught my eye.

    Is loneliness increasing or have humans always experienced it occasionally over a lifetime? Are we just more aware of loneliness and inclined to talk about it more often? Some research shows that social isolation is indeed increasing. This is important because of the associated health risks. According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University, “lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having alcohol use disorder” (p 33). She also found that loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to your health as obesity. Being connected to others is considered to be a basic human need crucial to well-being and survival. Campaigns to reduce social isolation using evidenced-based interventions and advocacy have been launched in Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Loneliness is not synonymous with chosen solitude or isolation, rather it is defined by people’s levels of satisfaction with their connectedness or perceived social isolation. Connectedness is the key since people can feel isolated and lonely when surrounded by people—being lonely in a crowd.

    What does this have to do with SIETAR USA? As I see it, two things. One is the feeling of connection that being a member provides. I’ve always maintained that my membership in SIETAR USA is one way I can claim to be an interculturalist. If you are a doctor or lawyer, you have a degree and a license that say you are one. Other professions provide licensing and special certifications. Interculturalists do not have that so for me, my membership in SIETAR USA has become part of my professional identity.

    And second, attending a SIETAR USA conference is one way to combat social isolation. One major goal of the conference organizers is inclusion, making all attendees feel welcome, supported, included. Do we always hit that goal 100%? No, but we try. It is difficult (but not impossible) to feel lonely at a SIETAR USA conference. I have heard a number of people refer to the conference as “coming home” or “finding my clan.” There is a sense of belonging that many participants unexpectedly feel.

    Here is another consideration: Nikolas Steffens PhD and his research team at the University of Queensland tracked 424 people after retirement and found that compared to those still working, every dropped membership was associated with around a 10 % decrease in quality of life 6 years later. If participants belonged to two groups before retirement and afterward kept them up over 6 years, their risk of death was 2%, rising to 5% if they gave up one membership and to 12% if they dropped both.

    So, join us at the SIETAR USA National Conference in Atlanta to combat any social isolation you might be experiencing. And be sure to renew your membership in SIETAR USA—it might prolong your life!

    Sandra M. Fowler

    President, SIETAR USA

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