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  • 10 Oct 2019 5:58 AM | Anonymous

    Authors book cornerMeet the Authors in the Conference Foyer Thursday afternoon, October 31st and Friday morning, November 1st. Look for the table sign and the comfortable chairs identifying the Authors’ Book Corner. Find out more about their books, engage in conversations with these interesting, published authors. You could meet Fiona Citkin, Fanchon Silberstein, David Sanford, Vicki Flier Hudson, Farzana Nayani, Joe Lurie, Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai and more. Authors: If you have a recently published book, bring it along and join the authors in the Book Corner.

    The range of topics covered by the aforementioned authors is compelling. Fiona writes about How They Made It in America—success stories and strategies of immigrant women from Isabel Allende to Ivana Trump and many more. Fanchon has written a book soon to be published, about understanding Art from an interculturalist’s perspective and why it matters, in her book Art inSight. David’s book was reviewed by Craig Storti in January’s The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. David wrote Spilling the Beans: A Guide for Indians to Understand and Communicate Successfully with U.S. Americans, although readers will also learn more about Americans from an Indian perspective. Vicki authored the e-book Zen and the Art of Offshoring: How to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India based on her knowledge and experience of India’s cultural approach to business. Farzana’s book soon to be published on Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Radicalized World is timely and essential. Joe—also reviewed and interviewed by Craig Storti—wrote Perception and Deception: A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures. Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai has has a newly published book: Cross-Cultural Management with Insights from Brain Science, which gives you a sense of one of the topics that will be featured at the 2020 conference in Omaha.

    We hope more authors will join the Authors’ Book Corner. We also hope that you will consider taking this opportunity to talk personally with the authors about their work and experiences writing their books.


  • 10 Oct 2019 5:33 AM | Anonymous

    By Deanna Shoss for Executive Diversity Services

    Deanna ShossIn his book, The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Howard Zehr, a leader of the Restorative Justice movement, defines it as “a process to involve those who have a stake in a specific offense and collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations…to heal and put things as right as possible.”

    The central idea is that crime (or conflict, depending on the setting) causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm. Therefore the people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution. And it acknowledges that those affected include not only the victim, but the accused and often the community at large.

    “Restorative practices are needs based, community driven approaches that promote inclusion, connection, learning and accountability,” says Angola Dixon, an ordained energy healer and owner/founder of Seattle based Circle Pulse, an experiential company specializing in Restorative Justice, Energy and Peacemaking. “A Peacemaker works to ‘make peace’ by reconciling parties who are disconnected, disagree or engage in conflict.”

    And Dixon has been doing just that as a trainer and facilitator in schools, communities and with businesses across Seattle and King County.

    Restorative Justice for Community Building

    As a past leader in the Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) in Seattle, Dixon was involved in leading grant-funded racial-equity circles in Seattle. NPARC supports organizations in practicing institutional anti-racism. The community Racial Equity Circles “allowed people to sit in a circle and talk about race in a way that gave everyone in the circle a voice,” says Dixon.

    A “talking piece” is central to the process. It is passed from person-to-person around the circle, and only the person with the talking peace can speak. “It’s an exercise to get people to listen deeply without the need to respond. There’s no interrupting. It’s less of a discussion and more a practice in active and reflective listening,” Dixon explains. “What did you hear this person say? You get chance to say what you thought was said, and the other to respond–did they get it right? It’s back-and-forth and reflective.”

    “Talking about race for some can be a trigger,” says Dixon. “There can be lots of trauma connected. And many people don’t know how to start a conversation around race.” For the community Peacemaking Circles, people had the opportunity to meet with homogenous groups first to work on their own pain, issues and biases before coming together in interracial circles. “Ultimately the goal was to bring the community together and to collectively address issues of institutional racism. The Peacemaking Circle process gave everyone who wanted to participate a voice in that process.”

    Restorative Justice in the School System

    Restorative circles also have been used in the classroom to lower suspension. In 2018-2019 Dixon coordinated Transformative Practices at Nova High School in Seattle, facilitating Racial and Health Equity Circles. In Spring 2019, her Teen Health Needs Assessment is helping Nova design a new teen health center, opening Fall 2020, focused on LGBTQ+ and POC health.

    Dixon has worked in schools through the window of professional development, where schools provide training for teachers so that they can lead restorative circles in their classrooms. “Nova High School has a strong culture of inclusion and tolerance,” says Dixon. “Students committees such as the People of Color Committee, the LGBTQ Committee and others are leading the way in how they want to interact with staff and promote school safety.”

    Dixon found that teachers wanted to use the practice but weren’t sure if they were doing it right. “The training gives teachers a tool for building community and resolving conflict in their classrooms.” As part of the training Dixon advocates for ongoing circles for relationship building to prevent conflict before it happens.

    Restorative Justice in the Juvenile Court System

    The myth is that restorative justice replaces harsher consequences. In Seattle it is the King County Prosecutor’s Office that decides which cases are eligible for restorative justice. Participation in restorative justice programs is voluntary for all participants. It involves a basic, three-step process: first, a meeting with the person charged and his or her support persons; then, a meeting with the person who was harmed and their support person; and, finally, a meeting of all the people impacted by the incident.

    “This is not just about talking. This is about accountability,” says Dixon. “It recognizes that offenders need to heal. Victims get a chance to be heard and healed as well.” It’s a very specific, facilitated process. And once an agreement on restitution is reached, if the offender doesn’t follow through, “they would go through the regular criminal justice system as though restorative justice never happened,” she adds.

    But restorative justice does appear to reduce recidivism, particularly with juveniles. A study from Sam Houston State University in Texas showed that “restorative justice programs, such as victim-offender mediation and community impact panels, are more effective in reducing recidivism rates among juvenile offenders than traditional court processing.” Another report from the US Department of Justice also suggested that “some restorative justice programs—when compared to traditional approaches—can reduce future delinquent behavior.” That report cited that it also produced greater satisfaction for victims. (Read more about the King County Restorative Justice Program here.)

    Restorative Justice for Businesses

    “Restorative circles allow you to have deeper relationships among team members,” says Dixon, who has facilitated this approach at company retreats, for team building and conflict resolution. She sees the restorative circle approach as a path to change the way people interact with each other.

    “In business we’re taught to be impersonal to be effective. Restorative justice focuses on relationships first as a healthy way to have compassion and lead you to bigger community success.”

    Reprinted with permission from https://www.executivediversity.com/2019/09/25/restorative-justice-for-communities-schools-and-businesses/


  • 09 Oct 2019 9:07 PM | Anonymous

    Two reasons to be at the SIETAR USA National Conference: 1. the high quality roster of concurrent sessions, and 2. the exciting list of invited speakers this year.  Here are just a few highlights—come to the conference to hear them speak!

    In addition to our Opening Keynote Speaker, Hamlin Grange of DiversiPro, Inc., who will encourage us to think differently about being prodigal interculturalists, we have several other invited speakers who will share their expertise and insights at the conference.  Hamlin's speech was featured in our July Newsletter.

    Closing Keynote - Saturday, November 2

    Amer Ahmed, Speaker, Facilitator  

    Dismantling the ‘U.S. versus International’ Dichotomy: Creating Synergy between Intercultural and Diversity/Social Justice Approaches to Confront 21st Century Challenges  
    Intercultural approaches are often adopted by those in organizations who engage in international and global efforts while Diversity and Social Justice approaches tend to be viewed as only applicable in U.S. contexts.  As the trend of Globalizing business, higher education and other sectors rapidly accelerates, there are many missed opportunities due to the lack of synthesis of the two approaches.   This dichotomy often prevents us from understanding the relationship between local and global factors that impact our ability to engage constituencies holistically.  For example, by engaging issues related to immigration and more specifically undocumented people in only one of these approaches, it prevents us from understanding the relationship between local and global factors impacting diverse contextual realities around the world.  In addition, the integration of these approaches better highlights the historical context and inequities created from power dynamics that must be considered in order to effectively navigate intercultural realities in our world today.

    Dr. Amer F. Ahmed is an organizational strategist who helps institutions and leaders address diversity and inclusion, equity, and intercultural development through consulting, coaching, group facilitation, and keynote speeches.

    The Three Track Plenaries start the morning on Friday, November 1

    Track I: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Diversity, Inclusion, And Social Justice

    Jill Savitt, President & CEO, National Center for Civil and Human Rights 

    "Rights and Dignity in a Divided World"  

    Jill Savitt will address the need for sustained rights advocacy campaigning—building the skills and capacities within civil society to change policies that affect the dignity of communities. A human rights advocate with special expertise in genocide prevention, she curated an exhibit on global human rights at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Previously, Savitt was the Acting Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. She founded and directed Dream for Darfur, a high-profile advocacy campaign that pressed the Chinese government to take specific actions regarding the Darfur crisis in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Games. Savitt graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and began her career as a reporter for WAMU the NPR affiliate in Washington, DC.  
    Track II: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Working With Specific Cultures

    Joe Lurie, Author and Educator

    "Decoding Cultural Disconnects with Refugee and Immigrant Populations"

    Joe Lurie presents a revealing exploration of misperceptions of and miscommunications with various refugee and immigrant populations, with a particular emphasis on different approaches to health care, religion, employment and politesse. We may be reminded of the limitations of our own cultural and experiential lenses when engaging with these communities, and likely amazed at what we can learn about ourselves and gain from others through the eyes of a stranger. As a North African proverb suggests, "The Camel Does Not See its Hump!" Joe Lurie served as Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s International House for two decades. His inspired leadership was featured in a national PBS documentary about UC Berkeley's International House. A former director of semester and summer programs abroad for the School for International Training in France, Kenya, and Ghana, Joe lived in Europe for four years, and lectures widely for UC Berkeley's Cal Discoveries in Africa, Asia, and Europe ; he is fluent in French as well as Swahili which he learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. Formerly Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for AFS Intercultural Programs in the United States and National Study Abroad Chair for NAFSA'S Association of International Educators, Joe holds an advanced degree and Diploma in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he was recipient of an NDFL Fellowship in African Languages.  He is author of the award-winning “Perception and Deception–A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures,” published in an expanded second edition in 2018 by Cultural Detective/Nipporica Associates. 

    Track III: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Building Skills And Taking Them To The Market Place 

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster and Vicki Flier Hudson, Trainers, Consultants, and Business Owners

    "From Passion to Payment and Back: Staying True to Your Purpose While Growing Your Business"   

     .     

    Tatyana and Vicki, two very different women, owners of two very different intercultural businesses are joining forces to challenge SIETARians to examine the intercultural skills that are essential business development and business building and asking why we are often so good at being our own obstacles.  They say it all started with a SIETAR-style conversation—the kind in which minds are ignited by each other, sparks of ideas fly, and constant interruptions are unavoidable because you just have to finish each other’s sentences. “Mind your own business” was at the core of that conversation. How do you actually mind it? What does it take to plant your passion, water it with sweat (and yes – a lot of tears) and see it grow or watch it resist your efforts?

    If feeling like an imposter or second-guessing yourself when deciding on how to charge for your work sounds familiar – join in on this conversation. Interculturalists are supposed to be experts in reinventing ourselves. Get on board – next stop is business success!

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster, born and raised in Moscow, Russia, came to the United States in 1989 as a refugee. Being a journalist by training, she went back to school in the US and became a mental health counselor. Tatyana’s work experience before becoming an intercultural and diversity consultant and trainer included refugee resettlement and counseling for Russian- and English-speaking individuals, families, and groups.

    Founder and Principal of Connecting Differences, Tatyana is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in Intercultural Competence, Diversity and Inclusion, Global Agility Development, and Facilitation for Multicultural Groups. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

    Vicki Flier Hudson is the Chief Collaboration Officer of Highroad Global Services, Inc., a company that exists to release the power of diverse teams. She offers keynote presentations, workshops, and organizational strategy for working effectively across differences. She has brought training and consulting to companies like Procter & Gamble, IHG, UPS, The Home Depot, The Coca Cola Company, NASA, Martin Marietta, and many more. She is the author of the book Zen and the Art of Offshoring: How to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India, and a recipient of Kennesaw State University’s Instructor of the Year award for International Programs.

    Vicki is a certified DISC practitioner and a certified Driving Forces Analyst. She is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a certified facilitator of the Cultural Detective methodology and a trained coach through CTI (Coaches Training Institute). 


  • 09 Oct 2019 9:04 PM | Anonymous

    This conference theme, The Role of the Interculturalist, really speaks to me at this time of adversity, especially around issues of diversity. I think we, as a society, as a world, need to think deeply about what our role is in today's contentious environment. How should we bridge differences, highlight similarities, and advocate for greater understanding and cooperation? How can we build skills, support each other in this work, and stay positive about the future?

    It is my belief that this conference will provide inspiration, insight, tools, skill building, and hope to those working in areas that bridge diversity. So peruse the sessions schedule, review the invited speakers, grab your donation for the Silent Auction and join us in Atlanta! We welcome you!

    I also want to send a heartfelt Thank You to all the many people who have worked on making the conference come together—it really does take a village. Detailed notes of appreciation will follow, but for now, please know that your efforts are appreciated. You make a difference.

    I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

    Karen Lokkesmoe
    SIETAR Conference Chair


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    NED TALKSIf you have been looking at the 2019 Conference Schedule on the website or Whova, you may have noticed the NED talks. They were explained in the Call for Proposals but I think that it is worth mentioning them again. They are named for Edward T. Hall, who was called Ned by his friends. They are of course, a takeoff on TED talks. I’m not sure what the initials should stand for in the intercultural world but I rather like New Experiences Delight. What do you think?

    The NED Talks for the conference this year will highlight multiple ways in which the role of the interculturalist is defined, enacted, and understood in the world. Specific topics covered will include managing communications in global teams (Vinita Balasubramanian), embedding intercultural learning in English instruction (Margaret Hass), strategies for recognizing and reducing unconscious bias (Stacie Walton), lessons learned in close quarters at sea (Basma Ibrahim DeVries and Jon DeVries), using stories to build empathy (Catalia Chaux-Eheverri and Jessie Ritchey) and defining which cultural box you might select (Yuko Deneuville).

    This group of powerhouse presenters will surely have some great insights and rich humor to share with us regarding building and employing intercultural skills. NED Talks will be presented during two concurrent sessions: Thursday 1:45-3:15PM and Friday 11:45-3:15PM.

    For full details, check out the Session Schedule:
    https://whova.com/embedded/event/sieta_201910/


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:48 PM | Anonymous

    Perhaps you have noticed that we used to call it the SIETAR USA Annual Conference. But this year we have switched to the National Conference. Why, you ask?

    The Board of Directors decided not to hold a conference in 2018 to be able to review the conference and see if there were some changes that might be made to streamline the organization of the conference and make it less expensive to conduct. They wanted answers to questions like what might be dropped from the program? What could be outsourced? What cost efficiencies could be introduced?

    Tradition runs strong in SIETAR USA. There was at least one advocate for each of the events that have been part of our conference schedule. Since we are a small association with quite a low membership fee there is not extra money to outsource any more than we already do. We are an all-volunteer, working Board to begin with, so none of us has the time over and above what we already dedicate to SIETAR USA to be able to take on more conference duties.

    A good solution that the Board agreed on was to go to an every-other-year plan. Therefore the change: annual (meaning every year) to national. Part of the plan was to hold SIETAR USA conferences not to conflict with SIETAR Europa who holds their conferences in odd numbered years. To get on that schedule, SIETAR USA will hold our next conference in 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska. Henceforth, the national conferences will be held during the even-numbered years.

    We feel that members will be receiving benefits during the off years with the lively webinars, the substantial newsletter, membership discounts for books and journals, and the Office Depot discount. With extra time in between, members can be planning their participation for the next SIETAR USA conference. We plan to revisit the decision in the future to see if this plan retains the quality conferences and active membership that we have enjoyed for two decades.


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:32 PM | Anonymous

    Small MaskFRIDAY NIGHT GALA

    Party Mask

    What is different this year? The gala evening begins with a masked mix-and-mingle time prior to a plated dinner. Both the masks and the plated dinner are different.

    Masks are a tribute to Halloween; since the SIETAR USA conference this year takes place over Halloween, we thought it would be fun to add something to the evening with a masked time. A mask is optional but we hope that you will consider adding a mask to your suitcase. You won’t be asked to wear it during dinner. The plated dinner is different also since we usually do a buffet. For people who indicated special dietary requirements, the chef will prepare something delicious for you that you can actually eat!

    Plan to pack your dancing shoes. The Black Tie DJ will be there ready to provide three hours of good dancing music. This will be a highlight event!

    Dancing Shoes


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:29 PM | Anonymous

    Quite a few years ago, I wrote this list. I return to it as I prepare for another conference and it still makes sense to me. I repeat it here and hope that some of the reasons speak to you as well.

    This actually changed for me over the years. In the beginning I was new to the field and hungry for help in conceptualizing how to revamp the US Navy’s intercultural program. So I was looking for ideas both old and new and in those days the field wasn’t very old so most of the ideas were new—at least to me because I was so new to this new field. But as I became part of the fabric of SIETAR by giving presentations at the conferences that lead to volunteering and serving on committees and task forces, I came to realize how much the conferences satisfied my need for belonging. SIETAR conferences also helped me develop my identity as an interculturalist. If you hang out with interculturalists (even just once a year) you do eventually become one. Another thing about coming back is that you develop favorites among the presenters so you keep going to their sessions and finding more enjoyment each time from them. So here are my ten top reasons for coming back to SIETAR conferences:

    10. To get new ideas.

    9. To learn more about the old ideas.

    8. To find resources—written, video, and living.

    7. To hone my presentation skills.

    6. To establish my identity as an interculturalist.

    5. To satisfy my need for belonging.

    4. To give back.

    3. To attend sessions by great presenters.

    2. To make new friends.

    1. To spend time with and catch up with old friends.

    Sandra M. Fowler
    SIETAR USA President


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:22 PM | Anonymous

    October 30-November 2, 2019: SIETAR USA National Conference, From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist, Atlanta, GA – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Visit https://www.sietarusa.org/registration for details and sign up TODAY!

    October

    October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.



    October is also LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement.


    October 20: Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide.

    October 21-22 (sundown to sundown): Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday, marks the end of the weekly readings of the Torah. The holy book is read from chapter one of Genesis to Deuteronomy 34 and then back to chapter one again, in acknowledgement of the words of the Torah being a circle, a never-ending cycle.

    October 27-31: Diwali, the Hindu, Jain and Sikh five-day festival of lights celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness.

    October 28: Milvian Bridge Day, a one-day festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It is the only day of the year people can BASE jump off a bridge into New River Gorge.

    October 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.

    October 31-November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

    November


    November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.


    November 1: All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints. (In Eastern Christianity, the day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.)

    November 2: All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. In the Mexican tradition, the holiday is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (October 31- November 2), which is a time of remembrance for dead ancestors and a celebration of the continuity of life.

    November 9-10 (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place, and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.

    November 10: Mawlid an Nabi, observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal.

    November 11: Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces. The date was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, in other parts of the world and commemorates the day the Armistice with Germany went into effect in 1918, calling an end to World War I.

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

  • 14 Sep 2019 7:33 PM | Anonymous

    September is the month when SIETAR USA begins its search for Executives and Board members for the ensuing year. It’s nominations time! That process is honchoed by the Immediate Past President, Holly Emert. She sets the schedule, publishes the announcements, ensures transparency, makes sure that deadlines are met, and helps insure that we have good candidates for each position. It’s a big job but people willing to serve SIETAR USA on the Board or the Executive Committee are the life blood that keeps it alive.

    What is important to know if you are considering applying for a position on the Board? Yes, there is a time commitment. SIETAR USA is a volunteer organization, which means you are devoting a portion of your life to something that is important to you. The Board of Directors is a working Board. We have a paid Administrative Officer (thank goodness!) who handles the books and many other tasks that are essential. The Board meets by Zoom 11 times a year (one summer meeting for July and August). The virtual meetings last from one to two hours. We meet two times a year in person: a 3-day retreat meeting in February or March and one full day prior to the conference. Those meetings are compensated.

    The Board consists of Portfolios and each Portfolio has a Director. All initiatives or projects are carried out by the Directors and their committees. For example, the webinar series was initiated by Julia Gaspar-Bates, Local Groups Director, who felt that this would be a benefit to the Local Group members not all of whom can get to the national conferences. This way they still get to hear from speakers with special expertise and it is a benefit to all members. The work on such initiatives might take 4-6 hours a month, depending on what is needed. Directors have some specific tasks but by and large, select their own goals based on what they want to work on.

    An interesting way to think of association governance is as a culture. There are norms and values, and behavioral expectations. We work as a collective for the good of the association and independently on our own projects. Some of us are definitely rule makers while others are rule breakers (to use Michele Gelfand’s cultural dichotomy), which keeps it interesting.

    For me, the satisfaction of dedicating time and thought to an association that I’ve participated in for so many years and making it hum is my reward for the hours put into it. It is giving back. It is connecting with people I’ve known over the years and new people who step forward to serve. It is working to keep the SIETAR USA spirit alive as well as its body. Is there a right time to add a Board position into your busy schedule? The answer is: there is never a “right” time. Everyone on the Board has a full-time job, families, homes, colleagues, and days and nights full of the things that take time but make life worthwhile. I like to think that the time anyone would spend on SIETAR USA also enriches their already rich lives. It does for me.

    Join us to help SIETAR USA move forward. I know you can do it!

    Sandra M. Fowler
    President SIETAR USA


Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
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