Welcome to: THE INTERCULTURALIST: A PERIODICAL OF SIETAR USA

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  • 14 Jun 2021 8:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the United States, June is celebrated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month, with Pride parades feted all over the world throughout the month. The June celebration commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, NYC, which was the tipping point for the Gay Pride Movement in the United States.

    The Stonewall Inn was a popular gay bar in New York City, that, like many gay bars in NYC, was also mafia-owned. Until 1966, it was illegal for bars to serve alcohol to non-heterosexual people. In 1969, homosexuality was still considered a criminal offense. In 1969, in 1969, New York Penal Code 240.35, Subsection 4 stated that it was illegal to wear fewer than three items of “gender-inappropriate” clothing.

    Since many gay establishments operated without liquor licenses, the establishments and their patrons were more vulnerable to police raids and brutality. Patrons and clientele were often harassed and arrested. Individuals that wore opposite-gendered clothing were even easier targets for the police. When plainclothes police went to raid the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, they were met with resistance by the patrons, which included drag queens, gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming people.

    The first U.S. Gay Pride Week and March was held on June 28, 1970 in NYC. Organized by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, was named after the six-day long Christopher Street Uprising of 1969, also known as the Stonewall Uprising. The Gay Pride Week and March was a demonstration against centuries of abuse against the community, the criminalization of non-heteronormative behaviors, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and Mafia control of gay bars. The month-long celebration also recognizes the significant impact and valuable contributions that LGBTQ+ individuals have made locally, nationally, and internationally throughout history. The month is also the opportunity for the everyone to reaffirm their commitment to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice. (Biden, 2021)

    Today, worldwide celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events that attract millions of participants. Memorials are held for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Pride Month has been a catalyst for both social and legal change. Federal and local policies and practices are increasingly acknowledging, supporting, and focusing on the LGBTQ community. There is increasing acceptance and support for all youth, including those who are or are perceived to be LGBTQ.

    While writing and researching this article, I asked some of my LGBTQIA+ friends the impromptu question “What does Pride Month mean to you?” The responses varied but featured the common theme of authenticity. For many individuals, Pride Month is a celebration of people’s authentic selves, identities, and lives. This response is especially poignant, as many of my friends grew up in families, communities, and environments didn’t support them nor their identities. This Pride Month, everyone is encouraged to support local Pride events and stand as allies for the LGBTQ+ community.

    Written by: Emily Kawasaki

    P.S. Please share your thoughts, comments, and ideas about the article with the Editorial Team.

    Works Cited


  • 14 Jun 2021 8:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since June 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States. This annual commemorative month gives people across the United States an opportunity to explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of the United States.

    While many people in the United States may not view themselves as immigrants or as coming from an immigrant background, realistically, the vast majority of American are indeed that. The United States was, is, and always will be a country and culture of immigrants. Immigration was the premise of America’s founding. Throughout history and across each generation, many waves of immigrants have come to the United States, contributed in innumerable, significant ways to the cultural, social, political, economic, and technological fabric of the United States. Immigrants are integral to the story of the United States.

    National Immigrant Heritage Month is an important reminder for everyone to reflect on, reaffirm, and celebrate from that multidimensional identity and celebrate the history and achievements of immigrant communities across the country.

    Written by: Emily Kawasaki

     

    P.S. Please share your thoughts, comments, and ideas about the article with the Editorial Team.

    Works Cited

    #CelebrateImmigrants: June is Immigrant Heritage Month. (2021, April 28). I Am an Immigrant. https://www.iamanimmigrant.com/


  • 14 Jun 2021 8:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 17, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Language and cultural learning hand in hand: The Developmental Model of Linguaculture Learning” with Dr. Joseph Shaules and Yvonne van der Pol. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    June 19, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Yoga, Academia and Culture: A Journey of Discovery” with Dr. Randeep Rakwal and Genboku Takahashi. Visit SIETAR Japan Events to register!

    June 23, 2021 - SIETAR France WEBINAR: “Made in France and elsewhere: Intercultural citizenship: For whom the bell tolls?” with Dr. Ida Castiglioni. Visit SIETAR France Events to register!

    July 14, 2021 - SIETAR USA WEBINAR: “Storytelling: How It Fosters Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging” with Joanna Sell. Visit SIETAR USA Events to register!

    July 21, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Death & Culture: a dialogue with two intercultural coaches” with Zarine Jacob and Regina Reinhardt. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    August 5, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Change Your Brain Change Your Game: How to Use Neuroscience in the Workplace & Crossing Cultures for Better Results” with Cynthia Milani. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    August 9, 2021 - SIETAR USA WEBINAR: "Mindfulness in Intercultural Teaching and Learning" with Tara Harvey, Ph.D. Visit SIETAR USA Events to register!


    June

    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 is Immigrant Heritage Month, established in June 2014, gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. It celebrates immigrants across the United States and their contributions to their local communities and economy.

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

    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.”

    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

    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: International Non-Binary People’s Day, aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world while celebrating their contributions.

    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 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith.

    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 19-20 (sundown to sundown): 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.

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

    July 24: Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings.

    July 24: Pioneer Day, observed by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter-day Saint pioneers 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

    August 1: Lammas, a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest within some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

    August 1: Lughnasadh, a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season.

    August 10: Hijri New Year, the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year.

    August 13: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Black women and White men. Black women are paid 62 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

    August 17: Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America.

    August 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Ashura, an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians.

    August 22: Obon (Ullambana), a Buddhist festival and Japanese custom for honoring the spirits of ancestors.

    August 22: 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.

    August 22: Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese holiday where street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits.

    August 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean.

    August 26: Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

  • 14 Jun 2021 7:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Job Opening! Wouldn’t you like to be part of the team that produces The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA? We would like to expand our coverage of Learning Resources, Research, and Surveys that support the work of SIETAR USA members. We need your ideas, writing skills, and willingness to join in the fun and work of bringing information to our members and the guests on our mailing list. The position would be as an assistant editor. The compensation would be the intrinsic reward of giving back to a field that has given you an interesting career if you are well into your intercultural or DEI work. If you are early in your career, this is one of the best ways to learn what is going on in the intercultural and DEI fields, connecting with the people doing the work, and polishing skills that will benefit you for years to come.

    We hope to hear from you. Write editor@sietarusa.org. Let’s talk…

     


  • 14 Jun 2021 7:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Marcella Simon:

    I am honored that so many experienced practitioners took the time to consider my question. Thank you to Chris for all your effort in curating the wisdom that exists in our field. I believe this dialogue is more of a beginning than an end as these are issues that have been around before the founding of our republic and persist to this day. I would especially welcome specific ideas on how to address bias head on without alienating people who may or may not be aware of their own bias.

    I am impressed that such diverse and influential professionals in the intercultural field took the time to answer my question that was asked even before the January 6th insurrection happened. Thank you to Chris for all your hard work! I would ask a follow-up question- knowing that MAGA people are largely motivated by social anxiety (fear of being replaced), how do we address that? What exact words do we use to open minds and hearts if it can be done?

    From Vicki Flier Hudson:

    I really appreciated the diverse perspectives on this topic. I would love to get Sofia's ten- point plan! Thank you for this thoughtful article on a topic that I hold near and dear to my heart.

    Editor’s Note: Vicki’s request was passed on to Chris Cartwright.

  • 16 May 2021 8:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Brett Parry

    Conference Excitement!

    Over the past few months, a whole team of dedicated people have been working feverishly in the background on planning this year’s SIETAR USA National conference. Many times in the past we’ve all felt the eager anticipation of seeing our dear esteemed colleagues and friends face to face. This time of course, those feelings have even more meaning.  

    I attended my first SIETAR USA conference in 2014, so compared to so many others I am kind of a newbie. I have not missed one since. I added to this the experience of traveling twice to the SIETAR Europa Congress events that took place in Dublin, Ireland and Leuven, Belgium. I have enjoyed so many wonderful conversations and learning moments, without which I would not have the joy of doing the intercultural work I do today.  

    This year’s conference in Omaha Nebraska will feature the same rich variety of workshops, presentations, and other events we’ve all come to expect, along with a few delightful surprises as always. If you have not had the chance to experience attending a SIETAR conference in the past, please consider doing so this year. The community of Intercultural and DEI professionals would be honored to welcome you and learn from the inclusion of your perspectives. 

    We are seeing the world open up gradually to a new future. While that comes with much positive anticipation, it is also tinged with the realization that deep inequities still exist in our societies. Our work has never been more important, our own learning never more needed. Much of that learning can be found when we come together as an inclusive, brave, and intentional community of passionate souls. Any gaps in representation can be as damaging as a weak link in a chain.

    Brett Parry,
    President, SIETAR USA


  • 16 May 2021 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     There was a time, and not all that long ago, Americans were so ignorant about Japan, its culture and society, it would be no exaggeration to say many thought this country (its age measured in millennia) could be summed up as a land of geisha and manga, anime and sushi.

    This was highlighted for me the time my son, returning to our home in central Japan after spending a month at a summer camp in Pennsylvania, told me: “We have to learn about the United States, but American kids don’t have to learn anything about Japan.” Then in junior high school, he declared it was “unfair”. He went on to amuse me with stories of his fellow campers confusing Japan with China and Korea, asking him to do a “karate chop”, and wanting to know if he knew any samurai or ninja.

    Unquestionably, this ignorance goes both ways, and in my four decades living in Japan I’ve had numerous occasions to dispel misconceptions and disabuse friends and neighbors of the notion America is all Hollywood and hamburgers.

    When asked what’s the biggest change I see in Japan since arriving here in 1975, I don’t hesitate before answering: There are many more foreigners. They’re not in my rural neighborhood, but when I venture forth, to the shopping center or, perhaps the bank, it’s possible I’ll see one. Whereas years earlier we would’ve accosted one another (“Hello! Do you speak English? Where do you work? Come to my house for lunch!”) these days everyone is as cool as you please.

    No longer do you need to know the kanji (Chinese characters) for ‘withdrawal’ and ‘deposit’ at the ATM, the instructions are in English; acceptance, at last, of English as an international language. And signs in Portuguese acknowledge the many Brazilians of Japanese descent who in recent years have made this area of Japan their home. The linguistic assistance now offered is not so much a concession as a recognition Japan has crossed a bridge: foreigners living in Japanese communities are not as unusual as they once were.

    Naturally, it’s a necessity of communication to have a handle on the language of the country where you live. Nevertheless, it must be noted that in Japan, where so much that is ‘said’ is not spoken, even if you’re fluent in Japanese you may not be aware of all that transpires. Many a hapless foreigner has found, to their dismay, failure to observe and pay attention to cues that are non-verbal has resulted in failure to communicate. Then there are the modes of behavior and rules; some are written, codified almost as in stone, but many are not. As a consequence, it is guaranteed you will have done the wrong, improper thing, any number of times. Even after all these years, I sometimes cringe when I think, in retrospect, of some misstep I’ve made. And it’s rare to be corrected. Often that’s out of politeness, but also because a foreigner is not expected to know. We are, after all, considered “gaijin” (literally: outside person).

    But one does not always want to be considered on the outside; it’s nice to be let in, allowed to cross the two-way street. It was with welcome relief that the foreign residence card was changed from “Alien Registration” to “Residence Card”. We appreciate not being thought of as so strange, certainly not “alien”.

    Ordinary encounters also point to the current acceptance of foreigners’ in Japanese society. I often buy vegetables from a stand operated by local farmers. I like that none of these old farmers ever asks me if I know how to prepare goya (bitter melon). They express no curiosity when I put a large bunch of shiso (perilla) in my basket and seem to assume that if I buy mitsuba (trefoil) I’ll know what to do with it.

    And I see it is through everyday relations that I and my fellows who live cross-culturally are called upon to do our part to maintain this two-way street. For example, in Japan, where the majority of the populace avails themselves of an excellent public transportation system, manners considered common are adhered to. That means no feet on the seats, no speaking in loud voices or talking on cell phones. It goes without saying if you have a cough or sniffle, you’ll wear a mask. You stand in line and wait your turn, whether at a bus stop or receiving rationed water after an earthquake. It’s rare to see graffiti, and the everyday sight of a New Yorker walking down the street eating a slice of pizza or a hot dog does not happen here. Adults walking and eating is not just seen as gauche but screams “I’m a barbarian!”

    Yes, as foreigners, we’re required to pay attention and respect the norms of other cultures. But if we were to be castigated every time we slipped up, it would ensure there could never be an entry into other societies, no chance for cultural exchange. This two-way street that requires maintenance, also requires mutual goodwill to remain open.

    Karen Hill Anton wrote the column “Crossing Cultures” for The Japan Times for fifteen years. Her memoir The View From Breast Pocket Mountain is the winner of the SPR Book Awards Gold Prize, and the Book Readers Association Group Medallion. Originally from New York City, Karen has lived in rural Japan since 1975.   KarenHillAnton.com

    Notes:

    goya or nigauri: Bitter melon or bitter gourd. This vegetable, true to its name, is inedible if not properly prepared. A regular part of the Okinawan diet, it’s said to be the reason Okinawans are among the longest lived people in the world.

    shiso: Variously called beefsteak plant or beefsteak leaf, is an herb in the mint family – but does not taste anything like mint. Some say the taste is similar to basil, and indeed it can be served in place of basil for the classic Italian Caprese salad of tomatoes and mozzarella. The red variety of shiso (akajiso) is never eaten raw.

    mitsuba: The name translates as “three leaf”. Trefoil is also called Japanese honeywort, Japanese chervil, and Japanese parsley. Can be added as garnish for light soups and is indispensable for the Japanese savory egg custard dish chawanmushi.

  • 16 May 2021 8:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month your Book Review Editor is indulging himself, not writing a review but a short article. There is a connection to books, however, as this article reflects on an entire genre of books (and movies, too), namely science fiction, and considers how this genre relates to the intercultural field. Not to worry, meanwhile; next month we’ll be back with a good book.

    Imagining the Other

    Many years ago, as a recently minted English Lit major, I had a dark secret: while I deeply appreciated Chaucer, Austen, Thackeray, and all the other notables, I also really liked science fiction, books and movies. But this was so low brow, shameful, and otherwise beneath me, I had to hide this from my peers. Then, years later, I discovered the intercultural field and began to practice in it, and suddenly it was all OK because what is the intercultural field but the attempt to understand the Other? And is not that also one of the major themes of science fiction?

    Granted, our Other is not an alien species, a creature from a distant planet, or a citizen of a parallel galaxy. Nor is the intercultural Other out to destroy the earth, wipe out the human race, or otherwise cause a great deal of inconvenience. But in some ways the intercultural Other does come from another world, is alien in many of its values and behaviors—just as we are alien from its point of view—and in some cases can even be threatening. So I decided that my love of science fiction was completely respectable after all, especially for an interculturalist.

    And then I began to notice something odd: in nearly all the depictions of the Other in science fiction books and films, there was always something distinctly and recognizably human. Here is how I put this in a new edition of my book The Art of Crossing Cultures

    The capacity of the average person to fully conceive of the “other” has always been greatly exaggerated. It is interesting in this context, and also quite instructive, to reflect on so-called science fiction, on the people who are in the business of creating Not Us. Even these people, whose job it is to imagine the “other,” aren’t very successful. Who doesn’t know the famous bar scene in the film Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobe, and Chewbacca visit a local watering hole in search of an experienced pilot. The place is teeming with a wondrous variety of extraterrestrial bad guys. But when you think about it, they’re not really that extraterrestrial. Oh, they may have a second head, some additional arms, and more eyes than you or I have, but that’s just it: they have more of these attributes (or sometimes fewer) but they don’t have different attributes, something instead of heads, arms, and eyes. They’re just variations on a theme—humans—but not a new piece of music. Nor have the filmmakers come up with anything new, anything nonhuman, for these guys to do. They’re just doing what guys like them everywhere do, apparently even in other galaxies: knocking back a few at the local neighborhood hangout. Not even George Lucas and Steven Spielberg can conceive of nonhuman behavior; there are no models. Most of us even conceive of animals in human terms, explaining their behavior exclusively in reference to our own.

    The old proverb notwithstanding, we cannot put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Or, more accurately, we can, but it’s still our own feet that we feel.

    Naturally, this made me wonder about our field. Is it really that easy to conceive of and truly understand the Other? Are we really any better at this than most novelists and film makers? Or are we mostly just fooling ourselves? This is our bread and butter, after all, identifying cultural differences, making others aware of those differences, and generally helping people understand other people who are not like them.

    Don’t get me wrong: It’s a noble effort, a worthwhile undertaking, and a just cause. But perhaps we should approach it with more humility and not claim too much for our findings. Maybe we should be careful not to give people the impression that we have actually figured out and really do understand people who are not like us. We should say, rather, that here are some ways we and others may differ and admit that in the end the only person we really understand is our self. Just a thought.

    I mean if Lucas and Spielberg can’t do it…

     


  • 16 May 2021 7:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First, let me say THANK YOU to all of you who have submitted proposals to present at the conference.  An initial review indicates that there is a great deal of interesting, innovative and inspiring work going on out there and SIETAR USA members who are eager to share it with you.  I am really encouraged to see so many great proposals.  The Program Chairs will have more highlights to share with you next month. For now, I will just assure you that you are not going to want to miss the Mind, Culture, Society conference this October in Omaha.  If you submitted a proposal, you will hear from the Program Committee soon regarding your proposal and next steps to prepare for the conference.

    Upcoming newsletters in June, and July/August will feature keynote speakers, master workshop presenters, as well as special events being planned for the conference and ways that you may contribute or take part. 

    Here are a couple deadlines and aspects of the conference to keep in mind.

    Scholarships:  The applications for scholarships are OPEN.  If you are a student in an IC or DEI course of study or a new non-profit person wanting to find out about SIETAR USA and connect with other scholars and practitioners in the field - this is a great way to get involved.  Submit your application today.  Deadline is July 31st. 

    SPONSORING, EXHIBITING, and ADVERTISING.  Yes, Indeed, this is part of what makes the wheels turn and the bus keep going. It is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to intercultural competence and diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization, city, community. Be recognized among the leaders in the field. Share your tools and training opportunities with those who are making a difference today. Advertise your certification and accreditation programs to those actively engaged in enhancing their skills to do this important work.  Contact Karen Fouts, SIETAR USA Administrative Director or fill out the form on the conference website to secure your place as a SIETAR USA supporter. 

    Registration:

    We are happy to announce that our registration rates for 2021 will not be increasing from our last in-person conference two years ago in Atlanta.  In fact, we have been able to lower the rates by $10.  Full registration details are available on the website and registration will be open within the next couple of weeks.  Watch for the announcement soon.

    HOTEL reservations:  The conference will take place at the Omaha Hilton Hotel, adjacent to the Conference Center. An ideal location, and a great hotel. We have been able to secure a fabulous rate at the Hilton for our conference attendees.  Just $109 per night, per room (plus tax and fees).  There is also a reduced parking rate for conference attendees for those of you who will be driving to Omaha.  The hotel block will be open with registration until September 15th.  After that time the rate or room availability will no longer be guaranteed.  We therefore advise you to book your room early so that you are guaranteed that great rate.  Remember, once the room block has been utilized, you may not be able to get that rate, but will have to pay the best available rate at the time of booking. 

    SIGs:  Yes, SIGs (Special Interest Groups) are returning to SIETAR USA.  See the full article in this newsletter for further information.  What SIG do you want to start or join?  Remember, SIGs need advocates to function.  Their existence is totally dependent on the actions of their members.  It’s all about you. 

    Traveling and Meeting Safely. 

    Despite the impressive and highly successful vaccination efforts throughout the US it is understandable that people continue to have concerns about the safety and security of traveling and meeting in groups at this time.  Covid-19 can cause serious illness and should not be taken lightly by anyone. The goal of the current administration is to have 70%+ of the population vaccinated by July 1st and hopefully closer to 80% by October when we will be meeting. That is reassuring but is not all that we must do.  In addition, we must take care personally and transportation and accommodation facilities must do their part as well.  Please take a moment to look at the attached presentations that details all that the Hilton is doing to ensure the safety of their guests and our conference attendees. From the airport transfers to the high contact areas in your room and meeting rooms, they are taking great care to make the spaces in which we will be interacting safe.  Menus and serving protocols have been changed, seating arrangements altered, and sanitization centers created throughout the hotel as well as a contactless check-in and check-out processes instituted are a few of the strategies in the Hilton’s Clean Stay and Event Ready program.  In addition, we are paying attention to seating arrangements in plenaries as well as breakout rooms, registration protocols, and social events at the conference.  We do believe that if we all do our part that we can have a safe in-person experience.  However, we will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary, we will make changes.  

  • 16 May 2021 7:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Beautiful architecture blends with memories of a time gone by at The Durham Museum. Making its home in one of Omaha’s most unique treasures, Union Station, The Durham Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of the region and offers a broad range of traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science, industry and more through an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution and strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives and the Field Museum.” To learn more visit: https://durhammuseum.org/

    You might be wondering how Union Station was transformed into a Museum. In 1971, the Union Pacific Railroad closed Union Station after the establishment of Amtrak. It was suggested in a letter by John Edward Peterson that “maybe the Union Pacific would be willing to sell the station rather cheaply or even donate it.” The station was indeed donated to the City of Omaha in 1973 and two years later opened as the Western Heritage Museum. Charles and Margre Durham largely funded a 22 million dollar renovation project so the city changed the name to the Durham Western Heritage Museum but in 2008, it was renamed the Durham Museum.

     You can expect to see numismatist Byron Reed’s coin collection. “The coins are displayed in beautiful dark wooden cases that give the visitors the sense they are part of the exhibit. It gave me the feeling I was back in the 1880s sitting in Byron Reed's library examining his coins with him. The exhibit includes an abundance of historical information on Byron Reed and the times. I know visitors will be impressed with the quality of the exhibit and the magnificence of the coins displayed."[5] Donated to the City of Omaha upon Reed's death, today the collection is housed at the Durham Museum.”

    If coins are not your thing, be sure to check out the Trish and Dick Davidson Gallery on Track Level. That Gallery has a variety of transportation and commerce exhibits. Bekins Moving & Storage restored 1922 Mack flatbed truck and wall displays tell the story of one of Omaha's great companies. Buffett Grocery Store replica store front of the original Buffett Grocery Store that opened in 1915. Drew's Antiques are some of the finest antiques from the Museum's collections. O Scale Model Train has layout with a depot and diorama that represents Union Pacific's double track main line from Omaha to Ogden during the 1950s.

    The following train cars and locomotives are on display:

     

     


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