Like to submit an article to the SIETAR USA periodical? If so, click here to see the guidelines. 

  • 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. 


    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:



  • 16 May 2021 7:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIGs used to be an active part of the SIETAR structure. SIETAR USA had several lively SIGs such as the Simulation Gaming SIG that organized Simulation Games Night. This SIG also developed a Code of Ethical Debriefing for Simulation Games. The Pride Across Cultures SIG had as their mission to provide a forum for LGBTQAI+ and straight members of SIETAR to educate each other and the wider SIETAR community about issues related to LGBTQAI+ culture in the workplace and across cultures. There was also a SIG for LatinX members and a SIG comprising language educators who explored the nexus between language, culture, and worldview. All the SIGs made sure that there was at least one concurrent session at each conference that addressed their issues.

    The compelling reason to bring back SIGs is because they offer a time and space in which SIETAR USA members and guests at the conference can come together in small groips to discuss common interests, issues, and goals. One important element in forming and maintaining a SIG is to have a champion who is willing to step up and be a communication conduit for the SIG. The SIG leader makes sure that their SIG is represented within SIETAR USA’s conference planning. Some SIGs meet at various times throughout the year. Others choose to meet only at the conference. It is truly up to each SIG to decide what kind of structure and activity level fits them best.

    At past conferences we have had a SIG lunch when people could sit together to discuss their shared interests. This can be challenging with all the other discussions going on around them so, we know that more dedicated time and space are needed. Therefore, this year, the Conference Planners have included a SIG Hour in the schedule for people who are interested in forming a SIG to find each other and make preliminary plans. Consider attending this lively hour prior to the Opening Ceremony to find old and new friends and be creative as you put together a SIG of your choice. Next year, we will find a way to have the SIGs meet virtually since the whole conference will be virtual. And at the next in-person conference, you will find we’ve reserved a room of your own for you to meet again. Watch for more information on SIGs in September prior to the conference.

    To make this work, SIETAR USA seeks a Volunteer Coordinator to help plan and coordinate SIG meetings, formation, and registration. If you would be interested, please contact the Conference Oversight Director at conferenceoversight@sietarusa.org

  • 16 May 2021 7:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you ever consider that the SIETAR USA Master Workshops are continuing education for intercultural and DEI professionals? How do you expand your repertoire? Learn about advances in research? Spend time with experts in the field?

    Master Workshops have been part of SIETAR USA conferences since the beginning. They started out being called Pre-Conference Workshops until we realized that we were able to tap into the expertise of longtime intercultural educators, trainers, and researchers. At that point, we changed the name to reflect our goal of finding the experts whose career foci fit the Master Workshop program. Each year the Master Workshop Coordinators are tasked with recruiting people who are especially representative of a topic or method. They look for trainers who developed programs or conducted research on particularly relevant issues. The Master Workshop leaders are chosen because they are known in the intercultural and DEI fields for their expertise.

    We also pay attention to the diversity of both trainers and topics. Gender, race, background, experience are all taken into consideration as we organize the list of Master Workshops each year. For 2021, we have one of our best arrays of workshops from which to choose. Education, leadership, healing, training techniques are all part of the mix. We provide the list at this time so you can be considering which one sparks your attention. Please note! A complete list with expanded descriptions, bios, and pictures of the Master Workshop leaders is available in the conference section of the SIETAR USA website.

    Master Workshops 2021

    Breadth-Depth Tensions in Intercultural Learning and Equity-Minded Pedagogy in Higher Education: Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson

    In this hands-on workshop, we will work together to generate possibilities for scaling up intercultural learning and equity-minded pedagogy to all areas across universities and all levels of organizational structures.

    Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair earned a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University in 2008. At Purdue, she now directs the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) and holds a courtesy faculty position in the Brian Lamb School of Communication.

    Nastasha E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies. She also serves as a Provost Fellow in the Office of the Provost, Division of Diversity & Inclusion and an Intercultural Learning Officer for the Center of Intercultural Learning, Mentoring, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR).

    Global Leadership Effectiveness: An Interactive Workshop in Developing Strategies That Work for You and Your Clients: Dr. Deborah Pembleton & Dr. Karen Lokkesmoe

    In this workshop, we will explore global leadership and global competency models outlining core competencies as well as engaging in activities whereby participants can identify strategies for their own global competency development or that of their clients and trainees.

    Dr. Deborah J. Pembleton is an Associate Professor in the Global Business Leadership Department and Director of the Asian Studies Program at the College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University (CSBSJU). Her professional affiliations include membership in the Academy of Management and the Management Organizational Behavior Society.

    Dr. Karen J. Lokkesmoe though officially retired, continues to work as an intercultural and leadership development trainer with scholars and organizations around the world.  In her work with the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program she has worked with hundreds of leaders from over 80 countries. Her particular interest is how one builds leadership capacity for those working in global or culturally diverse settings.

    Intercultural Playground: Creative Experiential Approaches to Facilitate Learning and Connection: Dr. Basma Ibrahim DeVries & Jon DeVries

    This highly interactive workshop engages participants in several unique intercultural learning activities (related to diverse communication styles, cultural values and dimensions, barriers to inclusion) and includes discussion on adaptations for specific training goals.

    Dr. Basma Ibrahim DeVries is a professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Minnesota, a faculty member at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and an intercultural and DEI trainer and consultant.

    Jon DeVries is an intercultural trainer and consultant specializing in Intercultural Competence Development, Leadership Development, Team Building and Training Design with a background in Experiential Education and Adult Learning Theories.

    Intercultural Creativity for Collective Healing: Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC & Marie Sheffield, LCPC

    This Master Workshop will focus on the deepening of facilitation skills for those who work at the intersection of intercultural and diversity. Incorporating environments of care and wellbeing, understanding of trauma and traditions of collective healing, intentional presence and creativity will encourage participants to experience new horizons of the profession.

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC, is a Founder and Principal of Connecting Differences, LLC, intercultural consultant, trainer, and coach with background and extensive experience in mental health. Tatyana is a past-president of SIETAR USA and had been a long-time faculty member at the Summer, Winter, and Qatar Institutes for Intercultural Communication.

    Marie Sheffield, LCPC is a licensed clinical counselor and art therapist working in the field of collective trauma and collective healing. With two decades as an intercultural team leader for the Intercultural Community Peer Support Program, and Intercultural Advisory Council, at the Center for Grieving Children (CGC) in Portland, Maine, Marie also completed a fellowship with the Intercultural Communication Institute.

    Opening up the World Through Multi-Media! Shelley Morrison & Barbara Galyen

    In this highly interactive workshop, we “focus on films” (excuse the pun), plus other multi-media sources as valuable tools for intercultural training. We include movies, TV series, documentaries, film shorts, animated shorts, plus advertising and infomercials.

    Shelley Morrison is an experienced educator, coach, trainer, and facilitator. Her firm, Shelley Morrison Associates (SMA), provides consulting and training in leadership, marketing, negotiations, communication, and intercultural relations for corporate, non-profit, and higher education clients.

    Barbara Galyen is a recognized leader in the fields of Crossing Cultures and Global Leadership. She delivers a wide range of consulting, facilitating, training and coaching services worldwide to corporate, non-profit, United Nations, and education arenas.

    How to use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding: Kelli McLoud-Schingen

    This interactive workshop  will explore using theatre and story as ways to open connections with others and equip participants with a new tool for their work.

    Kelli McLoud-Schingen is Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Tulsa and President of KMS Intercultural Consulting. She is a Global Diversity and Inclusion Specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the Diversity and Intercultural Fields.  Kelli is a global citizen who specializes in healing racism, cross-cultural competence, conflict resolution/mediation, storytelling, and inclusive leadership.

    Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change: joe gerstandt

    Informed by “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System,” by Donella Meadows, this session will begin with a conversation about leverage, the power (and leverage) of paradigm change, and the need to change the organizational paradigm regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity. We will then explore common language, narrative and story-telling, individual development, and behavioral expectations as tools for paradigm change, and how to use these tools to get as much possible impact from our efforts.

    Dr. joe gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor on organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. He serves on the Intersectional Culture and Diversity Advisory (ICD) Council for the social networking platform, Twitter, has served on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and is currently on the board of directors for the Tri-Faith Initiative.


    1. Breadth-Depth Tensions in Intercultural Learning and Equity-Minded Pedagogy in Higher Education. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson.
    2. Global Leadership Effectiveness: An Interactive Workshop in Developing Strategies That Work for You and Your Clients.   Deborah Pembleton & Karen Lokkesmoe. 
    3. Intercultural Playground: Creative Experiential Approaches to Facilitate Learning and Connection.   Basma Ibrahim DeVries & Jon DeVries.
    4. Intercultural Creativity for Collective Healing.   Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC & Marie Sheffield, LCPC.
    5. Opening up the World Through Multi-Media!   Shelley Morrison & Barbara Gaylen
    6. How to use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding.  Kelli McLoud-Schingen.
    7. Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change. joe verstandt.


  • 16 May 2021 7:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Centre for Global Inclusion recently released the 2021 Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB): Standards for Organizations Around the World. The nearly 100-page document features 275 benchmarks across 15 categories and 5 levels. Written by Nene Molefi, Julie O’Mara, and Alan Richter, PhD, the GDEIB is updated annually using a consensus process with 112 Expert Panelists from around the globe (Download the full document here.)

    All this is to say that there are best practices in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) that are globally universal. Start with an assessment to inform your DEI business case; develop your DEI vision and strategy and align it to your organizational goals; communicate your DEI goals across the organization; consider all stakeholders, both internal and external facing.

    With all this universal alignment in theory, you would think a single solution could apply to a company’s entire workforce. However, when approaching global training for US based companies, it’s in the application of DEI best practices where you need…a little DEI.

    Here are three reasons why your global DEI rollout needs to be localized.

    1.   The historical/cultural context is different from country to country.

    Requests for DEI training have increased tenfold in the US over the past year. Divisive rhetoric leading up to the election; high profile shootings of people of color by police, racial inequities in healthcare, education, jobs and more were pushed to the forefront during the pandemic, as communities of color were more negatively impacted on all these indicators. This exposure of systemic inequities fueled commitment from top leadership at corporations of all sizes to drive change.

    Overseas teams, on the other hand, will often say “we don’t have the same racial issues as in the United States.” In Europe, the growing critical need for DEI initiatives is in response to record migration. Rather than long-rooted history that needs reconciling, Europe has seen a significant rise in refugees seeking asylum. “The sheer force of flow has broken down systems that were in place to integrate immigrants and help them settle,” says George Simons, a longtime leader in cross-cultural communication and global management. Then, “in a country like South Korea, which is mostly a monocultural society, gender will be a bigger focus,” Simons adds.

    Trainers in the classroom (virtual or in person) will want to be sensitive to context. For example, race-theory based training drawn on US systems will not adapt to other countries who do not experience the same history. An approach built on how culture and identity influences values, behaviors and communication styles may have broader application.

    2.    Different dimensions of diversity are more resonant.

    Review of Gardenswartz and Rowe’s four dimensions of identity is a good conversation starter for DEI workshop participants to explore the layers of diversity that contribute to the workplace. In the US, the challenge is often to help participants look beyond the Internal Dimensions of identity such as race, gender and ethnicity.

    In the European context, External Dimensions may be more at the forefront. Geographic location as relates to nationality and possible language barriers, or religion, with the influx of refugees, will influence regional priorities. Solutions need to be localized to respond to the dynamics within each country or office teams in different parts of the world.

    3.  Logistical details related to global operations must still be addressed.

    There’s a sense of urgency around DEI movements in the US right now connected to the urgent need for social change. That said, while looking at the broader organizational picture, don’t discount logistical annoyances when working globally.

    For example, if the US-based finance department sends an edict at 10 am in San Francisco, that all receipts need to be in by end of day, or you won’t get reimbursed…colleagues in Paris who are long gone from the office will either miss out or be scrambling to comply. Likewise, is your US based help-desk available at hours and languages that match your global operations?  

    Finding Balance

    Leaders of global entities are faced with delivering constant and thoughtful experiences to employees across various regions. The challenge is to find the balance between things that are consistent and standardized, while also ensuring that content and approach resonates with people in different continents. A thorough DEI assessment and strategy at the outset will pave the way.

    While layering in best practices, an effective approach to DEI will be customized to a company’s specific needs and challenges. And that is true whether a company is based entirely in one country or spread around the globe. Partnering with leaders with culture and country specific experience can help.

    SIETAR USA is grateful to EDS for sharing their thoughts with us and allowing us to publish them in The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA.

  • 16 May 2021 7:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Pandemic has made many of us think about losses as our lives have changed over the past year. We have lived with restrictions such as closed restaurants, hair salons, and social gatherings. We have missed family celebrations and graduations. As professionals who spend a lot of time traveling—especially internationally—that part of our lives shut down early in the time of Covid 19. The hardest losses have been friends, colleagues, loved ones. These losses are hard no matter when they happen, but the virus seemed to amplify death perhaps because we were reminded so often each day in the news. One positive outcome of the virus is that we have been able to virtually attend memorial services and celebrations of life, which likely would not have happened prior to the pandemic.

    SIETAR USA has lost a Board member (Sherri Tapp) and a beloved past president (Andy Reynolds). Like many SIETAR USA members I’ve talked with, I have lost several close friends who have passed away in recent months. I heard from a friend that when we lose a person to death, the person is gone but the relationship remains. I had to think about that to decide if I agreed. It is often true that when the person was alive communication was spotty. We communicated fairly frequently, but sometimes with long gaps in between. Even with the gaps, I still considered the person a friend or loved one and valued the relationship that we had created. So, it makes a certain sense that the relationship was alive even when we were not in frequent contact.

    A friendship can be seen to comprise 3 entities: you, the other, and the relationship itself. Does that mean the relationship can live on even though the person is gone? You can no longer pick up the phone for a call or send an email and expect a response. But is that all a friendship is? (And I think that the luckiest among us are the ones who are in positive contact with their family members.) Isn’t friendship also about the feelings and the experience of the other person and the memories of good times together? I have found it comforting with recent losses to remember that we had connected as two human beings, enjoyed our time together, and I do feel that the relationship is, in a way, indeed still there.

    The SIETAR USA webinar in June features Daniel Yalowitz who just published Reflections on the Nature of Friendship. He writes: “Friendships offer clues to our deeper inner and outer selves. They are manifestation of our values as well as our priorities. And they provide tremendous information about our hopes, dreams, struggles, affirmations, and challenges.” I began writing this message thinking it was about loss and realize now that it isn’t about loss but rather it is about living and remembering and connecting. To all my SIETAR friends, I want to say how much you have enriched my life. Thank you!

    Sandy Fowler

    Editor The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA

  • 16 May 2021 7:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Zoom Webinar - Eastern Time Zone
    Date: 09 Jun 2021 11:00 AM (Eastern Time)

    In this webinar, Daniel Yalowitz will unearth and explore the multifaceted, endlessly fascinating, and delightfully complex experience of human friendship.  Just as no two people are alike, neither are any two friendships.   He will lead participants through an examination of some of the many universal considerations of friendship based on his years of intercultural research and the recent publication of his book, Reflections on the Nature of Friendship

    Dr. Yalowitz will focus on the following considerations with regard to developing a deeper understanding of friendship:

    • What do rubber bands, timepieces, and portals have in common with friendship?
    • Why do we choose the people to become our friends?
    • How can conflict be healthy for a friendship?
    • Into Me You See: What is the art of intimacy in friendship?
    • How can we burnish and harvest the gold in friendship?
    • In the Age of COVID, what has changed and what hasn’t regarding friendship?

    After his presentation, Daniel will respond to participants’ questions and reflections. Join us for a fascinating journey into a world we all know from our life experience yet must learn far more to heighten and deepen this amazing adventure.

    To register: On the Art and Nature of Friendship

    Registration = FREE for current SIETAR USA members in good standing

    Registration = $25.00 for nonmembers

    About the Presenter

    Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, Ed.D.,is a developmental and intercultural psychologist. He was a member and on the Governing Council for SIETAR International, chaired the international Simulation and Games Committee from 1988-2000, and has been involved in various roles with SIETAR USA intermittently since then.  Following a career as a faculty member and senior academic administrator at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Daniel is now an international consultant and trainer focusing on community- and team-building, social/emotional/multiple intelligences, conflict transformation, and intercultural communication and competence. He has published three books to date and serves as the Executive Director, Principal, and Creativity Maven for DCY Consulting, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

    For more information and to register:
    On the Art and Nature of Friendship

  • 16 May 2021 7:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the United States, the month of May is celebrated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The month-long celebration focuses on and recognizes the contributions, achievements, and influence that Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have made and had on U.S. culture and history.

    While Asia/Pacific American Heritage Week was established in 1979 and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month being designated in 1992, the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans stretches back much farther. In 1587, Filipinos landed on the Pacific coast. They arrived aboard the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza. They sailed from Portuguese Macao to what is now upper California as part of the Manila galleon trade. (Wikipedia, 2021) The 1587 event marked the first documented instance of Asians arriving at what is now California, or anywhere in what is now the United States, North America, and the Americas. The landing of the first Filipinos at Morro Bay, which pre-dates the events at Plymouth Rock by 33 years, is often overlooked and misunderstood, with the Filipinos who landed being described as “invading troops”. (Wikipedia, 2020)

    Historical records indicate that the first group of Chinese sailors came from Guangdong province and settled in Hawaii in 1778. That same year, the first Native Hawaiian arrived at what is now Oregon. 1806 marked the first documented instance of Japanese sailors arriving at Hawaii. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States. On May 10, 1860, the golden spike was driven into the First Transcontinental Railroad to mark its completion. Over 20,000 Chinese immigrants, the majority of the workers, laid the tracks on the project. Beginning in the 1900s, Chamorros, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, began to migrate to California and Hawaii after Guam was ceded to the United States in 1898. After American Samoa was ceded to the United States in 1904, Samoans began to migrate to Hawaii and the continental United States, with the first Samoans documented in Hawaii in 1920. The first Vietnamese immigrants were documented in the United States in 1912. (Wikipedia, 2021)

    The advocacy for and creation of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is thanks to the efforts of Jeanie Jew, a former Capitol Hill staffer. Jeanie witnessed the U.S. Bicentennial celebrations of 1976 and was concerned about the lack of recognition given to Asian Pacific Americans. She wanted to bring honor and recognition to Asian American and Pacific Islanders like her great-grandfather, M.Y. Lee, who had come to the U.S. from China in the 1800s and had helped build the transcontinental railroad. He and his peers had played a key role in American history but had suffered for it. In 1976, Jeanie approached New York Congressman Frank Horton with the desire to promote public awareness of the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans. Jeanie Jew and Ruby Moy, Horton’s Chief of Staff, spearheaded the efforts to gain support for a proclamation of an Asian Pacific American heritage week. In June 1977, U.S. Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta introduced a U.S. House of Representatives resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. One month later, similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga. (Moon, 2019)

    In 1979, at Congress' direction, the President proclaimed the week beginning on May 4, 1979, as Asia/Pacific American Heritage Week. The heritage week provided an opportunity for the people of the United States to recognize the history, concerns, contributions, and achievements of Asian and Pacific Americans. (Moon, 2019)

    In 1990, the commemorative week expanded to a commemorative month after a new bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. But even then, the proclamation did not include an annual designation, and the president had to reauthorize May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 1991. In 1992, Congressman Horton and multiple co-sponsors introduced the legislation that would permanently designate May as the commemorative month — a legislation that became law after receiving unanimous support in Congress. (Moon, 2019)

     Written by: Emily Kawasaki


    Works Cited

  • 16 May 2021 7:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    May 18, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Augmented agility for Virtual Teams: Is it possible to experience “real” agility in a remote working environment?” with Mithun Mridha and Anke Lindemann. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    May 19, 2021 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “ARLS: Unconscious Bias” with Dr Alvina Grosu. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    May 19, 20201 – SIETAR Switzerland WEBINAR: “Intercultural mindfulness as a core value in inclusive education” with Dr. Helen Spencer-Oatey, Alaeddine Touhami, Ann-Seline Fankhauser, Ji-yu Bak, and Vera Leal. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    May 20, 2021 – SIETAR Austria WEBINAR: “Multilingualism Matters: CSI Linguist” with Dr. Jordi Cicres. Visit SIETAR Austria Events to register!

    May 20, 2021 – SIETAR Austria WEBINAR: “Multilingualism Matters: Regional languages, minority languages and migrant languages: Let’s talk about Linguistic Diversity” with Prof. Georg Gombos. Visit SIETAR Austria Events to register!

    May 20, 2021 – SIETAR Espana FILM FESTIVAL: “SEFIVAL 2021: Proyección Migración I”. Visit SIETAR Global Events to register!

    May 26, 2021 - SIETAR Switzerland WEBINAR: “Navigating Culture: More than learning a language” with Prof. Jillaine Farrar. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    May 26, 2021 -SIETAR D.C. WEBINAR: “Speaking Life: An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace” with Noa Baum. Visit SIETAR DC Events to register!

    May 27, 2021 – SIETAR Espana FILM FESTIVAL: “SEFIVAL 2021: Proyección Migración II”. Visit SIETAR Global Events to register!

    June 2, 2021 – SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “ARLS: Unconscious Bias Panel Discussion” with Dr Livingstone Thompson, Robert Gibson, Nita Sharma, and Stacey Gordon. Visit SIETAR Europa Events to register!

    June 2, 2021 – SIETAR Espana FILM FESTIVAL: “SEFIVAL 2021: Proyección Cultura & Diversidad I”. Visit SIETAR Global Events to register!

    June 9, 2021 – SIETAR USA WEBINAR: “On the Art and Nature of Friendship” with Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, Ed.D. Visit SIETAR USA Events to register!

    June 10, 2021 - SIETAR Switzerland WEBINAR: “Leading International Collaborative Teams: Relationships Matter in Changing Times” with Dr. Mary Gene Saudelli and Prof. Jillaine Farrar. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    June 12, 20201 – SIETAR Japan WORKSHOP: “Enjoying the Cultural Differences Found in Shakespeare” with Yuka Suzuki and Amey Kulkarni. Visit SIETAR Japan Events to register!



    In the United States, the month of May is celebrated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.

    May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.

    May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month), which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.

    May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony.

    May 22-23 (sundown to sundown): Declaration of the Báb, the day of declaration of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

    May 23: Pentecost, the celebration of the giving of the Ten Commandments by God at Mount Sinai.

    May 26: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and it is a gazetted holiday in India.

    May 31: Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by American forces.

    May 29: Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, commemorates the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.



    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 14: Flag Day in the United States, observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.

    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: Juneteeth (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day) is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

    Holidays list courtesy of: https://www.diversitybestpractices.com/2021-diversity-holidays#may

Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
Wheaton, IL 60187-4729


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright