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

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 15 Apr 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rosita D. Albert, PhDWhen asked to write an opinion piece, I wondered what to write. The Editor had indicated that I could write about my work with cross-cultural psychologist Harry Triandis on the Culture Assimilator, or why I renamed it “The Intercultural Sensitizer,” or how I was living with the problems brought on by of a stroke I suffered in 2014.  Although I would be happy to reply to anyone who emailed me questions about these issues, I feel that there are more pressing issues that I would rather address.

    During the challenging times in which we are living, we interculturalists face many questions of how to be and what to do in the world. As a person and a Social Psychologist, I have always been interested in what could be done to prevent violence and harm. Most of my research, teaching and consulting has focused  on improving intercultural  interactions and communication.

    At the 2007 meetings of the International Academy for intercultural Research, ( IAIR) in Groningen, The Netherlands, I challenged colleagues to focus attention on one of the worse kinds of intercultural relations human beings can experience:  violent conflict (especially ethnic conflict), and what could be done to prevent it. Out of that challenge, IJIR’s Founder Dan Landis and I published the Landis and Albert (Eds.), 2012, Handbook of Ethnic Conflicts: International Perspectives with contributions from interculturalists from many countries.

    Earlier this year, I was struck how much of the division and polarization in the U. S. resembled what had happened in the ethnic conflicts analyzed in the Handbook (Albert, Gabrielsen and Landis (2012) , particularly  the demonization of “the other” and  divergent narratives about the history of the conflict.  I believe that both factors are at play in the current invasion of Ukraine, as well as in the conflict between Trump supporters and non-supporters in the United States.

    The current invasion of Ukraine bears similarities to the many conflicts covered in the Handbook: an ambitious, powerful president (Putin) fomented an invasion in the name of his ethnicity, this time by claiming that Ukraine was really part of Russia, not a culturally and historically separate nation. Instead of using differences to divide, he sought to dominate another people by attempting to annex them and justified the invasion by using a false narrative that the Ukrainians were the threatening party and the ones to blame for the carnage.  

    We have also a seen former U.S. President Trump foment division and an insurrection in the United States by distorting the reality of the result of the 2020 election. Both presidents justified attacks on another group by distorting reality and denigrating members of the other group.

    I have always thought that creating intercultural understanding is an important avenue for preventing conflict. Now in the current crises, I want to urge all interculturalists to more actively help preserve the planet, our country and the world.                                                  

    I hope the invasion of Ukraine serves as a cautionary note to U.S. citizens enamored with Trump’s “strength.” I think it is important to remember that Hitler, Putin, and other dictators were originally elected before they became dictators. As Ukrainian President Zelensky has pointed out in one of his recent videos, and as he has amply demonstrated, strength is not based on raw power, but on good values that are shared.

    I know that it is hard to know what to do, and where to start, but I do believe most of us are capable of taking some steps. For example, anyone with a phone can volunteer to call voters in key states in our upcoming elections, as I did in the U.S. special election in Georgia in 2021. One can donate to organizations that help candidates who represent the values of openness, inclusion, diversity, truth, and the rule of law, as well as organizations that fight against hatred, conflict and war and that support peace and democracy. I believe that if each one of us takes small steps. the resulting effect will be great and impactful.

    We can no longer afford to be silent because the values that we hold as interculturalists are being threatened in our country and around the world. I believe that at this crucial time of multiple crises, each one of us has to find the vehicle by which we can best contribute to creating a more harmonious and peaceful country and world, in order for the planet, peace and democracy to survive.

    I would love to hear your ideas and learn about your action plans. Please mention SIETAR USA on the title of your email, because after a recent hacking attempt, I don’t open emails from people I don’t know.


    Albert, R.D.  ( 1995). The Intercultural Sensitizer ( ICS)  or Culture Assimilator as a cross-cultural training method .  In S.M. Fowler and M. Mumford (Eds): Intercultural Sourcebook, (Cross-cultural training methods, Vol. 1, pp. 157–167). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

    Albert, R.D., Gabrielsen, S., and Landis. D. (2012). Ethnic Conflict from an Interdisciplinary Perspective:  Lessons Learned, Policy Implications, and Recommendations for Conflict Amelioration and Peace Building , in Landis And Albert (Eds.) , The  Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International Perspectives (pp..587-630) , New York: Springer.

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an organization committed to the support of respect for diversity and equity, freedom of self-determination and intercultural understanding, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent aggression shown by Russia against the citizens of Ukraine. We stand with our colleagues around the world in solidarity with the people suffering under the threat of attack and diminishment of freedom in their own land. We also consider the wonderful people of Russia to be victims of this tyranny, having to live under oppression and hardship from a leader with no compassion for them or their internal plight.

    Nothing can be more of an affront to the human spirit than the use of war under false pretenses to destroy the autonomy of a nation that has enjoyed democracy for its people. We send our most sincere thoughts to the people of Ukraine, and to those with family and friends now confronting unjustified aggression and defending their freedom.

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter from the Editor

    As I write this the war rages on in Ukraine with more bad news reported every day. I hope that a resolution is in the near future. Being a typical American who values doing and action, my feeling of utter helplessness for fixing the problem haunts my thoughts. I agree with Janet Yellen who said that Russia’s invasion “including the atrocities committed against innocent Ukrainians in Bucha, are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions for the world.” It is a reminder of the complex, global intertwining that all countries now experience and the importance of our work to improve intercultural relations.

    It also reminds me that whatever the United States or NATO or the UN tries to do, there will be repercussions that will be felt long after I’m gone. In a recent conversation with Zareen Karani Araoz, she said that her lifelong goal has been to bring about better intercultural relations and world peace. My response was that my goal has been that if I could open at least one person’s eyes to perspectives they had not considered and changed their behavior and beliefs in a way that made the world a better place, I would have achieved my goal. It seems I have a ripple in the pool approach to my chosen profession.

    small booklet titled TactMy Spring Cleaning includes finally sorting through several boxes of stuff that I inherited from my father many, many years ago. I came across a small booklet titled Tact written in 1933 by J. Clinton Ransom (Wells Publishing Company). It was written for businessmen in management (not women who are not mentioned anywhere in the book as anything other than customers or salesladies). It made me think of a less than tactful moment recently when I wish I had said something differently. Haven’t we all at one time written an untactful message which we wish we had not sent? The thing that caught my eye in the oddly stilted writing of almost 90 years ago was the old fable of the sun and the wind. “It is prettily noted of a contention between the Winde and the Sunne, who should have the victory. A Gentleman walking abroad, the Winde thought to blow off his cloak, which with great blasts and blustering striving to unloose it, made it to stick faster to his back, for the more the Winde increased the closer his cloak clapt to his body: then the Sunne, shining its hot beams, began to warm this gentleman, who waxing somewhat faint in this fair weather, did not only put off his cloak but his coat, which the Winde perceiving, yielded the conquest to the Sunne (p. 15).”

    The author’s conclusion was to always remember that men are more easily led than driven, and that in any case it is much better to guide than to coerce. That works for both men and women and certainly for me. How many times in my life do I need to learn that lesson? The only words my father underlined were: “You must not receive everything that is said as a critic or a judge, but suspend your judgment, and try to enter into the feelings of the speaker (p. 20).”  Isn’t this what we strive to do in any intercultural exchange?

    Could tact have worked on the Russian leaders? Diplomacy was given a chance to no avail. It is easy to see that the promise of sanctions did not work. What might have been a more tactful approach that could have guided Russia to a different perspective on Ukraine? It seems that Putin saw only coercion and threats. If Zelensky’s offer of neutrality had been made sooner, might that have avoided the destruction of his country? We will never know what could have made a difference, but maybe more tact would have helped.

    Sandra M. Fowler Sandra M. Fowler
    Editor, The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, Ed.D.

    For the 32 years I knew her, Janet always put people first—her never-ending and bottomless quest to know them and her penchant for asking questions about them. I came to understand that this was an integral part of all her projects, regardless of what product or program was being created, delivered, or run.  She cared, first and foremost, without even thinking about the time and energy that these personal entreaties engendered. Janet brought to life my favorite question: she illuminated it and radiated in the responses she received from asking, “Is there more?” And there was always more: more of Janet’s curiosity, more of her willingness to engage in almost any topic, issue, or question, and, most and best of all, her engaged presence.

    Janet was one of my friends “out there” in our wide, wild world who was passionate about all things relational, especially friendship. She was one of my guiding peers and colleagues from afar who really wanted to see my book on Friendship published – and it was, precisely a year ago.  We had several long phone chats about the relationship between my research on friendship and its relationship with the intercultural field we both shared with such joy. Thank you, dear Janet, for being along for the journey during Covid that helped me to birth this book.

    Something else I’ve always appreciated about Janet is a character trait that one rarely sees in people who have reached the apogee of their professional field as she had: humility. Beyond her incredible body of work, she was a fabulous cheerleader, mentor, guide, and “encouragist.” She was so devoted to the work of expanding and refining the world of the interculturalist that it didn’t need to be all about her. With her characteristic energy, wit, and fearlessness, she tutored and schooled so many others, no matter their level and degree of professional experience. I know that, with me, she created opportunities through WIIC, SIIC, SIETAR, China, and elsewhere that enabled professional opportunities to “stretch without stress” and challenge myself to go above and beyond my skills set and knowledge base and trust myself to give my all—whether I was doing something for the first or fiftieth time. Janet drew people out that way and the world is better for it.

    I loved working alongside Janet, in so many venues around the world. No matter the time of day, day of the week, or milieu, I inevitably found her mind to be alive, her feedback and insights to be both witty and profound, and her ability to blow up “the box” and come up with something all-new. Even with all that, she took the time to listen to my thoughts and questions first—even at times when I didn’t want to initiate. She had a unique aptitude toward synergizing, energizing, and harmonizing highly differentiated ideas in a way few could. Janet led by listening, learning, and positioning herself as a servant-leader to the intercultural world-writ-large.

    As a Governing Council Member of SIETAR International in the mid-90s, Janet found me at a SimGames Night I was facilitating one year and literally “told” me to show up at SIIC the next summer as the Evening Program Coordinator. Saying no seemed unthinkable, as SIIC was a professional and veritable paradise. I joined in that summer and returned to that role for three summers following. Who knew that fifteen years later I would return as a SIIC/WIIC faculty member? One thing led to another, and it wasn’t hard to go all in with these experiences. They, like Janet, always seemed to bring out the best in me—as she appeared able to do with countless others everywhere.

    While the world is lesser for our loss, we are all the better for having had Janet Bennett impacting and influencing our journeys. Her presence will be felt by generations to come; in the present, it is we who were most fortunate to have had her in our time.

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Cliff Clarke and Sandy Fowler

    As all good interculturalists know, when you want to check on something in another culture, you contact several cultural informants. In journalism, you rely on your readers to inform you when some facts need to be corrected. That is what happened when the kind piece written by Dorothy and Hap Sermol in the March issue of The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA came to the attention of Cliff Clarke. He rightly pointed out that without an official SIETAR USA historian focused on accurate recordings of its history, we must rely on people’s memories. Of course, that should have started at the beginning of SIETAR. Even that genesis is clouded in the memories of many who were there at the time. However, many of those who were there at the time are no longer with us to help us get our facts straight. We are in a position today to make sure that the history of the beginnings of the Stanford Institute for Intercultural Communication (later called the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication) are clear and true. I know that Dorothy and Hap would appreciate this correction because they want the facts straight as much as the rest of us.

    Dorothy and Hap wrote that "Janet introduced significant educational change to many intercultural situations.  For example, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she hosted the Annual Intercultural Training Institute (ICI) at Stanford University. When she moved to Portland, Oregon, she brought the ICI to Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon. Her creative leadership relocated this Institute, now called the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC), to Reed College in Portland.  Subsequently, SIIC has greatly advanced the interests and careers of Interculturalists throughout the world.”

    The underlined passages contain the four errors in the article and Cliff has offered from his firsthand experience to set the record straight.

    1) There was no host of the Institute except for Dean Arthur Colardarci, of the School of Education at SU.

    2) The proper name of the summer institute at Stanford was the “Stanford Institute for Intercultural Communication” which is why it became the Summer IIC in Oregon to keep the same acronym of SIIC and not break the ten years of history of its founding and development at Stanford, i.e., name brand continuation so that the new can benefit from the gains of the old.

    3) There was one founder, myself, one host, Dean Arthur Coladarci, one collaborator and fund raiser of great significance, David Hoopes, one assistant director, King Ming Young, and one coordinator, Jack May. The others were invited workshop leaders, guest speakers, and student interns. The only funding of SIIC at Stanford was in-kind from SU and the NAFSA grant for 12 regional representatives to attend.

    4) The move of SIIC at Stanford University was a result of my desire to work full-time with my consulting firm, Clarke Consulting Group, that was growing rapidly at the time. Dean Coladarci said he had no one to replace me so out of his kindness he agreed that I could search and decide to whom or what to give it. Because of my friendship with Janet and respect for Milton I chose to give it to the Bennetts.  They came to Stanford from Portland for a week to discuss the essences of SIIC that I wished would continue because of its success for ten years.  Milton has recently received an early inheritance from his father for $40,000, which just happened to be the annual cost at the time for running the institute, other that my costs. I was on an RA-ship at Stanford at the time beginning my graduate studies. SIIC returned after each summer session the gains of $40,000 from participant fees which remained in the University to assist the next year’s planning and execution. The final 1986 gains were left in the SUSE general funds account.

    After discussions with the Bennetts and discovering that we would have the same goals and respect for the core policies, I chose to give them the SIIC with no strings attached. I had confidence in their abilities and commitment to grow the SIIC in Oregon. They proved me right and exceeded my expectations. They stayed for five days to pack up the library of 5,000 items mostly by making copies of everything to take with them in boxes.”

    May I offer another thought about the origins of the SIIC, which began in the planning stages at Stanford University in 1975.  There were four policies or principles designed into SIIC from its founding plus one from Dean Coladarci: (a) There would be a balance of workshops focused on international and domestic issues, intercultural and multicultural; (b) There would be a balance of representatives from multiple disciplines and practices, i.e., college faculties, public school teachers and administrators, counselors, healthcare workers, government agencies, community NPOs, and others; (c) There would be equality of status between participants and coordinators, which would encourage participants to feel equally valuable and be equally respected.  All invited workshop leaders or speakers would be available to participants throughout the program, i.e., no visiting “firemen” who rush in, present, and disappear. Therefore, the program would be largely focused on interaction in groups and between individuals. (d) There would be every effort to keep costs as low as possible to cover expenses and for those needing assistance, internships would be provided in exchange for services in coordinating the workshops’ administrative needs.  Dean Coladarci added, (e) there would be a balance between a “core curriculum” which everyone attended and workshops for choice by participants with no workshop hopping.

    Cliff would like to offer one last thing that may help us when writing about history. In 2016 February, my wife, Naomi and I returned to live in Kyoto, Japan. I to retire and she to teach at a university around the corner from our home. In retirement I knew I would have time to write. So, I’ve been writing about history in the intercultural field. There are six new articles or chapters to date with another coming near the end of this year.  These can be downloaded from my Research Gate account.  My one guiding principle has been to only write about my first-hand experiences participating in that history.  I believe that this would be a good principle to practice for most writings on history in our field, unless reporting on direct recorded interviews of those who were there.  History by hearsay is guaranteed to misrepresent events of those treasured events gone years ago.

    Cliff and I agree that history provides the context for what we do and why we do it. If you have firsthand knowledge of a piece of SIETAR history, please consider describing your recollections and submit them to be published in The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. This periodical is in its 4th year of publication and the archives contain an Opinion article in each issue as well as other articles that capture the current thoughts as well as memories of past events of leaders in the intercultural and DEI fields. It is a permanent repository of historical importance. We need to capture these memories now!

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Professional excellence is based on a solid academic foundation upon which we add experience and continuing education. The SIETAR USA pre-conference Master Workshops have earned a reputation for their high quality and benefit to members who want to increase their intercultural and DEI understanding and skills. The 2022 list of Master Workshops continues that tradition. We are pleased to introduce the Master Workshops with additional workshops and more information to follow.

    SIETAR USA Master Workshops 2022

    An Applied Polyvagal Approach to Intercultural Interactions and Decreasing Polarization
    Dr. Cheryl Forster

    Studying our nervous system as an access point for change can increase our ability to be effective during challenging life circumstances. According to Deb Dana (2020), the nervous system is key because when the brain and the nervous system do not agree, the nervous system will win every time. One influential framework for understanding the nervous system is Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges. Polyvagal Theory is often referred to as the neuroscience of safety and connection, and it is a core component of trauma work. Neuroscience in trauma therapy has exploded in the past twenty-five years. It has helped us understand our experiences, emotions, relationships, stories, communication, and ability to cope in more nuanced ways.

    But what if we applied the concepts of Polyvagal theory to intercultural work? Could it help us with key intercultural skills? Could it help decrease the “us versus them” attitudes of polarization? Could it help us embrace more nuance and complexity in difficult conversations? Learning a Polyvagal approach can support our ability to connect across differences, which is essential for diversity work. Throughout this workshop, it will be established that it is hard to do effective intercultural and social justice work without a more embodied approach.

    In this workshop, we will review essential Polyvagal concepts and then apply them to intercultural work, decreasing polarization, and difficult conversations. There will be demonstrations of coping strategies to regulate our specific nervous system states and other experiential exercises.

    Participants will be able to:

    • Describe the three levels of the Polyvagal ladder
    • Demonstrate at least five active strategies to regulate your specific nervous system state
    • Discuss why the nervous system is an especially effective access point for change
    • Identify three factors that contribute to the neuroception of safety and how intercultural effectiveness, or lack of, may impact these
    • Apply Polyvagal work to intercultural skills and interactions
    • Apply Polyvagal work to decreasing polarization and increasing “embodied complexity” (Forster, 2022)

    Dr. Cheryl Forster Dr. Cheryl Forster is a clinical psychologist and the Coordinator of Diversity and Psychology Programs at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling. She also has a professional intercultural training business called Bookmark Connections; her workshops focus on integrating intercultural communication, social justice, and applied Polyvagal perspectives. Cheryl has obtained her Intercultural Practitioner Certificate from the highly respected Intercultural Communication Institute, completed the Brain, Mind and Culture certification from the Japan Intercultural Institute, and is a CQ Certified Facilitator and IDI qualified administrator, as well as a contributing author in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015) and a former ACCTA Diversity Scholar. For her clinical work, Cheryl has completed specialized training in attachment, trauma, EMDR, interpersonal neurobiology, Polyvagal Theory, integrative somatic trauma therapy, and asylum immigration assessments. From 2008 to 2018, Cheryl served as the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication’s (SIIC) mental health consultant. Moreover, she is currently writing a book entitled, An Intercultural and Polyvagal Informed Approach to Diversity Work: A Practical Guide for Mental Health Professionals. Learn more about Dr. Forster’s work at https://bookmarkconnections.com/.

    How to Use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding
    Kelli McLoud-Schingen & Dionne Lambert

    One of the most powerful and under-utilized tools in cross cultural understanding is Theatre. Theatre is a form of storytelling that many feel that if they are not actors, or haven’t studied theatre, they aren’t equipped to work with theatre and drama as a tool.

    Theatre is storytelling and it offers opportunities for listeners to merge the storyteller’s experience with their own – resulting in connections that can turn into trance-formational experiences. Everyone is a storyteller. We live inside stories, we communicate through stories. We have become more concerned with ideology which creates polarities but experiencing theatre, we connect with the person in front of us and we are compelled to pull for them, want the best for them, for them to have a happy ending.

    This interactive session 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 Kelli McLoud-Schingen is Artistic Director of World Stage Theatre Company, 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 as well as a theatrical actor and director. She specializes in storytelling, cultural competence, and healing racism. She has been a facilitator for educational, non-profit, government and corporate institutions in the USA and internationally since 1989 deftly fusing her theatre and social justice training. A certified professional mediator, she holds a BA degree in Communication from Aurora University and a MA in Cross-Cultural Studies from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Kelli also trained with the Center for the Healing of Racism in Houston, TX. Her theatrical training was at Aurora University, Roosevelt University and a summer semester at the Oxford School of Drama in Oxford England. Kelli has performed as an amateur and professional actor in England, Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston and now, Tulsa. In 2017 Kelli founded the World Stage Theatre Company in Tulsa. This socially engaged theatre is an extension of her global diversity and inclusion work to further cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and compassion.

    Dionne Lambert Dionne Lambert is Program Coordinator for the Center for Public Life at Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, where she facilitates community-focused dialogues through a trauma-informed lens and is currently leading a community-based research initiative that is focused on Black reproductive health equity in Tulsa. She is also the Founding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant for Chrysalis Consulting. Dionne’s perspectives include what psychiatrist Bruce Perry calls post-traumatic wisdom*, inherited by her tumultuous upbringing on the south side of Chicago, IL. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, where she was introduced to storytelling through song and theatre, and learned to incorporate what she’s learned as “edu-tainment” (entertaining educational tools) into her DEI presentations. Her most rewarding acting and storytelling experience was as the indomitable lead character Ann Atwater in Mark St. Germain’s “Best of Enemies”, in a 10-day overseas tour to The Netherlands. She is currently a proud and active Board Member of World Stage Theatre Company, and most recently acted as Assistant Director in World Stage’s adaptation of Tug Yourgrau’s “Song of Jacob Zulu”.

    *What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Dr. Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey, Flatiron Books.

    Building the Inspired Inclusive Organization: 
    Engaging with Race Issues as a Catalyst for Change 

    Noor Azizan-Gardner

    How can an intercultural leader build the trust and bridges necessary for optimum engagement and heightened sense of belonging? What knowledge- sharing must occur with the organizations’ diverse employees and leaders? What skill sets must be developed and honed? Can we do this in the extremely polarized political climate of today?

    This workshop invites participants to reflect, discuss and develop skill sets to effectively engage and provide safety and support for candid and difficult conversations on race as part of a critical process for transforming the organization to a more inclusive, innovative, and human-centric workplace.

    Using the principles of human-centered leadership advocated by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, among others; we will discover together concrete ideas for creating exceptional, inspired, and inclusive organizations which embrace the uniqueness and talents of its diverse employees, authentically honor the history of racial conflict and inequities and to share experiences and knowledge in a supportive environment.

    Participants will learn together:

    • How to enhance self-awareness, self-reflection and self-management around issues of race
    • How to create an authentic belonging community
    • How to harness the power of openness
    • How to develop skills to have meaningful complex conversations around race to achieve a common goal

    Noor Azizan-Gardner Noor Azizan-Gardner, originally from Malaysia is founder and president of Baru Global Creatives Group, LLC, a consulting company which assists organizations and institutions with building innovative inclusive organizational culture through fostering inspired leaders and employees. Previous leadership positions in DEI include the University of Missouri where she created the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative which provided consultation and services in the areas of diversity, cultural competency, equity, EEO compliance, Title IX, and ADA education and accommodation. Actively maintaining her research and consultation on intercultural issues in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia she is a sought-after speaker in her specialty area of intercultural competency and leadership. She has presented innumerable intercultural competency lectures, facilitated leadership workshops, and consulted on diversity and intercultural competency for the private and public sectors and the armed forces.In the Columbia community, she has served as a member of the Diversity Study Circle Project’s steering committee sponsored by the Human Rights Commission and the City of Columbia and a member of the board of advisors for Prism, a support group for LGBT youth. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet and the Ragtag Film Society which stages the annual internationally acclaimed and beloved documentary film festival, True/False. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Crosby MBA Program in the Trulaske College of Business at MU.

    Crossing Party Lines: Building Bridges between IC and DEI in Higher Education 
    Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson

    Increasingly, missions and strategic plans of higher education institutions (HEIs) include references to the development of intercultural competencies, the cultivation of global citizens, and commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Many of these HEIs, however, struggle to operationalize their intentions meaningfully and across the entire institution. 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. Taking into consideration the unique contexts of participants, we will draw on case studies, scholarship, and lived experiences to exemplify strategies that broaden impact without sacrificing depth of learning or quality of teaching.

    After participating, attendees can expect to be able to:

    • Articulate for stakeholders the value of scaling up intercultural learning and equity-minded practices,
    • Grasp the tensions between breadth and depth of impact,
    • Analyze their home institutional contexts for challenges to and resources for concrete and comprehensive planning, and
    • Identify short and long term SMART goals that address those challenges and leverage resources effectively.

    Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair earned a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University in 2008. Before coming to Purdue University in 2016, she served as a faculty member in Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University for 7 years and was awarded a year-long Fulbright Scholar grant to research and teach in Honduras in 2015. 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. CILMAR's mission is to support intercultural development for everyone in the Purdue community. She is a well-published scholar with recent research interests focusing on the development and assessment of intercultural competence, including innovative federally-funded projects to create and test virtual reality simulations that foster the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to interact successfully across cultural differences. Known for her theoretical work on topics such as silence, transformative learning, emotion labor, and cultural adaptation processes. She consults at peer institutions on strategic planning for large-scale intercultural and global learning initiatives, often facilitating workshops on assessment planning, mentoring best practices, and the backward design of curricula for on-campus, study abroad, and virtual exchange programs. Raised as a third culture kid in a military family, she grew up without strong roots to any place, but these days she enjoys being more connected to the land on her small farm in rural Indiana.

    Nastasha E. Johnson Nastasha E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies in West Lafayette, IN. 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). She is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development (IDI) and Beliefs, Events, Values Inventory (BEVI), and has completed Phase 1 of the Racial Equity Institute of REI in Greensboro, NC. She is currently a facilitator of the Purdue Institute on Racial Equity, where faculty, staff, and graduate students are led through 6 modules that elevate anti-bias intervention, inclusive excellence, and equity-mindedness. For over five years she has been a team member for the Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) initiative, where faculty redesign their courses to be student-centered by aligning learning outcomes with assessment strategies. Her other responsibilities include being a library liaison to the Mathematics & Physics Departments and maintaining the Mathematical Sciences Library and the Physics and Astronomy library collection.

    Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change

    joe gerstandt

    In recent years, and in the past year especially, increasing amounts of time, attention, and resources have been directed toward organizational efforts relative to diversity, inclusion, and equity. While there are certainly exceptions, these efforts consistently disappoint with negligible impacts on both organizational demographics and organizational culture. Far too many leaders and organizations have been comfortable demonstrating activity without much real impact. Activity is not enough, and we have some obligation to help clients direct their resources toward interventions with leverage for real change.

    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.

    Participants will:

    • Be able to view organizational interventions through a lens of leverage.
    • Understand the difference between “Outside-In,” interventions and “Inside-Out” interventions.
    • Understand the importance of common language and will practice developing clear, concise, logical, and useful definitions.
    • Practice using those definitions to develop a foundational narrative.
    • Understand the interconnected role of individual development, behavior change, and behavioral expectations in impacting organizational culture.

    joe gerstandt joe gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. joe has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, government entities, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits and is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum. His insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, numerous other print and on-line journals, and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships. joe 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 joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University, then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. Making a career change, working for a grassroots non-profit organization, where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion. Today, joe believes that we can ill afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues.



    An Applied Polyvagal Approach to Intercultural Interactions and Decreasing Polarization

    Dr. Cheryl Forster


    Crossing Party Lines: Building Bridges between IC and EDI in Higher Education

    Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson


    Building the Inspired Inclusive Organization: Engaging with Race Issues as a Catalyst for Change

    Noor Azizan-Gardner


    Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change

    joe gerstandt


    Training Activities

    Jon DeVries and Alex Cleberg

    How to Use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding

    Kelli McLoud-Schingen and Dionne Lambert


  • 15 Apr 2022 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Get a preview of the conference—sign up to review proposals!

    Can you believe it? We’re back for Round Three of planning our conference in Omaha, Nebraska from November 3-6, 2022. Are you willing to provide a needed service to make the professional program the best it can be? Would you like to be a part of the fun? Interested in learning how these wheels run?

    We are looking for savvy reviewers who are willing to volunteer their time and talents to read and rate our incoming conference proposals. The Program Committee is looking for members who have the expertise and a good sense for selecting the best, well-grounded, and stimulating proposals!

    What will the proposals be about?

    Conference theme:

    "MIND, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY: Integrating Intercultural and Inclusion"

    The four tracks for this conference include:

    • Track 1: Mind & Body
    • Track 2: Culture
    • Track 3: Society
    • Track 4: General

    How much time do I need to allocate?

    Roughly 6-10 hours between April 15th and June 15th.

    We are asking all reviewers to review at least 5 proposals. We’re estimating that each proposal will take an hour of your time. Plus, we will be providing a 30-minute virtual, training session to walk you through the process and answer any questions.

    Do I need to be an expert in the track topics?

    No! An interest in the field, the conference theme, and a passion for reading and scoring is a plus!

    How do I sign up?

    Please state your interest using this form: https://forms.gle/V64f5hBFd5fmd5DE7

    We’d love to hear from you as soon as possible so that we can schedule reviewer training before April 15th.

    Thank you!

    Conference Program Committee


    The heart of the conference is always the professional program. It is an opportunity for conference participants to share their latest work, experiences, and ideas. The Call for Proposals (CFP)Call for Proposals (CFP) is available on the SIETAR USA Website.


    For proposals that were accepted in 2021 and are being resubmitted with MINOR changes for 2022, the deadline for notification is March 15, 2022. 2021 presenters will receive instructions for resubmittal. These sessions will be accepted for 2022. For proposals from 2021 with MAJOR changes or all NEW submissions the deadlines are as follows:

    April 15, 2022 – the Priority Deadline for submitting proposals; proposals submitted by that date will be given priority in the review process.

    April 30, 2022 – the General Submittal Deadline; proposals will be accepted through this date.


    All proposals are peer-reviewed, and notifications will be made on or around

    June 15, 2022. Requested revisions to proposal will be due by June 30, 2022.

    Conference Registration: Once selected, presenters are asked to confirm their intention to present by June 30, 2022 and are expected to register for the conference by July 15, 2022. Regretfully, as a non-profit organization, we do not have the budget to compensate for presentations or cover presenters’ registration and travel expenses. Presenters who have not registered by the July 15 deadline will be removed from the list of presenters.

    Questions: All questions and inquiries should be referred to conferenceproposals@sietarusa.org. To get started on your proposal, go to: www.sietarusa.org/2022CFP Thank you for your consideration and for taking the time to submit your proposal. We look forward to seeing you in OMAHA, Nebraska, USA!


    In our tradition, SIETAR USA will be providing scholarships for students, entrepreneurs starting out as interculturalists and DEI professionals, members who are retooling or coming into the field from a different profession. We have streamlined the application making it easier to apply for a scholarship. We are also adding some other perks, so watch for the announcement and check it out! If you do not consider yourself eligible for a scholarship, you might know someone who is. Be sure to alert them to this opportunity!!

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This essay was written by Janet Bennett for the SIETAR USA 2017 conference. It is reprinted 5 years later in this issue to underscore the importance of intercultural competence in the world today and for the contribution, the SIETAR USA conferences can make in the professional development of our members and participants in the 2022 conference.

    That Mysterious Term: Intercultural Competence

    In 1964, when asked to define obscenity, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart gained a bit of judicial fame by declaring, “I know it when I see it.”

    While intercultural competence is not that illusive, the term nevertheless seems to conjure up a very wide range of meanings. Since the SIETAR USA conference focuses in part on intercultural competence, here is a brief offering on some of the current thinking on the topic.

    First, intercultural competence is no longer the purview of only those who have focused on intercultural relations. Functioning across cultures has become a primary survival skill for professionals in many fields: organization psychology, counseling, healthcare, social work, communication, media, politics, law enforcement, security, management, training, dentistry, etc. If we work with humans, we may even be required to master such competence as part of our certification or licensure.

    Second, many of these disciplinary roads lead to a similar place, and use terms such as a global mindset, global competence, culture learning, intercultural effectiveness, multicultural competence, cultural intelligence, global leadership competence, intercultural communication competence, or, of course, intercultural competence.

    There appears to be an “emerging consensus around what constitutes intercultural competence, which is most often viewed as a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts” (Bennett, 2015).

    Third, there is a growing body of research examining

    • the approaches to competence development
    • the strengths and limits of various models and assessments
    • the most and least powerful interventions
    • the core competencies that matter most

    And, fourth, there are some things we are beginning to understand about the process of teaching and learning about competence:

    • Intercultural competence contributes to effectiveness in both global and domestic interaction.
    • Compositional diversity (diversity by the numbers) is inadequate to address inclusivity.
    • It is a rare organization indeed that has not heeded the call to address inclusivity both domestically and globally.
    • Cultural knowledge does not equal intercultural competence.
    • Interventions must be designed developmentally, and intentionally.

    Well beyond Justice Potter Stewart, we know intercultural competence when we feel it.

    Janet M. Bennett, PhD
    Intercultural Communication Institute


    Bennett, J. M. (2015). Introduction. In J. M. Bennett (Ed.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


  • 15 Apr 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month in BookMarks we have a dual agenda: one is to review a book, of course, and the other is to introduce you to an organization. And we are excited on both counts.

    First the book: Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World by Paul Bowles.

    I’m not sure what took me so long to get around to Paul Bowles, especially as one of BookMarks’ founding principles is to introduce readers to books that transcend their genre (in this case, travel writing) and become truly intercultural.  And if any book falls into that category, it’s Their Heads…

    Paul Bowles is better known as a novelist and Morocco-phile. His three, rather dark novels—The Sheltering Sky (made into a film), Let It Come Down, and The Spider’s Web—are all set in Morocco, along with many of the pieces in the book reviewed here. Bowles was one of those people who was born in the wrong country, in the sense that he did not feel especially at home or that he belonged in America—he dropped out of UVA to go live on the Left Bank—but nor does he feel he belongs anywhere else either. He lived longer in Morocco (in the medina in Tangiers) than any other place, eventually settling there after WW II. But even when he writes about Morocco, it is necessarily as an outsider, which is doubtless what makes him such an alert and sensitive observer of culture.

    Confirmed expatriate and astute traveller that he was, Bowles knew that meeting people, ideally as different from him as possible, and trying to understand them was the real value of travel. “If I am faced with the decision of choosing to visit a circus and a cathedral, a café and a public monument, or a fiesta and a museum,” he writes, “I am afraid I shall normally take the circus, the cafe, and the fiesta.”

    Their Heads includes essays set in Turkey, Ceylon (as it was then called), India, Algeria, Central America, and most notably in North Africa, where Bowles makes recordings of the music of the indigenous peoples of the Rif and Atlas Mountains for the Library of Congress. And just when you start to feel like you’ve been to one too many countries, he stops for a moment and presents a charming essay called ‘All Parrots Speak.’

    Not sure if this book is your cup of tea? Read the first paragraph:

    “Each time I go to a place I have not seen before, I hope it will be as different as possible from the places I already know.  I assume it is natural for a traveller to seek diversity, and that it is the human element which makes him most aware of difference.  If people and their manner of living were alike everywhere, there would not be much point in moving from one place to another.  With few exceptions, landscape alone is of insufficient interest to warrant the effort it takes to see it.  Even the works of man, unless they are being used in his daily living, have a way of losing their meaning, and take on the qualities of decoration.  What makes Istanbul  worthwhile to the outsider is not the presence of the mosques and the covered souks, but the fact that they still function as such.  If the people of India did not have their remarkable awareness of the importance of spiritual discipline, it would be an overwhelmingly depressing country to visit, notwithstanding its architectural wonders.  And North Africa without its tribes, inhabited by, let us say, the Swiss, would be merely a more barren California.”

    And it only gets better after that. If you like this book, all of Bowles’ travel writings have been collected in Travels: Selected Writings 1950-1993. And that title? It’s from The Jumblies by Edward Lear:

    Far and few, few and far,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live,
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
    And they went to sea in a Sieve.

     The World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence

    Our other agenda this month in BookMarks is to introduce SIETAR folks to The World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence which, according to its website (iccglobal.org) is “a global non-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to connecting researchers and practitioners across disciplines, sectors, languages and countries to advance the knowledge, research and praxis of intercultural competence globally in the pursuit of a more peaceful world.”

    Instead of just paraphrasing the site, we thought we’d do a brief interview its founder, Darla Deardorff,  to round out our introduction.

    Can you describe how this idea came about? You must have seen a gap that needed filling or something that was missing? 

    When I was engaged in my doctoral research on intercultural competence, I saw that each discipline seemed to have its own researchers and practitioners engaged with intercultural competence within that discipline but they were looking at ICC within a disciplinary vacuum without connecting with others beyond that discipline.  I saw a  need for ICC researchers in particular to be able to connect with each other across disciplines.  Then, when doctoral students from different places around the world began contacting me, I wanted to find a way for them to connect with each other as well as me, thus leading to my founding the Council, which is now a community of over 2000 globally.

    What’s the nicest thing you can imagine someone saying about the ICCG? 

    That the World Council connects those around the world and has a huge ripple effect in ultimately building a more peaceful world. 

    You are an intercultural author, so we’d also like to ask two of our standard author questions: What is one of the most significant, most memorable cross-cultural experiences you have had?  Wow, there are several: Being in the Soviet Union during the Cold War and being so warmly welcomed by our "enemy", being tear-gassed in Istanbul—and the kindness of strangers.

    If you could pass on only one insight/one lesson learned to others about crossing cultures, what would you say? Seek first to understand, including listening for understanding, not for response or judgment.








  • 15 Apr 2022 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kathy Ellis

    Poetry Editor of Poetry Crossings

    What do poets, translators, and peace dreamers have in common? They joined forces from around the world to support Ukraine and a program called "Voices for Ukraine - Words Together Worlds Apart."

    On the afternoon of March 1st, the event was delayed due to massive interest, as hundreds of participants came into the Zoom meeting. Dear readers, in attendance there were over 850 poets, translators, and peace dreamers, largely Ukrainians, Americans, and Russians on 34 pages of Zoom. Featured poets read in Ukrainian, English, and Russian, and many poems were translated. Can you imagine the task of translating poetry?

    By happenstance, I came across this event listed on Carolyn Forché’s Facebook page. Carolyn is one of the prominent American poet voices calling out injustices, earning quite a following and is an influencer. Carolyn had the honor to be the first reader. Ilya Kaminsky, a well-known Ukrainian writer residing in Atlanta, was a featured poet as well. Also present, eight notable Ukrainian poets were calling in from Ukraine.

    How can a person offer justice to describe the power and feelings of this deeply moving event? I invite you to listen to the video that is linked below:

    Voices for Ukraine - Words Together, Worlds Apart - YouTube

    “Hosts Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach and Olga Livshin unite Ukrainian poets and their translators alongside US poet allies in Voices for Ukraine, part of the reading series “Words Together, Worlds Apart.” Voices for Ukraine brought together transatlantic listeners, spanning from Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv, to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Little Rock, and beyond. Poets and translators shared work LIVE as well as some recordings of Ukrainian poets who were unable to join the event.”

    *Recording is 2.5 hours, but even 30 minutes would be worth your while.


    Extra! Extra! Read all about it…

    Poets Reading The News is “journalism in verse” and offers poets a chance to respond what is in the news. You may find a poem or two that works well with your classes, trainings, and coaching.


    Below is one such poem:


    Published on March 5, 2022  in Ukraine/World  by Sue Eisenfeld

    The rabbi from Odessa has bought enough food
    To feed his congregation for a year:1
    Sugar, macaroni, canned fruit.
    He has arranged security and evacuation buses, too.
    In a place that was once the third largest Jewish population in the world,
    Home to forty synagogues,
    They remember the hangings in the streets, the burnings in the square,
    Murders in the basements.
    The whole of Odessa is a tomb.2

    In a bed next to mine, my grandmother from Kiev
    Used to wake up from nightmares, screaming.
    From under my covers, in those childhood nights,
    I was afraid of the ghosts in her eyes.
    She could never shake the chill of Russia
    And died at 60.

    Now, her blood is still bound up within me.
    Amid the thunk of trench digging, the thunder of war,
    Are trading shawls for helmets and camouflage gear,
    Taking up arms and training for combat.
    And I hear her quivering voice
    Echoing through the streets of Kyiv.
    “Bubelah,” she whispers this time,
    “When an invader comes, I will resist, and I will be furious.” 3
    The worst thing in life is not death, she taught me;
    It is being afraid.4
                                           —for Marcine
    1. Rabbi Avraham Wolff, New York Times
    2. Njusia Verkhovskaya, New York Times
    3. Valentina Konstantinovska, BBC
    4. Ruth Salton, New York Times

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

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


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright