14th Dealing with Difference Institute
May 21 - 22, 2007
University Union, Western Illinois University
The 14th Dealing with Difference Institute was held May 21 and 22, 2007 in the University Union at Western Illinois University. The conference theme was "Intercultural Communication" a theme that should be of importance to all educators, whether they are working with preK-12 students or with college and university students. Participants will be invited to consider the theoretical underpinnings of intercultural communication but also to investigate pragmatic applications and strategies that promote successful communication and interaction across cultures.
The DWDI hopes to provide the opportunity for participants to explore many issues. Among them are: basic assumptions about intercultural communication and interaction; cultural patterns of thinking and behaving; the impact of cultural values on communication; the relationship between domestic and global cultural competence; anticipating and successfully navigating difficult cross-cultural dialogues; and schools and campuses as places to develop deliberate intercultural encounters.
The DWDI is sponsored by Western Illinois University’s Expanding Cultural Diversity Project and by the Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity.
- Dr. Kevin Fahey
- Dr. Franklin T. Thompson
- Dr. John R. Baldwin
- Dr. Ana Louise Keating
- Kent L. Koppelman
- J.Q. Adams, Gloria Delany-Barmann, Isabel Lamptey, and Mohammad Siddiqi
- Semenya McCord
Dr. Kevin Fahey, a professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts, has worked to implement the core ideas of professional community, democratic practice, and facilitative leadership into his 25 years of professional work as a teacher, high school department chair, district curriculum director, and school principal. In addition to his ten years of work with the National School Reform Faculty in Bloomington, Indiana, where he serves as National Coordinator of Research, Professor Fahey has longstanding relationships with the Coalition of Essential Schools and Project Zero at Harvard University. Currently, he is Senior Program Associate with the Intercultural Resource Corporation (IRC), an organization that works nationally and internationally to help individuals and organizations expose and explore, in a public way, the deep cultural assumptions that can support or limit individual and organizational learning. Having completed his doctoral studies in Organization and Leadership at Columbia University, Professor Fahey also works with cohorts of aspiring school leaders to both understand the challenges and learn the skills of facilitative leadership, equitable practice, and cultural competence.
For the Dealing with Difference Institute, Dr. Fahey will present "What Do We Talk About? How Do We Talk About It? What Difference Does It Make?," an examination of how the tools of intercultural analysis can be used to understand well hidden cultural assumptions about such categories as space, time, identity, power, and politics. Dr. Fahey suggests that such an intercultural understanding can support learning at the individual and organizational level. This interactive session will use video clips from The Intercultural Classroom (IRC) to encourage participants to describe, surface, and question the multi-layered cultural assumptions that are a part of the diverse environment of educational institutions.
In Dr. Fahey’s second presentation, "What Do We Think and What Decisions Do We Make?," participants will examine how understanding cultural differences in decision making, teamwork, and leadership style can be an indispensable tool in meeting the challenges posed by cultural diversity, especially in educational institutions. The focal point for the conversation will be a documentary, The Intercultural Conference Room (IRC), which surfaces how individuals from diverse backgrounds solve problems of organizational practice. The session is designed to encourage participants not only to think about others’ fundamental cultural assumptions but also, and most importantly, about their own.
Dr. Franklin T. Thompson teaches courses in human relations, race relations, urban education, and counseling in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Besides his university teaching, over the years he has spoken to thousands of students in K-12 schools on such topics as civics, violence prevention, bullying, at-risk behavior, decision making, and race relations. His publications include articles on television viewing and academic achievement, environmental characteristics and student achievement, ebonic myths, the affirmative action and social policy views of a select group of students, and the relationship between student perceptions of ethical climate and student retention. Among the articles he is currently working on is "The Critical Multicultural Initiative: Best Practices and Teaching Strategies." Besides his extensive teaching and research, Professor Thompson serves as an elected representative on the Omaha City Council and as a board member for several civic and church organizations. He has also produced several music albums.
In his workshop for the DWDI, Professor Thompson will focus on "Interactive Diversity Teaching Techniques."The session will explore various teaching strategies aimed at getting students to make a head-to-heart connection when studying diversity education. The techniques employed are based on the works of Paulo Freire (critical pedagogy), Augusto Boal (Image and Forum Theater), the University of Nebraska-Omaha Pathways to Harmony program, and Anti-Defamation League Prejudice Elimination Workshop principles. The workshop will be divided into two distinct parts, with participants having the choice of attending one or both sessions.
Part 1 of the workshop will be devoted to sharing with conference participants various exercises they can incorporate into classes and workshops that aim to educate teachers, counselors, and other professionals about the importance of multiculturalism and diversity. Part 2 of the workshop will be devoted to interactive activities that lead to a critical analysis and discussion of controversial topics in diversity education, such as reparations and Affirmative Action. It will also introduce Forum Theater, an interactive technique that encourages "spec-actors" (audience participants) to engage in the collaborative problem solving process.
John Baldwin is Associate Professor of Communication at Illinois State University. He has taught communication theory and intercultural communication at graduate and undergraduate levels the last 12 years and is director of the Communication Studies of the School of Communication. His research and teaching interests include both domestic and international diversity (e.g., interethnic and intercultural communication), especially issues of group difference and (in)tolerance. He has multiple journal articles as well as book chapters in intercultural communication readers. He recently co-edited a book on communication theory and another book that analyzes the notion of "culture" from several different disciplinary perspectives. Additionally, he is interested in the social construction of "gender" and "race" in Latin America, including their construction through Brazilian popular music. He is comfortable conversing in Spanish and Portuguese as well as in English.
In his presentation, "How Do We Teach Culturally? And How Do We Teach Culture?," Dr. Baldwin will extend Dr. Fahey's concepts of culture and difference from teamwork and decision making to the role of the teacher in the diverse classroom. He will begin by presenting some commonly used frameworks from education, business, psychology, sociology, and anthropology for understanding cultural difference, noting how these might apply to teachers with culturally diverse students or international teachers in classrooms in the U.S.A. After a video application of these concepts, he will turn to a critique of the commonly used concepts to question the very nature of what culture is and how we discuss it. He will review findings from his recent book that summarize the way that definitions of culture have changed in the last 50 years, and note the ethical implications for the teacher teaching in a culturally diverse classroom, as well as for the teacher specifically teaching culture.
AnaLouise Keating, professor of women’s studies at Texas Woman’s University, has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in women’s studies, composition, and literature. Her books include Teaching Transformation: Transcultural Classroom Dialogues; EntreMundos/Among Worlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzald
In a presentation titled "Transformational Multiculturalism, Transcultural Dialogues, and Social Change," Professor Keating argues that both students and teachers can be changed through their explorations of multicultural issues and themes. She will explore what she calls transformational multiculturalism – a holistic approach that addresses multiple, interrelated differences among people (such as ability/health, economic status, ethnicity/"race," gender, nationality, region, religion, and sexuality) and will discuss some of the strategies and tactics she has developed. These include a pedagogy of invitation, listening with raw openness, relational reading, and (de)racialized teaching. She will offer participants concrete suggestions, drawn from her own teaching experiences, designed to invite student transformation.
Dr. Kent L. Koppelman, graduated from the University of Nebraska and taught high school English and social studies in Nebraska, Connecticut, and Iowa before earning his PhD from Iowa State University and accepting a position at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. For more than 25 years, he has taught primarily in the area of diversity and multicultural education and in 1988 he was selected Teacher Educator of the Year by Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction. The first of his three books, The Fall of a Sparrow: Of Death and Dreams and Healing, was prompted by the tragic death of his son Jason in a car accident. His second, Values in the Key of Life: Making Harmony in the Human Community, consists of essays about conflicting values, and his third, Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education for a Diverse America, is a textbook now in its second edition.
Dr. Koppelman will present “Cross-Cultural Relations Beyond the Campus” for the DWDI. Based on the conviction that schooling is meant to prepare students to function effectively in society, not just as workers but as individuals, community members, and neighbors, he will stress the need for all students, whether in preK-12 schools or colleges and universities, to develop skills in cross-cultural relations and intercultural communication that prepare them for their lives as adults. In addition, Dr. Koppelman will track recent developments that promote intercultural relations in different sectors of society.
Dr. J.Q. Adams, a professor in the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Illinois University, earned a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2005 he was named outstanding teacher in the College of Education and Human Services. He has focused primarily on multicultural education throughout his teaching career and is a respected consultant, presenter, and curriculum development specialist in K-12 schools and school systems as well as colleges, universities and community organizations. He co-authored Multicultural Films: A Reference Guide and has co-edited a series of books on multicultural education, including Cultural Diversity: Classroom, Curriculum, and Climate Issues.
Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies and coordinates the Bilingual/ESL Education program at Western Illinois University. She holds degrees in language studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, in Spanish from the University of Oregon, and in curriculum and instruction from Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include language maintenance and revitalization and bilingual teacher training in the USA and abroad. She has received separate Fulbright grants for work in Guatemala and in Bolivia and has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.
Dr. Mohammad A. Siddiqi directs the Journalism program at WIU where he has been teaching since 1987. He has published three books and more than two dozen articles in refereed journals and periodicals and has traveled extensively in North America and more than thirty countries of the world giving lectures, conducting media workshops, and organizing sessions on Islam and related topics. Professor Siddiqi chairs the Islam and Media Working Group in the International Association of Media and Communication Research, is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, and serves as the Secretary General of the World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relations.
Isabel Lamptey, who was raised in England in a Ghanaian-German household, is an international educator whose teaching experiences began in an inner city London school. This set the tone for a career shaped by diversity and travel. Prior to coming to the USA, she taught English at both secondary school and university levels for eight years in Japan and spent extended periods of time in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. At Western Illinois University she supervises pre-service teachers through the Center for Education Professionals and teaches Multicultural and Social Foundations of Education in the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Before brief closing remarks by Dr. J.Q. Adams, Western Illinois University faculty members, Dr. Adams, Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann, Isabel Lamptey, and Dr. Mohammad Siddiqi, will lead a discussion on “Navigating Cross-Cultural Encounters in the USA and Beyond.” They will base their observations and reflections on their experiences living, working, and studying in multiple cultural settings. Articulating perspectives as individuals who grew up in the USA or who came to this country as adults, collectively their experiences have been remarkably inclusive and should prove illuminating for others interested in deepening their understanding of cross-cultural interaction.
On Monday evening, DWDI participants have the option of having dinner together in WIU's Alumni House. The dinner will be prepared by Earl Bracey and several of his colleagues and will allow participants time to socialize as well as to carry on the discussions initiated by the institute presenters. Following dinner, Semenya McCord, a jazz vocalist who has returned to the midwest after a successful career in the New England states, will perform. As Artistic Director of Hemisphere Associates, a collaboration of New England performing artists, she directed annual tributes to the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the music of Billie Holliday, and community events like Kaleidoscope, a celebration of cultural diversity through the arts. She has received many awards, including Outstanding Jazz Vocalist from Boston Music Awards and induction into the "Steppin' Out" Jazz Hall of Fame in Boston. Her musical interests encompass teaching and compostion as well as performance, spirituals and blues as well as jazz. For more on Semenya McCord, go to www.semenyamccord.com
DWDI Planning Committee members include: J. Q. Adams, Western Illinois University; Richard Hazley, Trinity Higher Education Corporation; Frances Murphy, Eastern Illinois University; Joyce Reed, Lincoln College; William O. Miller, Principia College; and Janice R. Welsch, Western Illinois University. [an error occurred while processing this directive]