Capturing the Moment that Launched my Intercultural Revolution

I’m often asked “what got you started in your interest in intercultural communications?”  Sometimes I say it was born inside of me, referencing the names of my pet black and gold fish at age 10, Martin Luther Fish and Golda My-Fish respectively (what 10 year old names their fish that?).  Other times I refer to…

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Kids Intercultural Video Movie Review: “Babies” Documentary

Probably not billed as a kids movie (more “gratuitous” nudity than the average PG movie) but Dillon and I were excited to see “Babies,” the documentary, which follows the lives of four babies during their developmental years (from birth to walking):  Ponijao from Namibia, Bayarijargal from remote Mongolia, Mari in Tokyo, Japan, and Hattie in…

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Cute Racoons? Think Again! Racial-Ethnic Stereotypes Abound in Furry Vengeance

Remember the 1958 film The Blob, with its big red amorphous goo rolling and taking over the town, absorbing the minds of young people who were not strong enough to resist?  Of course the “BIG RED BLOB” was none too subtle a reference to the Red Scare and fear of Communism taking over the US.  Russia’s…

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The Anti-Stereotype: Men in a Laundry Ad

Is this the first ever laundry related commercial that doesn’t feature women doing the laundry?  Granted it’s not full fledged clothes washing, but hats off to Saatchi & Saatchi for thinking outside the gender stereotype box in this catchy and effective ad for Tide to Go.  They’re talking fashion, it’s guys night out…and it’s laundry! …

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Hey Frank DeFord: Violence Against Women is Not a USAmerican Majority Value

Dear Frank DeFord, meet your new friend, Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.  Perhaps he knows your other friend Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, accused of sexually assaulting a 20 year-old girl, who you defended as just “boys being boys” in your editorial on NPR last week. Okay,…

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What Nationality is Cinco de Mayo?

I found out from my Chinese-American friend (my designation-not sure how he self-identifies) on his Facebook update today that he felt misled by what he thought was a traditional Mexican holiday.  However, he discovered and shared that: Cinco de Mayo is only a big deal in America. It’s not even a holiday in Mexico…It’s actually a Hallmark Holiday!!!…

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Watching Movies to Hone Your Cross-Cultural Skills

Usually I’m calling out films for perpetuating stereotypes about other cultures, but movies also can be a gift–a window offering deep insights into other cultures.  In fact, in studying Comparative Literature as an undergrad at Indiana University, the arts (literature, visual arts, film, music, dance, etc.) were all evaluated via the lens of the society…

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Swapping Races to Reveal Unconscious Bias and Privilege

  I need to go take a shower. I just caught myself talking to my husband’s kindly Indian colleague over the phone like he was an idiot, plus I read this article by Tim Wise “Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black,” and realized I am guilty. (This is a must read!) One, because looking…

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