The Answer to Yesterday’s Question on Defining Diversity

 I am admittedly a woman of action.  I see something broken, and I want to fix it.  In the annals of ‘how to lists’ advising employees to get noticed, there’s the advice if you see a problem have at least one suggestion solution to present to the boss before you go in and speak to…

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How Recognizing Unconscious Bias Could Have Helped Prevent Racist Event at Valley Swim Club

 I know everyone has moved onto the Henry Louis Gates story, which is awful-I would be furious if that happened to me-oh, wait, it did, after I accidentally set the alarm off in our new house before I knew the code.  When the police arrived I said something coy like “I have absolutely nothing in…

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Putting the ‘Multicultural’ in Multicultural Marketing

 Talking about racial identity and multiculturalism is trendy, and what good marketer doesn’t immediately exploit a trend to make a buck?  Take a look at these three ads that incorporate interracial themes in the creative development of the ad for their client: Starburst-Multiculturalism is the “punch-line” (by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York) This ad builds an analogy…

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Intercultural Communications and Mother-in-Laws

 My favorite story about my mother-in-law is this: It had to have been 1989 or ‘90, and Dona Antonia was visiting us in Boston from Brazil.  Because the trip was long, she usually stayed for two or three months once she was there. When Mãe (pronounced ‘my,’ Portuguese for mom) visited, she readily cared for…

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Politically Correct Language Does Nothing for Blatant Racism

Comedian Elon James White’s take on Pool Racism In intercultural communications, the emphasis is on cultural understanding and appreciating that sometimes people might unintentially offend because of unconscious bias. Such was not the case with 60 African American children who were kicked out of a pool at a private club in Philadelphia, being told that…

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An Oxymoron in Networking and Diversity: A Jewish Sky Diver

A few years ago I was with a group of women socializing after work, and we were talking about experiences of going camping growing up.  Each shared her memories, and then turned to me for ‘my turn.’  All I could think of was “We’re Jewish.  We don’t camp.” Such was the reaction today during a workshop…

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Get Smart, The Cold War, Russian Spies, and Family Time

I shared with my husband the article in yesterday’s New York Times, about President Obama’s decision to give a meeting with Prime Minister Putin a backseat to some time with his family.   From an intercultural communications perspective, it struck me as 100% against the grain–the entire idea is to understand your counterpart’s orientation and frame…

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