Obama Is Black. McCain is White.

Okay, now I’ve said it, so what’s next?  Traditional diversity trainings and rules of political correctness dictate you should suppress that instinct to notice race or be declared a racist.  The fact is that categorization is an innate survival response dating back to the era of the hunter/gatherer:  Edible, non-edible? Male-female?  Friend-foe?  Rather than suppress…

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What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

30 years ago the place where you learned about other countries was in foreign language class. I learned all about the government, cultures and history of countries throughout Central and South America in Spanish class. It seems incredulous that this has not changed, so many years later and after such drastic changes in the growth…

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“To Do List” for the Right to Vote as an Intercultural Communications Issue

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock.  A couple of weeks ago I expressed surprise at the anticipated Civil Rights violations related to the upcoming election, and sent a call out to get some other perspectives.  Thanks to everyone who responded. Despite the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which protects the right to vote, “Americans…

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Concerns About Civil Rights Violations in the November Elections and Delegating Your Personal Communications (Not!)

 When I took over as Executive Director of a not-for-profit trade association a few years ago, I quickly uncovered some deep financial problems that preceded my arrival but demanded my immediate attention.  To fill the gap of day-to-day staff management while I focused on organizational issues, I delegated ‘being nice’ to the Managing Director.  He…

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“Harley Rider” Event Broadens Definition of Culture in Intercultural Communications

I got an unexpected lesson in Cross-Cultural Communications last week at the “Almost Home” celebration at Kegel Harley Davidson in Rockford, IL.  Looking across the field of hundreds of ‘bikers’ wearing faded Levi’s and t-shirts, I felt consciously aware of my striped Capri pants and tailored shirt.  “There are no other children here,” I also…

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Communicating Across Lines of Difference: The “Art” of Living with Parkinson’s Disease

 The term intercultural communications refers to communicating with people across lines of difference.  As the word implies that can be cultural difference, such as heritage or ethnicity, but it can also be across lines of ability. I am reminded of this as I help to prepare volunteers for an event I have planned for a…

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