The Cultural Detective team is very pleased to announce the release of one of our most requested and highly anticipated packages — Cultural Detective African American! It is now available both in Cultural Detective Online and via site license.
Cultural Detective® African American explores the complexities of the culture and examines the values and communication styles of this community in an effort to bridge cultural gaps and support more inclusive groups, communities, and workplaces. It joins other domestic diversity packages in the series, including Cultural Detective Generational Harmony, Cultural Detective Women and Men, Cultural Detective LGBT, and the soon-to-be-released, Cultural Detective Latino/Hispanic.
Below, a message from package co-author Kelli McLoud Schingen:
I facilitated an Advanced Leadership Institute for the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference January 17-20th, and thought that this would be the perfect place to pilot the Cultural Detective African American package that I co-authored with Patricia M. Coleman. There were 25 male and female upper-level students from universities all over the U.S., prepared for an intensive three-day workshop with me on leadership skills and cultural self-awareness. I spent the first day building trust and laying the foundation for the weekend. I facilitated activities that took the students on an exploration of their leadership styles, emotional intelligence, personality types and finally, cultural self-awareness.
On the last day I Introduced the Cultural Detective, the purpose and intent of it, and the extensive research and in-depth process that Patricia and I went through to develop the tool. Understandably, the students met the tool with a great deal of suspicion. To say they were skeptical would be a gross understatement. I implored the students to stay with me and trust the process. The students started by working on the critical incidents in the package. I then asked the small groups to present on their findings. They were surprised that there was so much to consider and really convinced that the only valid perspective was the perspective and values of the African American “character” in the incident. I spent a great deal of time sharing how we view things through our own cultural lens, and then I unveiled the African American Values Lens. It didn’t take long for the students to be sold on the process and the values as I walked them through the positive and negative interpretations of each value. They seemed to be having fun and were fully engaged. Many of them commented just how grateful they were to FINALLY have words to describe their feelings, experiences, and cultural norms that they’ve inherited. They laughed at themselves and each other as they peeled back the onion of culture, and were grateful for the opportunity to explore cultural difference in this way. When I asked if they felt that the tool was an authentic representation of African American values they said, “Absolutely Ms. Kelli!” Then I thought, “I guess we’re ready for launch.”
SIETAR Florida will honor Black History Month 2013 with a dialogue entitled, “Am I Black or African American?” via teleconference. Featuring co-authors of Cultural Detective African American, Kelli McLoud-Schingen, Immediate Past President of SIETAR USA, and Patricia Coleman, President of SIETAR Florida. Please join us on Wednesday February 13, 2013 at 13h Miami time (1pm EST/12 CST/11MST/10PST).
Please RSVP by February 11th.
Access the event via conference line:
Dial-in Number: (559) 726-1000
Participant Access Code: 857895
I just had a chance to review the newly released Cultural Detective: African-American, by Kelli McCloud-Schingen and Patricia Coleman, as well as talk to the authors yesterday in the teleconference on the topic of “Black versus African-American.” Normally, I don’t review items in this series, not just because I’m the co-author of several, but because the formula for their success both in printed versions and now online hardly requires special notice for the individual items which now number well over 50.
However, in this case I think a word is necessary. Necessary, particularly because my suspicion is that most folks reading the title twill probably think largely in terms of diversity and inclusion, rather than in terms of culture. While these issues are at a certain point inseparable, one of the weak points of the diversity movement in the USA has been to imagine itself as intercultural, with little attention, and sometimes fear of dealing with the attitudes and values of targeted groups. There is still a lot of sensitivity here. Consequently when people, particularly outside the US, see publications focused on US minorities, they may think to dismiss them as some of the same-old, same-old diversity stuff.
That is not the case here. This is truly a work of intercultural significance, despite the fact that the participant guide runs to only about 30 pages. First of all, the introduction, slightly longer than the average instrument in this series is absolutely brilliant. It gives the user an overview that is rich, thoughtful, insightful, even for, perhaps particularly for US Americans who tend to see racial issues one at a time, without a sense of heritage and culture in their historical context. But it is certainly what outsiders need and should want to know in order to work well with African-Americans.
For the many expats going from other parts of the world to the USA, there is usually a question of, “What should I know about… How should I behave around… What should I avoid when dealing with African-Americans?” This instrument helps you cut to the chase, not by offering “kiss, bow, and shake hands tips” but providing insight into the values, strengths, and sensitivities peculiar to a part of the US population who are still to a great degree consciously heirs of a trajectory anchored in slavery, passing through personal pain even while also arriving in corporate boardrooms and occupying the Oval Office. This is a solid cultural perspective on the discourse, on the story that leads to the core values of African-Americans today, in all their diversity, and in contexts where bias and discrimination are still possible obstacles to appreciating cultural identity.
So, if you are preparing expats to go to the USA, or if you are one, this is an important tool, and now one of several dealing with internal cultural dimensions of the very diverse USA, now available in the easily accessible online versions of Cultural Detective
George, my apologies for having not responded to your review sooner, here (I know I responded elsewhere). Thank you for this. I so agree with your words, and you express them so much more meaningfully than I am able. Appreciate your review, and congrats to all involved in CD African American. May it do MUCH good work in this world!
yes, George! Your input is so valuable. I know we have exchanged some of blog emails and conversations. More to come here 😉
Kelli and Patricia – many congratulations on this very important Cultural Detective package! I truly cannot wait to read it and use it. And what an amazing story about piloting it with African American university students – that was one tough test to pass! : ) Cheers to both of you!
Thank you Rebecca!
Have any older African American educators or cultural anthropologists reviewed this material? There is quite a difference in opinion when looking at a whole culture through a different generation.
Thank you for your input, Jacquelyn. Indeed, there are many variations within every culture, due to individual differences, generational, spiritual, socio-economic differences, among others. Yes, each CD package is reviewed by several experts prior to publication. The core CD Method, as you no doubt know, is a Worksheet which encourages people to get to know themselves and others as individuals as well as influenced by multiple cultures. And we encourage users to “nest” or use multiple Lenses to aid in discovering which of their multiple cultures influences them when and how. We would welcome your review once you’ve taken a look. CD African American is in our CD Online tool, a very affordable resources, particularly since it can be projected for classroom or coaching use. Thanks for joining us to build cross-cultural competence!
Dear Ms. Lewis-Harris,
Thanks so much for your reply. I am happy to note that the Cultural Detective African American contributors and subjects for the critical incidents covered 4 generations – Y Generation, X Generation, Boomers, and Traditionals. The early contributions to the Values lens were co-created by Boomers and Traditionals only to have 2 values tweaked by an X Gen (myself) and a X Gen/Boomer (Mrs. Coleman). I would love an opportunity to chat with you more in-depth about what gaps you see the package has with regard to generational difference. I welcome your reply with an open heart and willingness to learn.
Co-Author, Cultural Detective: African American
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