WED, JULY 17, 2024
The 9th Cultural Talk for Diversity & Inclusion
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The 9th Cultural Talk for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Jane Jihye Kim
  • 승인 2024.06.16 13:46
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The 9th Cultural Talk for Diversity & Inclusion event was held virtually on June 15, 2024, under the theme "Facilitation Journeys in East Africa." Three professional facilitators shared their experiences and journeys working as facilitators in Africa. The event was skillfully moderated by Sophie Dowden, who guided the discussions and ensured a smooth flow of conversation throughout the event.

First Speaker: Sophie Kange

The first speaker, Sophie Kange, an independent consultant and regional director for IAF Africa based in Kampala, Uganda, delivered a compelling talk on the importance of cultural diversity and collaboration. She emphasized the significance of stepping outside one's comfort zone to engage with diverse cultures. Drawing on her experiences in Uganda and Ethiopia, she highlighted how these encounters enriched both her personal and professional life. Kange underscored the importance of cultural sensitivity and community building to promote peace and understanding in diverse settings. She concluded by urging the audience to embrace diversity and use it to create a richer, more inclusive world, stating, "When faced with challenges, turning them into opportunities for growth and learning from diverse perspectives is crucial."

Second Speaker: John Kingsley Cornwell

The second speaker, John Kingsley Cornwell, a freelance facilitator from Mombasa, Kenya, captivated the audience with his insights on justice, equality, and the power of diversity. His talk, titled "Moments in My Facilitation and Life Journey," stressed the importance of storytelling and personal growth in community work. Cornwell recounted his early involvement in youth projects in the UK and his extensive facilitation work across Africa, reflecting his passion for social change and justice. With over 30 years of experience in community development, he shared moments from his journey dedicated to fostering inclusive societies. Cornwell highlighted the need for self-awareness and the importance of individuals sharing their own stories to counter dominant narratives. He addressed systemic injustice, quoting Desmond Tutu: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor," and stressed the need for active engagement in creating a more equitable world. Concluding his speech, Cornwell shared his belief in the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which emphasizes interconnectedness: "We are people because of other people. Our lives gain meaning through our connections with others."

Third Speaker: Irene Maweu

The third speaker, Irene Maweu, delivered an impactful message about creating inclusive and equitable online spaces. She shared the principles of "intentional equity," embodying these values by welcoming participants of all backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical abilities. Her approach ensures everyone has a voice by limiting individual speaking time to maximize participation and facilitate a rich exchange of ideas. Irene encouraged positive interactions, shared community agreements, and stressed the need for continuous improvement of digital skills. She highlighted her experiences in promoting digital skills among facilitators in Africa and beyond, advocating for an inclusive, playful, and personalized approach to learning. Irene concluded with a call for embracing digital inclusivity, encouraging everyone to think about how to make their digital spaces more accessible and welcoming for all.

 

The 9th Cultural Talk for Diversity & Inclusion was enriched by active participation from individuals sharing their thoughts and opinions. The diverse audience included participants from Europe, Africa, Indonesia, America, Spain, India, and Korea. This forum served as a platform for meaningful dialogue and reflection, promoting greater awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion in society.

For further questions or inquiries about this event, please contact the organizer, Jane Jihye Kim, at janekimjh@naver.com.


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