March 30, 2021
At CRAICNI, our commitment as an organisation has always been to work towards a more understanding and tolerant society of cultural values through training and education. In doing so, we believe that cultural awareness will help sustain and strengthen the environment we live in. Working with all sector on approaches to cultural relations and equality is an important aspect of our work.
Increasing migration from newer communities, asylum seekers and refugees, economic migrants has meant an increase in the need to understand different cultures and build improved relationships.
There is lots of evidence to suggest that racism and xenophobia exists across UK and Europe due to a breakdown on understanding difference. However, diversity and diverse communities add and enrich a society and the first steps are to be comfortable in one’s own culture and embrace other cultures to make a more tolerant, inclusive and successful society for all that enables people to make a difference wherever they are residing.
One of the ways to enable this is through training and education. At CRAICNI and at our training and educational organizations with our partners in Turkey, Italy and Greece, we recognized the need when we work with communities from employment to community development that delivering and celebrating our cultures support social cohesion and integration through sharing in many forms about culture whether by learning each other’s music, playing sports together, creating art, learning a language, eating food, costume and many other ways, these cultural aspects are important to real understanding about differences.
At times the fusion of cultures as seen throughout history has brought about great change. Recommendations from the ERASMUS+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy by the European Commission 2014 identifies the need to provide tools for inclusion and diversity through strategic partnerships and innovative practices. Practices that can be adapted to particular target groups and encourage online resources.
CRAICNI training team identified that training for trainers in cultural awareness was needed of which our partners also agreed. Research into this area,' Training across cultures: and 'Designing intercultural education and training programs: An evidence-based approach,' WG Stephan, CW Stephan - International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2013 - Elsevier highlighted the benefits of intercultural education and training programmes to wider communities whilst 'Training across cultures: What intercultural trainers bring to diversity training,' Mumford Fowler S. 2005, recognised the importance of intercultural trainers. Furthermore, the Welcome Bureau, Germany in 2017, where it is one the European countries receiving high levels of migration also experienced no training for cultural diversity which was offered as part of the 'integration/ orientation' training to new communities.
On Tuesday 30th March 2021, we are delighted to be presenting with our partner organisation, MAPS, Music, Arts and Peace, Scotland, ‘Culture Shapes Values: Cultural Awareness Supporting Training through Innovation’, bringing together local and international speakers representing a diverse range of skills and experience in the diversity, equality and inclusion sector from Northern Ireland and beyond to discuss and share our findings of our project with their perspectives on how we created the change and culture shift required to build a stronger, healthier world through the training of trainers in cultural awareness.
Throughout the half-day, we will be hosting a number of panels, discussing a range of areas, including sources and challenges, training practice, adapting and strengthening DEI models, and corporate social responsibility, quality and leadership. We will also be platforming a number of NI initiatives that work with Scotland that are pioneering in the media through a series of interviews/talks to share how they are engaged in promoting cultural awareness and diversity from authentic lived experiences and professionalism with a vision to a more inclusive and understanding society.
We hope you can join us for these thought-provoking sessions which will include creativity as we look forward to how we can all build a stronger, more culturally aware society that cultivates respect, appreciates inclusion across cultures in this world.