1 Minute Intervention to Reduce Prejudice Through Logic

Applied ICD

Berger, Michele W. (October 7, 2019). A simple intervention enduringly reduces anti-Muslim sentiment. Penn Today.

“Research from the Annenberg School for Communication found that calling out the hypocrisy of collective blame—holding an entire group that’s not our own responsible for acts of a single person—significantly lessened hostile sentiments toward that group…Emile Bruneau, who runs the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, wanted to understand why collective blame—holding an entire population responsible for the acts of a single person belonging to that group—happens and how challenging it might be to change. He and colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Granada found that by using a simple, one-minute intervention, they could reduce anti-Muslim sentiment on the spot. What’s more, the effect held when tested again a month, and a year later.

“For the experimental group, participants went through what the researchers dubbed a “Collective Blame Hypocrisy” intervention at the initial encounter. First, participants read three descriptions of violence committed by white Europeans like Anders Breivik, a right-wing extremist who went on a shooting rampage, killing 77 people in Norway in 2011. After each example, participants rated how responsible they felt white Europeans were as a group, and how responsible they personally were, for those attacks.

“Next, they read a description of the 2015 Islamic State–led violence in Paris, accompanied by the biography of a Muslim woman named Fatima Wahid who owned a bakery there. How responsible were Fatima and others like her, participants were asked, for the violence they’d just read about? “The Spaniards who went through the simple exercise replied with a 10 on the 100-point scale,” Bruneau says. “That’s a fourfold difference from the control group.” Responses to questions about participants’ anti-Muslim sentiments (which included those assessing support for allowing Muslim refugees into Spain and for anti-Muslim policies such as closing down mosques in Spain) also improved for those who did the intervention.

“That difference in perception remained steady even a year out—the finding Bruneau says he is most excited by. “A one-minute, logical activity shook the collective blame of Muslims enough that anti-Muslim sentiments were less than the control group a full year later,” he says.

Original publication citation:
Bruneau, E., Kteily, N. S., & Urbiola, A. (2019). A collective blame hypocrisy intervention enduringly reduces hostility towards Muslims. Nature Human Behavior.

Xenophobil: Solution to Xenophobia

Applied ICDThe Exelixis Institute, an NGO working with youth in Greece, and the Embassy of Norway in Greece joined together to create and distribute a pseudo-drug, Xenophobil, as part of a creative public campaign against xenophobia and racism starting in 2013. Packages are still being distributed in 2019, most recently at the the European Day of Languages celebration held at the Norwegian Embassy in Greece.

NOTE: The video is in Greek, because this is a Greek project.

The main focus of the campaign is to defend the right to diversity and the value of peaceful coexistence. Xenophobil, a “drug” that relieves the symptoms of xenophobia and treats patients with a satirical recipe which makes everybody smile while reading the leaflet and tasting the sweet chewing gum, has been distributed by the thousands.

Excerpt from the pamphlet in the box:

“Xenophobic Symptoms”:

       * Patients consider civilizations and cultures as fixed entities that cannot be changed evaluating their own culture as the most important of the scale and underestimating the other cultures.

       *  Patients translate the term “immigrant” into the term “outsider”.

        *  Patients’ behavior toward the others depends on the predefined characteristics, due to his/hers religion, culture or mentality.

        *  Patients have the tendency  to idealize their own image.

The Academic Minute

Applied ICDSeeking Submissions for The Academic Minute: What’s New and Exciting in Academe, public radio show co-produced by AAC&U and WAMC.

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) President Lynn Pasquerella is host of the radio segment The Academic Minute, produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U. The Academic Minute features professors and researchers from colleges and universities around the world discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. In addition to being broadcast widely on radio stations around the country, each segment is posted daily on Inside Higher Ed and across The Academic Minute’s and AAC&U’s social media portals.

Producers of the Academic Minute are seeking submissions about all research topics, and universities are encouraged to submit ideas for “weekly takeovers” featuring five separate research segments from one institution. Recent weekly takeovers include research from New York Institute of Technology, Roanoke College, University at Albany, Carleton College, and Amherst College. Please send your submission to David Hopper.

This would be a good opportunity to share academic research on intercultural dialogue with a large audience!

Mi’kmaq Version of Beatles ‘Blackbird’ (Canada)

Applied ICDVan Evra, Jennifer. (1 May 2019). Cape Breton student sings beautiful Mi’kmaq rendition of the Beatles’ Blackbird’. CBC Radio.

This essay and video about a translated song serve as a reminder that language and culture are bound together, and thus that intercultural dialogue has an important link to multilingualism.

“Blackbird is one of the Beatles’ most beloved songs — and now a small East Coast school has made it their own by creating a rendition in the Mi’kmaq language. Music students at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia created the cover as part of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a United Nations initiative aimed at raising awareness of endangered Indigenous languages around the world. Led by music teacher Carter Chiasson, students recorded the Paul McCartney classic in their native Mi’kmaq language, with translation by Chiasson’s colleagues Katani Julian and Albert ‘Golydada’ Julian.”

Germany Talks: Creating Within Country Dialogues

Applied ICD

In 2017, Zeit Online (the online platform for the Germany newspaper Die Zeit) organized the first ever My Country Talks event, Germany Talks.

“The idea for the first Germany Talks event came about after Donald Trump had been elected president, Britain had voted for Brexit and France was on the verge of electing a right-wing president. Western societies seemed increasingly divided.

ZEIT ONLINE’s editorial team asked itself: What can we do to overcome polarization? How can we help our readers to have a conversation outside their own filter bubble?

On May 4, 2017, ZEIT ONLINE posted a widget on its homepage with the question: “May we introduce you to someone?” After a couple of weeks, 12,000 people had registered through the widget in the hopes of meeting someone in their neighborhood with a different political perspective.”

Germany Talks led to the creation of My Country Talks. In 2018, comparable events were organized for Italy, Austria, Germany (again), and Switzerland. In 2019, Finland, Belgium, Italy, all of Europe, Norway, Denmark, and Britain held events.

E-learning Introduction to Dialogue Facilitation (Online & Belgium)

Applied ICDE-learning Introduction to Dialogue Facilitation: Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange, 4 November-2 December 2019, Online and Belgium. Deadline: 1 November 2019.

This is an online, paced training course designed to give participants a background and understanding of dialogue facilitation and to prepare for the intensive course.

Introduction to Facilitation: 10 hours of asynchronous, paced online course

The Facilitation Training was developed with the expert contribution of various conflict resolution, mediation and facilitation practitioners, invested in 21st century education and in broadening knowledge and use of peace-building methodologies in a diverse and global context. Successful completion of training and practicum qualifies trainees to UN endorsed certificates.

Facilitators are an important part of Virtual Exchange programmes. They are third parties who help a group have a constructive, respectful and authentic dialogue on various topics of (mutual) interest.

Facilitators are multi-partial and neutral process leaders: they do not participate in the content of the conversation but do their best to ensure all participants feel free to express themselves and are heard by others, respecting certain agreed-upon ground rules and following the indications of programme curriculum as well as the group’s needs and interests.

Facilitators seek to elicit self-group awareness and understanding by providing a safe and effective learning environment where participants learn tools to hold an effective cross-cultural dialogue and are inspired to take the skills and understanding beyond their participation in Virtual Exchange.

Facilitators are trained in utilizing a diverse set of facilitation tools to foster such awareness and learning and address group dynamics. Virtual Exchange facilitators are curious learners, good listeners, multi-taskers and team workers. As a facilitator, you will actively strive to improve your facilitation skills and knowledge with the Erasmus+ facilitator community.

Indigenous Languages through Google Earth

Applied ICDContributing to the United Nations 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, a Google Earth project, Celebrating Indigenous Languages, brings attention to specific languages spoken around the world by letting 55 people share examples of greetings, sayings, and stories in their native language.

“A shared language is one of the most important connections among groups of people. Not only does it create a sense of kinship, but it promotes a shared worldview through unique vocabulary and traditional sayings and songs. Yet many of the world’s 7,000 languages are in danger of disappearing; according to the United Nations 2,680 Indigenous languages are at risk. Indigenous communities around the globe are working to preserve and revitalize their languages by teaching them to future generations and sharing them with non-Indigenous speakers.”

Further reading:

Katz, Brigid. (15 August 2019). At-risk indigenous languages spotlighted on new Google Earth platform. Smithsonian.com

Šopova, Jasmina. (2019). Indigenous languages and knowledge. The UNESCO Courier, January-March 2019.

Cookies and Social Justice

Applied ICD

Choe, Caroline. (31 August 2019). Cookie artist teaches edible lessons In Asian-American history. National Public Radio.

 

This NPR essay, produced as part of The Salt, their section on food, highlights the work of a baker who has figured out how to use cookies to start difficult conversations about race. The article is well worth reading.

Who would have thought using baked goods as a platform to talk social justice was a thing? And yet, the attention it has garnered is exactly what we need to start dialog and to impart enlightenment.

“Jasmine Cho knows the power of a good cookie. ‘Cookies,’ she says, ‘can make anything more palatable.’ Including conversations about race and social justice in America.

A baker based in Pittsburgh, Cho creates intricate, hand-drawn cookie portraits of Asian-American figures as a way to increase representation and raise awareness of Asian-American history and identity.”

Diversity in Children’s Books

Applied ICDChildren’s books reflect the adult world, sometimes in unexpected ways. In a college course on children’s literature, I studied the ways in which children’s books dealt with serious issues (such as death). Since then I’ve paid a lot of attention to children’s books, so when I saw this infographic, I paid attention. You should too.

Full citation: Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/.

This seems to show an over-representation of White children at 50%, but now look at comparable figures for 2015:

Full citation: Huyck, David, Sarah Park Dahlen, Molly Beth Griffin. (2016 September 14). Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic. sarahpark.com blog.
Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/picture-this-reflecting-diversity-in-childrens-book-publishing/
Statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison:
http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp

Even though the number of white protagonists in children’s books has gone down over the 3 years examined, this doesn’t actually show as much increase in diverse protagonists as it might – the largest gain was in the category of “animals, trucks, etc.”! Obviously there are a lot of children’s books with diverse protagonists still needing to be written, so that all children get to see themselves represented.

Further reading:

Durand, E. S., & Jiménez-García, M. (2018). Unsettling representations of identities: A critical review of diverse youth literature. Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, 1(1 ), Article 7.

Naidoo, J. C., & Dahlen, S. P. (Eds). (2013) Diversity in youth literature: Opening doors through reading. Chicago: ALA Editions.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Early ICD in Serbia

Applied ICDGorman, J. (20 August 2019). An archaeological puzzle on the Danube. New York Times.

This article reports on a fascinating example of early intercultural dialogue; the archaeological evidence found is in Serbia.

“The faces are haunting. About 8,000 years ago, over a period of perhaps 200 years, artists that lived in this settlement on the banks of the Danube carved about 100 sandstone boulders with faces and abstract designs. The faces are simple, with wide round eyes, a stylized nose and down-turned open mouths…

Researchers still debate the precise dating of different settlements at Lepenski Vir and nearby sites, but agree on the essential fact that the sites capture a record of the meeting and mixing of two cultures and peoples…

Another indication of the merging of two cultures is a change in burial practices. Throughout Europe, the Mesolithic foragers laid a body down stretched out. The migrant farmers from the Near East brought another way of treating death, setting the body in a crouched or fetal position.

Both practices are found at Lepenski Vir. And when the burial practices are combined with DNA profiles, the picture is richer still. Some of the dead of Near Eastern heritage are buried in the way of the foragers. And others of foraging heritage are buried in the way of the farmers.”