International House: DiversiTea and Coffee (USA)

Applied ICD

International House residences were founded in BerkeleyNew YorkChicago, and Philadelphia, as well as several dozen sister student residences around the world.

I-House (as it’s known) had the goal of bringing about intercultural dialogue from its founding. The initial idea of establishing international student dorms was the result of the discovery that some of these students were having difficulties in meeting locals. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. provided the funding for the US facilities in New York, Berkeley, and Chicago, as well as one in Paris (now a language school), through the 1920s and 1930s (the one in Philadelphia found separate funding).

International House…is a place where outstanding postgraduates from all over the world live together and learn about the similarities that bind them regardless of their race, religion, or country of origin.

I-House in Berkeley was particularly controversial, as not only a vehicle for international and interracial student housing but “the first co-educational residence west of the Mississippi” when it was built in 1930; all of these were uncommon at the time, and thus controversial. I-House Philadelphia was built later than the others in 1970, and the residence closed in 2019, although the organization still supports international students.

All of the I-Houses work not only to facilitate integration of international students with one another and local residents, but to bring international cultures to locals through cultural celebrations and educational programs. I-House Philadelphia was particularly active in this area, through the establishment of a Folklife Center hosting frequent events, as well as the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in the 1970s (the latter became the Lightbox Film Center, and still exists). Today I-House Berkeley is particularly strong in creating activities to strengthen ties across residents, as through their  Center for Intercultural Leadership Programs.

Source articles:

International House at the University of California, Berkeley: An informal history.

Bareche, Dhoha. (1 December 2022). International House is more than just a dormitory. The Daily Californian.

Winkin, Y. (2002). L’architecture comme support de la mémoire sociale. Le cas d’une institution résidentielle à finalité communautaire. Recherches en Communication, 18, 55-70.


Let’s Build a Roof Over the World: Art for Peace

Applied ICD

Estonian art for peace is an exhibit created as part of the “Let’s build a roof over the world” project organized by the Fermata Arts Foundation, based in Avon, CT.

“Let’s Build a Roof Over the World” is an international project spearheaded by Fermata Arts Foundation, the Connecticut-based organization that promotes intercultural dialogue between New England states and post-Soviet countries. A total of 1,375 students and professional artists from 13 countries participated in this project, including Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine, the United States, Kyrgyzstan, and other post-Soviet countries. A total of 221 exhibitions have been organized in nine states.

Through the framework of social truth and the role of art in promoting peace, each school approaches the theme with a different focus. “The Peace in the World” is the theme of the current Estonian exhibit, which has been circulating throughout regional libraries. The previous exhibit from Moldova approached this theme through a mythological lens. An upcoming exhibit from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan will center on the theme of “Ideal Home” – older students have created architectural models of houses, and younger students will explore fairy tale homes.

Source article: Smith, Valentine. (2 November 2022). Estonian Art for Peace at KHL [Kellog-Hubbard Library]. The Bridge.


Introducing ICD in Kindergarten (Germany)

Applied ICD

In a few locations within Germany, interfaith cooperation is leading to Christian/Muslim or Christian/Jewish/Muslim kindergartens.

Gifhorn – a small town in Lower Saxony – started Germany’s first Christian/Muslim kindergarten in 2018, after several years of planning and organization.

The vision fostered by local religious leaders sees kindergarten as a novel form of institutionalised dialogue, producing “conflict mediators” and “resilient children” who are “less prone to violence”.

An opposition campaign by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) backfired, and actually ended up increasing enrollment in the school. For a well-balanced report, and links to information about several other interfaith kindergartens in Germany, see the Emmerich article.

Source: Emmerich, Arndt-Walter. (2022). Germany’s first Christian-Muslim kindergarten.

Musician Without Borders: Riff Cohen

Applied ICD

“A musician without borders, singer-songwriter Riff Cohen shares her vision about intercultural dialogue in an interview for Culture(s) with Vivendi.

Born in Tel Aviv from a father of Tunisian origin and an Algerian mother who lived in France, Riff Cohen grew up in a multicultural environment. In her first album, A Paris (AZ, 2013), the young artist creates an atypical musical style, as eclectic as her origins. According to Riff Cohen, music can bridge cultures and foster mutual understanding.”

I think music is also a language…

Source: (2014). Riff Cohen: “I create a new culture that combines my different origins”. Vivendi.

See her YouTube channel to watch all her videos.

TalkingPoints: Connecting Immigrant Families to Teachers

Applied ICD

TalkingPoints uses technology to tackle barriers between parents and teachers across language and culture differences by creating two-way human and machine translation.

In addition, the app helps families support their children’s learning through in-app and text message content. At the same time, the app provides coaching, scaffolding, and professional development for teachers.

For details, watch the Ted Talk by Heejae Lim, the founder and CEO, as she explains both why she started the company, and how it works.

Why ‘Hamilton’ Is Tough to Translate

Applied ICD

Paulson, Michael. (2022, September 14). Six Lyrics That Show Why ‘Hamilton’ Is Tough to Translate. New York Times.

Translation is central to intercultural dialogue since there are so many different languages in the world. This article is a pragmatic example of the need to take context into account when translating. The example is a translation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton from the original English into German.

There were many moments when Miranda et al. allowed the German translators to bend the original meaning in order to preserve lyricism and melody. But there were other moments when they insisted on literalism…

Six specific sections of the musical are analyzed in detail, focusing on different issues from avoiding hyperbole, to quoting rap songs, from providing new imagery to prioritizing meaning. The translators worked hard to display intercultural competence. (For a one-page introduction, see KC3: Intercultural Competence.)


Taos Institute: Collaborative-Dialogic Practice (2022)

EventsCollaborative-Dialogic Practice: Relationships and Conversations that Make a Difference Across Contexts and Cultures, Taos Institute, 18 October 2022, 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST (New York time, online).

A dialogue with Harlene Anderson and Diane Gehart, the authors of the book Collaborative-Dialogic Practice: Relationships and Conversations that Make a Difference Across Contexts and Cultures. Please join them in discussing the latest theoretical developments in collaborative-dialogic (CD) practices in addition to highlighting the many cultures and contexts that CD practices are being used, including in education, medicine, social justice, climate activism, indigenous communities, community outreach, research, and daily life experiences. You are invited to dialogue, ask questions, share your experiences, and join Harlene and Diane as they explore the possibilities of CD practices in our rapidly evolving and shrinking world.


How Sound Challenges Stereotypes

Applied ICD

Liu, Yuer. (2022, August 25). Soundscapes of the UAE: How Sound challenges stereotypes. Smithsonian Folklife Festival Blog.

A photographer uses their camera as a way of seeing the world. The audio recorder is my tool for hearing and understanding the world…A big part of the soundscape is about challenging people’s thinking and breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding.

-Diana Chester

The Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival in 2022 presented the sound installation, “Living Landscapes, Living Memories.” It was created by the artist Diana Chester and her team to present the sounds of the United Arab Emirates. Chester’s argument is that “careful listening can break down stereotypes.”

Multiple soundscapes are presented in the article as examples. Most of the sounds are based on the recordings by Chester and team, but “sound recordings act like time capsules,” as Al Jneibi, one of the team members, told the Festival audience, and so recordings of locations that no longer exist have also been included. “We perceive sounds through a cultural lens,” as pointed out by Al Blooshi, a third team member.


Intercultural Cities: Refugees & Diverse Societies Videos

Applied ICD

The Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Programme has prepared 2 versions of a video (about 10 minutes long and 3 minutes short) on refugees and diverse societies, and made them publicly available.

Their goal is to raise awareness among policy makers, practitioners and the wider public to the main principles of the intercultural cities successful approach to refugee inclusion. The longer version includes examples drawn from ICC member cities. The shorter version is intended just for general awareness of major issues.

The Intercultural cities programme supports local and regional authorities worldwide in reviewing their policies through an intercultural and intersectional lens, and accompany them developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage. The programme provides a set of analytical and practical tools to help local stakeholders through the various stages of the process.

A Pot of Courage: Food and Intercultural Dialogue (Australia)

Applied ICDA Pot of Courage in Ballarat, Australia, is a not-for-profit social enterprise cafe empowering women of diverse cultural backgrounds through hospitality training and employment opportunities.

Sharing stories is what. . .breaks down cultural barriers.

A Pot of Courage founder Shiree Pilkinton turned a women’s group into a cookbook and a not-for-profit, converting cooking skills into income. “We call it an intercultural cafe because it’s more active than a multicultural cafe,” says Pilkinton. “Whether you’re Anglo Australian, Aboriginal or Persian, it doesn’t matter – there’s a place for you here.”

See the original article: Levin, Sofia. (11 July 2022). This Ballarat hidden gem empowers women through a culturally diverse cafe. SBS.

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