UNESCO Links Cultural Diversity to Human Rights

© UNESCO

On 31 March, 2015, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova took part in a round table on the theme “Human Rights and the Protection of Cultural Diversity,” held at the University of Geneva, with the participation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue, Metin Arditi and author, psychoanalyst and university professor, Julia Kristeva.

Bokova emphasized that “cultural diversity is an expression of human rights – the persecution of minorities, religious and ethnic, and the looting and pillage of cultural heritage are part of a deliberate global strategy to eradicate history and memory, the identities and the existence of these peoples and communities, and, through them, the cultural diversity that is our common heritage.”

Arditi highlighted that “the destruction of cultural heritage is but a symptom of the destruction of the Other,” noting that “the West is living through an unprecedented intellectual crisis – we need to restore the humanities at the heart of our societies, as the cradle of ideas and intellectuals for the future. Universities have a historic responsibility here, to prepare society for its own transformation and to help people understand and live together.”

All speakers stressed the importance of teaching about religions through the humanities, as areas of knowledge and understanding, as well as debate and discussion — “in order for beliefs to not become the sole possession of fanatics and extremists.”

The General-Director concluded on the key role of education for global citizenship, as promoted by UNESCO, including education for human rights as the mainstay, stressing the need for cultural literacy and development of intercultural competences to make the most of contemporary multicultural societies and the challenges of living together.

See the original article for further details.

9th Congress IAIR Bergen (Norway) 2015

The 9th Biennial Congress of the International Academy for Intercultural Research

Realizing the potential of Cultural Diversity in the society and at the workplace

There is hardly any large society that is presently ethnically homogenous as a result of domestic and international migration. The foreign-populations of many societies are increasing at unprecedented rates. For instance, it has been estimated that by 2050, 85% of Australia‘s population growth will be either from overseas migration or from native born Australians who have at least one foreign-born parent. Europe will need 80 million immigrants by 2030, while the US, Japan and Canada will need 35 million, 17 million, and 11 million immigrants by 2030, respectively (Saunders, 2010).

The aging population of the world, particularly in Western industrialized countries, and unemployment and economic stagnation in many countries, will put pressure on the economies of Western industrialized countries in the form of increased migration, bringing people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds together in ways that have never been seen before.

These demographic changes have wide range of implications for the governance of nation-building including employment, health, education, housing, economics, politics, culture, intergroup relationships and so forth.  Depending on which angle one takes, the results can be either positive or negative.  Unfortunately, events such as the terror attacks in major European cities including Madrid (2004), in London (2005) and in Oslo/Utøya (Norway, 2011) together with the Danish cartoon drawings of Mohammed are some negative instances of intercultural relations.  European leaders have not fared any better when they incite skepticism by suggesting that multiculturalism has been a failure. These pessimistic statements undermine and diminish the positive aspects of cultural diversity.

It is within this context that this conference is organized, with the theme – Realizing the potential of cultural diversity.

Realizing the potential of cultural diversity in the workplace and society will challenge societies politically, economically, socially, legally and culturally. This challenge will require a parallel effort to achieve equity and full participation of all cultural communities in the larger society. Any discussion around the topics will require a multi-disciplinary approach.  Hence the planned conference will attract scholars from psychology, and many related fields and disciplines. Indeed the ultimate goal of this conference will be to bring to Bergen the leading scholars of the world to share research findings, engage in dialogue on how to tap into the positive sides of cultural diversity, and how employers, institutions, and governments can realize its potential. The conference will include Keynote presentations by leading scholars, symposia, individual papers, posters and round table discussions, including debates. During the past three conferences, the Academy has also devoted a whole day to a workshop – Fellows’ Day – just before the opening of the conference where the Fellows of the Academy engage in a series of discussions regarding the conference theme.

The Conference is hosted by:
Society and Workplace Diversity Research Group, Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen

Administratively, the Department of Psychosocial Science is responsible for the running of the conference, but the practical activities regarding the conference will be coordinated by the Society and Workplace Diversity Research group in close collaboration with the Congress Bureau (Kongress og Kultur – KK-Bergen). While the Research Group will be responsible for the scientific side of the conference, the all practical organization will be taken care of by the Congress Bureau.

Venue:  Most of the congress program will be held at the Bjørn Christiansen Building, Christiesgate 12

SOME IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
Submission of proposals opens: March 1, 2014
1st proposal  Deadline: November 1, 2014
Accepted Decision: December 15, 2014
2nd proposal deadline: December 31, 2014
Accepted decision: February 15, 2015

Sample of thematic topics
*Cultural diversity in the society
*Cultural diversity at the work place
*Migration, Acculturation, and Adjustment
*Intercultural competence and training
*Intercultural communication

Int’l Journal of Intercultural Relations: editor needed

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST:
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS EDITOR IN CHIEF

Expressions of interest are called for the position of Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, for a 3-year term, commencing 1 January, 2015.
The journal is the official publication of the International Academy for Intercultural Research. IJIR is dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of theory, research and practice in the field of intercultural relations, including, but not limited to, topics such as acculturation; intercultural communication; intergroup perceptions, contact, and interactions; intercultural training; and cultural diversity in education, organizations and society. The journal  currently receives between 275-300 submissions per annum, primarily from scholars in the discipline of psychology and secondarily from communication, but submissions come from a wide variety of disciplines. The Editor-in-Chief is currently supported by two Associate Editors.

Please direct Expressions of Interest to ijir AT vuw.ac.nz by 1 December, 2013. The EoIs should include a cv, with particular attention to editorial experience, and a statement of your vision for IJIR.  Past editorial experience and a supportive institutional environment are desirable.  It is also expected that the successful candidate will be (or become) a Member or Fellow of the International Academy of Intercultural Research.

Any general questions about the journal operations can be directed to Colleen Ward ,  the current Editor-in-Chief, at ijir AT vuw.ac.nz or to Dan Landis, Founding Editor, at danl AT hawaii.edu.

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CFP Int’l Conf Intercultural Comm Wuhan

Call for Papers:
7th International Conference of Intercultural Communication
15th–17th November, 2013 at Wuhan University, China

The 7th International Conference of Intercultural Communication (2013 ICIC) will address a range of issues on the theme “Cultural Conflict and Intercultural Communication.” With the advance of globalization, more and people are either brought in the context of dialogue and communication or assimilated into a dominant culture, which facilitates individuals’ cultural competence and enables them to witness cultural changes and manage the cultural diversity more effectively. At the same time, globalization is also splitting the world apart with globalization is also splitting world apart with diversity more effectively. At the same time, globalization is also splitting world apart with capital power, political power and cultural power, and the diversity of cultures prevents people recognizing the common humanity, thus, cultural conflict is all around the world. For example, the French policies of ban on veil Muslim women and repatriation of Roma have brought great trouble. The event of burning Koran by the US pastor Terry Jones and the rally of white supremacist groups have caused unquenchable violence. All these events exposed another horrible scene of globalization: more people tend to emphasize the absolute differences to express themselves, and more people are approaching violence under the oppression of power.

In 2010, the annual United Nations World Culture Report focused on diversity of cultures and intercultural dialogues, striving for the New Humanism in the era of globalization. The core proposition of the report was the inclusiveness and interaction in diversity, which presented an idealistic thinking. However, faced with the cultural conflict and helplessness of communication in reality, it’s not enough to reveal the idealistic flag. We have face the conflicts and predicaments in intercultural communication, and seek the social psychological reasons of cultural adaption so as to innovate the way of communication and construct the possibilities of communication.

The theme of this conference is “Cultural Conflict and Intercultural Communication”, which can be divided into 8 main topics:
1. The fundamental communication theories of cultural diversity and conflict
2. The intercultural case studies on the news report of cultural conflict and its public opinions
3. Cultural adaption and survival of immigrants, marginal groups, minorities sub-cultural groups
4. Integration and differentiation of intercultural communication space in arts (intercultural dramas, movies, paintings, music, clothing, etc.)
5. Intercultural Analysis of cultural creative products (movies, comics, ads, art designs, etc.) that triggered cultural conflicts
6. New intercultural communication problems presented in new-media on cultural conflicts
7. The new tendency of intercultural conflicts and management tactics in multinational firms
8. The innovative theories of new humanism and intercultural communication in the era of globalization

The conference is held by School of Journalism and Communication of Wuhan University and Media Development Research Center of Wuhan University, the co-organizer institutions will include: French Consulate, U.S. Intercultural Communication Research Center, Hubei Daily Media Group, School of Journalism and Communication of Xinjiang University, Xinjiang Normal University, Wuhan Textile University, etc.

The abstract of the paper is expected to be submitted by 30th July, 2013 which may contain the abstract and basic information about the author, with less than 500 words in Chinese or 250 words in English. Full submissions are expected by 30th September, 2013.
Please e-mail to: media.whu AT gmail.com
Languages of Conference: Chinese & English

Convener of 2013 ICIC:
SHAN Bo, Ph.D.
Professor, Vice Dean
School of Journalism and Communication
Wuhan University
shanbo AT whu.edu.cn
http://www.icchina.org/

Strengthen Civil Society webinar

Strengthening The Voice Of Civil Society – Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion
World Dialogue Foundation is offering a webinar on May 21, 2013 at 10:00 PM AEST.

Next Tuesday, 21st May is World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue & Development.

Without doubt, the mission to increase understanding between people from different cultural and religious backgrounds is one of the most promising movements in the world today.

As part of the “Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion” campaign spearheaded by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, in partnership with UNESCO and many organisations around the world, GDF is running a free online workshop for civil society organisations who would like to strengthen their role and play a bigger game.

Why does civil society matter so much? Building inclusive society has become a major challenge in most countries around the world. Over the past twenty years, globalization, technology, the resurgence of religions and tremendous migration flows have indeed radically changed the fabric of most societies that are increasingly diversified and fragmented. This creates tensions, radicalization and sometimes, the risk of conflict.

The role of leaders, being policy makers, corporate sector, media…is crucial in raising public awareness and encouraging dialogue and understanding among people and communities beyond the cultural divide. But, to achieve this goal, a vibrant and active civil society movement holding leaders responsible is indispensable.

This 60-minute session will give you the opportunity to explore possibilities around becoming a partner in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Civil Society Country Chapter program. You will have the opportunity to share your successes, ask questions, and inspire others.

Register now!

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CFP IJIR

Seeking Submissions to International Journal of Intercultural Relations

The International Journal of Intercultural Relations (IJIR) is an international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of theory, research and practice in the field of intercultural relations. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: intergroup perceptions, contact, and interactions; multiculturalism; acculturation; intercultural communication; intercultural training; and cultural diversity in education, organizations and society. The journal is indexed multiple data bases, including SSCI, PsycINFO, Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, Research Alert ASSIA, and SCOPUS.

After 35 years under the direction of the founding editor, Dan Landis, the journal’s editorship passed to Colleen Ward earlier this year. IJIR now has two Associate Editors: Hee Sun Park and Gabriel Horenczyk and a number of new additions to the editorial board.

We are currently seeking new, innovative, high quality manuscripts- both empirical and review articles- for submission. The current publication lag is short, and we invite contributions that will sustain and enhance the journal’s profile.