Cross Cultural Conversations

2018 CCC Facilitator Training

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The WIE Cross-Cultural Conversations Committee launched the 2019 CCC series in March.  We have worked hard to update our program, including training over 15 new facilitators to assist us in implementing these important conversations across our region.
 
 DSC1110For those of you not yet familiar with the CCC platform, it consists of small, intentionally selected groups of 8-12 individuals from varying backgrounds (e.g., race, culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, religion and/or neighborhood).  The goal of the program is to create a safe environment to bridge those differences and open a pathway to see and treat one another as human beings and not as "other".  The group meets four times over a 4-month period and, through their conversations and sharing of experiences, participants delve deep into the ways in which race and other differences have manifested in one another's lives and how they have created seemingly impenetrable barriers to genuine trust and authentic relationship.  The program has been extremely well received, with past participants remarking that the program has been "life-changing" and "exactly what Charlotte needs right now in terms of moving the city forward." 
 
"One of the programs I have loved most during my years as a member of WIE is Cross Cultural Conversations, and I am delighted that this fabulous program is being relaunched! I remember hosting one of these over a three week period. Once a week, a group of 5 or 6 WIE members met at my house for a simple dinner. I think it was "take out" so no trouble for the hostess. As we sat around the dining room table, we each told a little about ourselves and out of that came follow up questions and comments. I remember that when the set time for our first get together was up, we all said " Can't wait until next week". What made this so enjoyable was that we were a diverse group that didn't know each other before "opening  night", and we loved hearing each other's stories. When the three evenings together ended, we all felt enriched by the experience."
Sally Dalton Robinson
Community Leader
WIE Honorary Board

"I am involved because I appreciate the importance of building a community structure that works for all of its members across race, ethnicity, class, gender as well as other cultural identities.  I deeply believe, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said,  that "whatever affects one of us directly, affects each of us indirectly".   In that spirit,  facilitating one of the WIE groups and working with other community members allows me to do my part to help build the "beloved community".
Deborah J. Walker, Ph. D., Facilitator
WIE Cross-Cultural Conversations

There are currently sixty men and women on our waiting list.  We are soliciting hosts and non-host participants.  Please forward the names and email addresses of these friends, colleagues and family members to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  
Thank you for helping us fulfill WIE's mission to build trust across difference and to expand dialogue around these important issues of diversity and inclusion in the Charlotte community.
If you have any questions or need further information, please contact WIE at (980)355-7000 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 DSC1116Cross-Cultural Conversations are small, intentionally selected groups of 8-12 individuals from varying backgrounds (e.g., race, culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, religion and/or neighborhood) that are convened to tackle issues of race and inclusion, dismantle stereotypes and bridge differences through facilitated conversation.  

CCCs are held in the home of a host and begin with a central and vital feature of the program: sharing a meal together.

“Across cultures and time, food sharing is an almost universal medium for expressing fellowship; it embodies values of hospitality, duty, gratitude, sacrifice and compassion. The shared meal is an opportunity not only to eat, but also to talk, to create and strengthen bonds of attachment and friendship, to teach and learn. 

The goal of the program is to create a safe environment to bridge differences and open a pathway to see and treat one another as human beings and not as "other."  The group meets four times over a 4-month period and, through their conversations and sharing of experiences, the participants delve deep into the ways in which race and other differences have manifested in one another's lives and how they have created barriers to genuine trust and authentic relationship...one conversation at a time.

If you would like more information, contact the CCC Committee Chairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you are ready to sign up today to join a CCC group, please fill out and submit the CCC Interest Form here.   READ MORE...

  

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Cross Cultural Conversations:  Building a Community of Trust One Relationship at a Time

The Need:

In a survey, administered at the conclusion of the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange’s 2009 Town Hall Meeting—Bridge the Chasm: Change the World, the question was posed, “How can WIE better serve the community and you as an individual?” Overwhelmingly participants expressed a personal need for increased, long-term social interaction among women from different races and cultures. Participants asked for:

  • smaller forums within communities;
  • informal and social get-togethers;
  • small  meetings in different communities;
  • more opportunities to meet women from other cultures and to dialogue

This is how the women of the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange wish to experience change and serve as a catalyst for change within the community. But what is the largest hurdle to change that these groups wish to overcome?

Build trust in a community that lacks trust—one relationship at a time…that is the answer.

To trust—to place confidence in someone or something—while easy to define it is a complex concept. If Charlotte is going to build a community of cooperation and support, individuals must engage in honest communication and work to build long-term trusting relationships. While the Charlotte community reports having more friends from diverse backgrounds than nine years ago, in a new study on social ties in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, this study also reveals that residents still lack trust of other races.  

To continue the organizations work as a catalyst for change the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange has created Cross Cultural Conversations (CCC). Originally based on Peter Block’s methodology created to help communities transform themselves from fragmented communities to communities of unity—CCC’s intentionally utilizes small groups as the unit of transformation.

The Program:

Cross Cultural Conversations are:

  • Classes are made up of 8-10 intentionally selected women from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. These groups are intentionally structured, made up of women who do not know each other or know each other “least”.
  • Participants meet four (4) times over a four (4) month period.