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.