PUBLISHED: 6:36 PM on Wednesday, January 2, 2008
United Way of Southeast Alaska to offer diversity training course
Compass II, the community assessment research conducted by United Way in 2005, indicated that one of Juneau's top five social service needs was diversity training and appreciation for the rich cultural diversity in Southeast Alaska.

Through a generous grant from the City and Borough of Juneau's Social Service Advisory Board, the United Way of Southeast Alaska is bringing Munirah Mawusi to Juneau to present Diverse Origins - Common Destinies.

Changing demographics in Juneau indicate an increase in a variety of areas: racial/ethnic, age, income, education, language, differing values, lifestyles and physical and mental capability. These present challenges to all residents on nearly a daily basis. This informative and engaging learning experience is designed to assist individuals and organizations to build capacity to strengthen their culture of inclusion.

Dialogue, reflection and interaction provide participants with the opportunity to:

• Expand their definitions of diversity and culture.

• Recognize dynamics and impact of one's "first culture."

• Consider organizational and community cultural characteristics, strengths and needs.

• Examine cultural dynamics of societal groups defined by gender, age, race, class, orientation, spirituality.

• Analyze cultural understanding and responses to assistance, intervention, authority and guidance.

• Evaluate origins and impact of institutional bias.

• Identify effective cross-cultural communication techniques designed to foster inclusion and respect and minimize "unintentional intolerance."

• Illustrate the intersection of Culture Shock, Cultural Capital, Cultural Competence.

• Enhance strategies to move beyond awareness to action; foster authentic cross cultural alliances and build inclusive communities by redefining "WE."

Mawusi will hold two identical workshops Jan. 31 or Feb. 1.

The day long class is only $25 to cover the cost of lunch. The balance of the cost is covered by the grant to United Way of Southeast Alaska. Class size is limited to 35 participants per day. She will also teach a day long workshop to the participants of the Leadership Juneau program.

Munirah Mawusi has annually received rave reviews for Diverse Origins - Common Destinies from the Anchorage Leadership program. She is knowledgeable not only about diversity issues but also Alaska's unique social landscape.

Brenda Hewitt, President of United Way of Southeast Alaska says, "We are delighted she could join us to teach both the Leadership Juneau participants and to include time to reach out into our community. This is an issue we must engage in to advance the common good."

Attendees should be people who work directly with delivering services to consumers, interact with diverse individuals in their business or social life, or are in a leadership position in the community.