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Multicultural institute offers, encourages training.

Whether you are launching your first or your twenty-first diversity, training program, your list of resources should include the National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI) in Washington, D.C. This private, non-profit organization offers a range of services for anyone working to improve racial and ethnic understanding. NMCI may be known best for its national conferences held three times each year in February, June and November.

The upcoming conference, "Building Personal and Professional Competence in a Multicultural Society," will be held November 14-17, 1996, in Washington, DC. Ten two-day workshops are planned, including: Exploring Our Cultural Assumptions; Building Multicultural Schools; Skills for Managing a Diverse Workforce; Culture, Gender & Power in Conflict Resolution; Creating Multicultural Conversation; and On Race & Racism: Going to the Core. A four-day workshop, Developing Cultural Diversity Programs for the Workplace, also will be offered.

Keynote speaker for the November conference will be author and cross-cultural specialist Sondra Thiederman, of San Diego. Her keynote address, "Regaining our Balance. A Look at the Diversity Backlash," will seek to explain the preoccupation with political correctness

Thiederman is president of Cross - Cultural Communications, and has written three books including "Getting Culture Smart: Ten Strategies for Making Diversity Work." Conference participants include managers and administrators as well as social service professionals, health care providers, and educators.

In addition to sponsoring conferences, NMCI works with government agencies, corporations, schools, and non-profit organizations to develop in-house diversity training programs. More than 13,000 people have attended NMCI's conferences and individualized on-site training programs since it was founded in 1983, and the number is growing.

Americorps Managers Increase

Cultural Understanding

Through an agreement with the Corporation for National Service's Americorps program, NMCI is training Americorps program managers nationwide. Nearly 2,000 managers of the national service program have completed training on cultural awareness, recruitment techniques, and retaining a diverse work force.

AmeriCorps managers, representing a broad range of racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds, spend a year or more serving local non-profit organizations which often have an equally diverse membership or client base. NMCI's individualized workshops prepare managers to build harmonious multi-cultural teams, resolve internal staff/team misunderstandings, recruit and retain diverse staff, and successfully serve diverse communities.

The program designed for AmeriCorps is one example of NMCI's a approach to training. After making an assessment of an organization's diversity climate, NMCI staff helps management identify specific diversity training objectives with short-term and long-term strategies for change. Training programs are tailored to meet the specific objectives set in advance. Evaluation of the training and follow-up recommendations are offered.

Workshops are interactive and experiential. Training techniques include lectures, small group discussion, group brain-storming, case studies, role plays and videos. NMCI maintains a network of approximately 50 trainers nationwide from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.

Municipal Employees Explore

Cultural Values

Much of NMCI's work with local governments has been in the communities surrounding Washington, D.C. The group recently completed the implementation of a cross-cultural conflict resolution training program in Arlington, Virginia. Approximately 30 community workers and leaders participated in nine days of training to explore cultural values about conflict and how those values affect responses to conflict. learned ways to address cross-culture conflicts.

NMCI has worked in neighboring communities as well. In Prince Georges County, Maryland, new police recruits worked on cultural awareness, communication, and building understanding. In Montgomery County, Maryland, more than 1,000 employees completed training in cross-cultural awareness, communication, and managing a diverse work force. Approximately 150 employees in Fairfax County, Virginia, completed train-the-trainer sessions, and another 100 completed a sexual harassment prevention workshop.

NMCI was founded in 1983 by clinical social worker Elizabeth P. Salett as an international counseling center which offered a referral network of multilingual mental health providers. Although NMCI continues to provide therapy in 25 languages, and maintains its referral service for multilingual counseling in the Washington, DC area. the organization's mission has expanded.

For more information about similar projects, contact Patricia Reichler, NLC's Project Manager on Diversity and Local Governance, at (202) 626-3030.

The Institute at a Glance

... to attend the four-day conference and participate in two, two-day workshops is $620 (individual/non-profit rate). day

... to attend only one two-day workshop during the conference is $350 (individual/non-profit rate).

... to attend the four-day Train-the-trainer workshop during the conference is $770 plus materials (individual/non-profit rate). Rates apply to registration before Oct.11, but will rise after October 11 and again after October 25. Discounts are available for groups of three or more.

... for on-site training vanes from $1,200 to $2,000 per day, per trainer, Plus expenses. Rates vary for government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate clients. The pre-training assessment is additional, at $125-150/hour, and is usually completed in five to 15 hours, depending on the size of the organization, problems identified, and the amount of tailoring required to fit the needs of the group.

To arrange for training...

... contact Ms. Robini Anand, PhD, Director of Training, National MultiCultural Institute, 3000 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 438, Washington, DC 20008-2556. She can be reached by phone at 202/483-0070, or by fax at 202/483-5233.

For more information

... through e-mail at or through the, Internet:
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Title Annotation:includes related information on the institute's training programs; National MultiCultural Institute
Author:Dredge, Polly
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 30, 1996
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