Intercultural Directions Council

Intercultural competence is the ability to engage, learn from and work with people whose cultural identity is different from one’s own.

The Role of the Intercultural Directions Council

To empower, facilitate, assess and provide data, resources and feedback to the CSB/SJU communities so as to enhance intercultural competence. This process will embrace an integral and collaborative approach that over time engages all aspects of both institutions. The Strategic Directions Council expects the IDC to provide quality and timely information in order to inform the SDC in institutional planning.

What: Webinar on Microaggressions: A Campus Climate Conversation with Maura Cullen
When: September 30, 2015
Where: Gorecki 120
Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm

Join us for this conversation with leading diversity expert, Maura Cullen, as she provides insight and suggestions for assessing and improving your campus climate. In a year that has seen tremendous upheaval, on campuses and in communities at large, it’s critical to consider the role and responsibility you have in creating a safe and secure campus environment for your students and staff. 


“It’s not a big deal.” We often hear that after an insensitive comment is made. But what happens when that comment is indicative of an undercurrent of racism or other social tension on campus? An environment where some of your students feel invisible or unsafe? “IT” is a big deal. These “microaggressions” create a larger divide and have a cumulative impact, leaving students feeling unheard, unsafe and unwelcome. 


As they reach their tipping points, students are becoming more and more active in confronting these acts. They turn to your professional staff of color, especially those in position of providing extensive care and advisement — sometimes to their own detriment. They begin to feel underappreciated and burnt out in the face of upheaval. At the same time, staff members of dominant identities are beginning to feel that potential pitfalls and land mines are inevitable, leaving them at a loss for how to best support their colleagues and students with target identities. 


Maura will discuss communication traps and how to avoid them, as well as what tools to use in their place. This webinar will include an extended Q&A, where Maura will engage in open-ended dialogue designed to get at the heart of how institutions can maintain a community of respect and open dialogue, in spite of today’s challenging social climate and growing tensions.

Dr. Maura Cullen is widely considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on diversity issues on college campuses today. With over 30 years of experience as a trainer and keynote speaker, Maura received her doctorate in Social Justice and Diversity Education from the University of Massachusetts. Maura is the founder of the Diversity Student Summit, a founding faculty member of the Social Justice Training Institute and author of, 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say. You can visit Maura at 

As a result of this webinar, you will take away:

  • Strategies for creating a more inclusive and socially just community — this looks very different than it did years ago.
  • Ways to confront non-inclusive behaviors appropriately, so the situation doesn't escalate thus leaving all parties feeling unsafe and your institutional mission compromised.
  • Tools for identifying personal bias and stereotypes — and what to do about it.
  • The ability to recognize intersectionality and how it impacts the personal identity dynamic.  
  • Common ground for conversation with your professional staff and faculty, so you can work together to assess your campus climate and put action steps in place for addressing issues in 2015-16 — are any of your policies or practices unintentionally sending messages that may make marginalized groups feel unsafe or unsupported?

Members for 2015-2016

Mary Geller
Karen Erickson

Joe Rogers
Angie Whitney
Carol Abell
Brandyn Woodard
Andy Dirksen
Theresa Anderson
Sarah Pruett
Deborah Pembleton
Terri Rodriguez
Tracy Gust