A Common Approach to Culture Energizes Understanding of Diversity

Dr. Milton J. Bennett to explore dynamics of international and multicultural education

CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2003) – Pitzer College continues to be a leader among the nation’s colleges and universities in its commitment to intercultural understanding. Whether in its acclaimed External Studies programs or as a product of its nationally recognized campus diversity, the College works as an advocate for the importance of international and multicultural education.

As part of the College’s commitment to such principles, Pitzer will host Dr. Milton J. Bennett, director of the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon, for two presentations on Nov. 13-14, in the Broad Center Performance Space.

The first of the talks, “An Intercultural Approach to Global and Domestic Diversity,” will run 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. Bennett will demonstrate how the combination of international and multicultural education produces an intercultural approach that takes into account nationality, ethnicity, gender and class. Such an approach drives home the notion that understanding how our views relate to cultural context helps us understand other cultures. The session is open to the public.

The second talk, “Keeping Your International Experience Alive and Working: Stages in the Development of Intercultural Sensitivity,” will run 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 14. This session, geared for students either preparing for External Studies or those who have returned from abroad, will stress the importance of developing intercultural understanding through extended interactions with different cultures, whether at home or in another country.

Each of the sessions aims to make the international experience more meaningful for students, faculty and staff, ultimately helping them understand and appreciate diversity, increase their communications skills and function as more effective agents of change.

Dr. Bennett created the graduate program in intercultural communication at Portland State University, where he was a faculty member for 15 years. As a consultant in domestic and global diversity, he facilitates professional development in intercultural relations for university faculty and administrators, corporate executives and managers, and others in the public and private sectors.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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