Historians devote their lives to predicting the past.So when called upon to predict the future of cultural expression, as the editor did for this issue, I had to distance myself from my disciplinary comfort zone.
Not for the first time.Two decades ago I had to do this when completingmy book, The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach about Diversity (Teachers College Press, 2000).In that book I focused on the traditional mass media: magazines; newspapers; film; television; and radio.It was the first book (and maybe still only) to examine how the media have treated the theme of diversity, not the depiction of specific diverse groups.In other words, how have media provided an informal public multicultural education, for better and for worse?
My cousin Sam and I escaped our Harvard dorms and were about to experience neurocommunication as we headed out to a Ravi Shankar concert in a small neighborhood theater in Boston. I was just seventeen, you know what I mean, and it was frostbite territory standing at the bus stop in Cambridge, Mass. Freezing almost took my mind off of being homesick for my family back in New York. Overcome with loneliness, I needed an attitude adjustment and Sam insisted on some music therapy. He thought that classical sitar music from India would distract and soothe – reboot my brain. I wondered why we were the only Harvard students who ‘d come to hear this relatively unknown musician from India. But it was the sixties and Shankar hadn’t yet been labeled by The Beatles’ George Harrison as “the godfather of world music”.
A Multicultural Gift: In 2002, David and his wife Linda co-founded the Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Mariposa’s mission is to foster peace, global awareness, and understanding across cultural boundaries. Stories are important and objects tell the stories of the people who make and use them. Working with artifacts from around the world, we can see what we share with people of different cultures and celebrate our differences.
Study Shows Steep Increase in Corporate Efforts to Target Hispanics
The top 500 U.S. marketers are allocating about 8.4 percent of their overall ad spend to Hispanic dedicated efforts, this is up from 5.5 percent in 2010, according to a new report from AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing. Over the past five years, the top 500 advertisers boosted their spending in Hispanic targeted media by 63 percent or $2.7 billion from $4.3 billion in 2010 to $7.1 billion. The top 500 advertisers boosted their average spending from $9 million in Hispanic targeted media in 2010 to $14 million now.
It was an honor to share my perspective as a Jew and diversity professional at Chattanooga’s MLK interfaith service commemorating The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My passion for diversity is a legacy from my father, a US World War II military intelligence officer whose letters describing Nazi Germany reside in Cincinnati’s American Jewish Archives. Having dedicated decades to tikkun olam, Hebrew for ‘repair of the world,’ I resonate deeply to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel words, “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
Cross Cultural Expertise is the marketing leadership tool of a future that’s coming for us like a high speed train. While that train may go through tunnels and across challenging terrain with a new administration, technology is shrinking our world and that train is gathering speed. Our workforce, our suppliers, and, above all, our marketing professionals need the skill set of cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, conflict management, and problem solving. They are the fuel to compete in the future and without them, the train may miss its target destination and risk derailment.
When Dr. Joseph Betancourt spoke on “Solutions for Disparities: Delivering Quality Care to Diverse Populations” in Chattanooga TN, he delivered both unusual expertise and a personal model for future healthcare. Dr. Betancourt’s family came from Puerto Rico to NYC and he talked about his childhood as interpreter for his grandparents to their doctors. Today, Dr. Betancourt is Director of the Disparities Solution Center and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. With his medical degree, fellowship in Minority Health Policy and Masters from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Betancourt is now a well-respected expert in cross-cultural medicine.
To achieve organizational cultural competence within the health care leadership and workforce, it is important to maximize diversity. This may be accomplished through:
• Establishing programs for minority health care leadership development and strengthening existing programs. The desired result is a core of professionals who may assume influential positions in academia, government, and private industry.
• Hiring and promoting minorities in the health care workforce.
• Involving community representatives in the health care organization’s planning and quality improvement meetings.
We were in Paris for two weeks at a stretch and after hitting some of the fabulous tourist spots – The Sacre Coeur, The Palais Garnier, The Notre Dame Cathedral – thought, we would cover every arrondissement by metro, tram and bus. Why? You may well ask. I can only shrug and say it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Communicating with clients and customers is the most important job for any marketing professional. Clear, precise communication skills are an integral part of connecting with any audience. When the contact is from a different culture than the marketer, communications can get tricky. But understanding how to convey a message appropriately to a multicultural audience in the global economy is critical.