By Jean Mavrelis - 05.13.2011

Meeting with peers is sometimes all it’s cracked up to be.

When you’re in the diversity consulting business, the last thing you want to do is take another trip to a hotel.  I decided to go to this year’s SIETAR conference in Denver –SIETAR stands for Society for Intercultural Training and Research– since our colleague Gudy generously offered her home to us.  I am so glad I did, and I’ll try to make attending SIETAR a habit.

This is the second time this year I had an opportunity to spend time with colleagues in the intercultural field.  We’re kind of an unusual bunch — liminal types or global nomads– people with a foot in many social and cultural camps who often gain in perspective what we lose in the security that comes from thinking that there’s only one right way.

My most recent earlier experience at liminality was at a Bodhi in New Mexico where we had an opportunity to really slow down and be.   That recharged my battery for months.  Just as I was running down, along came SIETAR.  Once again my colleagues renewed my commitment to the work.

Some speakers were on the cutting edge of change around the world, often risking even their lives.  Others shared stories and methodologies for bringing understanding to those whose lives they touch.

Sometimes it was folks venturing out to “go global” who needed direction on how to manage the terrain. Other times they were helping students, or organizations, trying to manage diverse teams.

I’m not a religious sort –although I love ritual of any kind, and certainly am filled with “wonder”, but one line kept coming to me throughout the conference: “Blessed are the peacemakers”. Read more »