Connect Without Causing Harm: Understand the Context
What is intercultural communication, and how do we connect with others without causing harm? To be successful in Intercultural Communication among Black cultures requires self-awareness and skill. The practice is something our guest has done successfully on a global scale in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. We are delighted to learn from her experiences. Okama Brook is the Founder and President of ACHA: Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance. She is a senior advisor to many national, regional and international government organizations in the areas of development. She is a liaison officer with the United Nations and is passionate about building bridges and reconnecting Africa and the Caribbean heritage.
When you embed yourself into another person’s physical culture, you take an inside-out approach to providing solutions as opposed to an outside-in approach. This is very important. This helps to gain buy-in, build trust, and reduce harm through assumptions. Understanding through orientation like language immersion, and home-stays foster deeper understanding and appreciation of a person’s culture. These are critical aspects that must be considered to successfully connect in intercultural communication.
Snippet from Okama:
We need to provide context about cultural orientation. Learning about history is important and essential, but in the way forward, learning about who you are through stories, and cultural heritage creates empowered states and mindsets. We need to be more vocal about who we are as people.
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