Can you teach people from different cultures to find common ground?

by Michael Caputo, Minnesota Public Radio
April 23, 2010

MPR News reporter Ambar Espinoza will filed a report from St. Cloud on Friday that tells the story of one attempt to find common ground between cultures.

The idea is to teach young people that communication styles differ depending on a person’s cultural background. What might seem rude to a person from one culture is just being assertive to a person with a different background. It’s especially important in the St. Cloud area where cultural conflicts have surfaced.

We’ve been holding a series of discussions on the nature of diversity, including one last week that looked at real steps to connect new immigrants with the native population of a community.

This Friday we will pose a new question: Can you teach people from different cultures to find common ground when there is conflict?

We’re inviting those who have attended MPR’s previous Online Forums on diversity and plan on having a guest to kick-off this conversation: Dr. Liz Throop, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Saint Mary's University. Dr. Throop specializes in looking at everyday societal interactions from people of different cultural backgrounds.

But this is your space, and we want you to join in.

We’ll gather around our computer screens at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 23. Simply join us at this webpage and let me know there that you have arrived.