6 Groups Making Cross-Cultural Connections
In an increasingly global world, cultural understanding is more important than ever. Thankfully, many groups are dedicated to celebrating the diversity of different countries and societies. From identity-based communities to educational endeavors, here, in no particular order, is a selection of organizations fostering connections across cultures.
Coming in at #1 is Laos Angeles. Based in California's largest city, this organization works to promote representation of the more than 160 ethnic groups of Laos. A forward-thinking and inclusive movement, it connects with people through social media, amplifies existing Laotian voices, and collaborates with like-minded groups.
In support of its mission, Laos Angeles hosts a number of gatherings, including potlucks, identity-based discussions, workouts, and cultural workshops. Furthermore, this organization convenes monthly meet-ups, and features a group designated specifically for LGBTQ individuals.
In the #2 spot is Africans in China. Administered by academic Roberto Castillo, this virtual space serves as a repository for sources discussing the presence of Africans in China. Sharing research, news reports, and podcasts, it strives to disseminate information that accurately reflects the lived experiences of its subjects.
With a particular focus on the city of Guangzhou, Africans in China explores a range of topics, including anti-black racism, the immigrant experience, and colonialism. Furthermore, this project has advised on a number of creative endeavors, from the documentary "Guangzhou Dream Factory" to the book-length photo essay "Little North Road."
At #3 is Melibee Global. Founded by Missy Gluckmann, this organization promotes the pursuit of international education. A proponent of diversity and cultural exchange, Melibee Global offers access to a variety of speakers, including storytellers and experts on food.
Melibee Global also provides instruction through the International Education Career Academy, a strategic program for those interested in advancing their professional careers. In addition, this organization offers a number of cultural resources, including informational guides on re-entry and trip planning, and shares interviews and reflections through its blog.
Coming in at #4 is Cultural Awareness International. Based in Dallas, this company offers cross-cultural training and destination services to individuals and corporate clients. Founded by Priscila Montana in 1989, CAI delivers customized programs in more than 400 locations around the world, including places like Morocco, Australia, and Switzerland.
Specific offerings from CAI range from corporate language training and cultural education to repatriation services. Elsewhere, on its website, this company touches on a number of topics relevant to its work, discussing things like expat communities and international holidays, as well as linking to other useful online resources.
In the #5 spot is the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. A community arts project, this endeavor seeks to honor the role of Scottish heritage throughout the world. In 2014, the tapestry itself debuted at a festival in the town of Prestonpans, with panels from 25 different countries.
An embroidered work with over 300 panels, the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry offers a collective view of Scotland and its descendants, from depictions of historical figures to personal and familial histories. The intricately constructed piece of art is exhibited within the country and around the world, having been displayed in places such as Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Last but not least, at #6 is Indiaspora. Launched in 2012 by M.R. Rangaswami, this nonprofit works to create meaningful impact from the success of the Indian diaspora. Bringing together a diverse collection of global leaders, it strives to create stronger communities, promote strategic giving, and spark social change.
In support of its mission, Indiaspora hosts several events, including in-person summits and forums. It also organizes virtual salons, which have in the past explored topics like the global economy and the entertainment industry. On its blog, it shares stories from members of the Indian diaspora, highlighting personal and professional experiences.