Working Toward Intercultural Competence at IMS

Glen Guyton

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. IMS faculty, staff, and students will explore intercultural competency with expert and Chief Operating Officer of MCUSA, Glen Guyton. Our hope is that the IMS family will gain a better understanding of what culture is and that we will become more aware of what our cultural biases are. Through this awareness, we hope to strengthen connections and better “prepar[e] students for lives of Christian discipleship, peacemaking, and service” (IMS Mission Statement).

Wednesday, January 17th, will consist of a modified schedule that will include an assembly from 8:15 – 9:10 followed by several stations to explore intercultural competency including one led by Guyton.

Guyton has spoken at Mennonite Youth Conventions and is also a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) which is an assessment that evaluates an individual and/or an institution’s level of intercultural competency. IMS faculty and staff took the assessment in December and will go through an in-depth analysis of the results with Guyton during their Tuesday morning Professional Development.

This will kickstart a semester-long focus for IMS faculty and staff on bias, stereotypes, and best practices to combat our biases and create optimal learning and working environments for all at IMS. We hope to: 1) assess where IMS faculty and staff are now (establishing a baseline) through the IDI,  2) analyze this data with expert Glen Guyton, 3) evaluate our current classroom practices and learn best practices with Guyton, 4) apply best practices in our classrooms, 5) measure how our diverse student body views our behavior and interactions with them, 6) analyze the implications of this data as a faculty, and 7) extend knowledge of stereotypes with Whistling Vivaldi by Columbia University Provost Claude M. Steele.