About the Webinar: In an increasingly diverse environment, it is not rare to find ourselves facing the challenges of needing to communicate and collaborate with others whose opinions and perspectives differ significantly from ours. It is no longer viable to hold on to an “either-or” approach that requires diminishing or devaluing one set of opinions and perspectives in favor of another.
In this webinar, Barrera and Kramer focus on how diversity can—and should—enhance and unite rather than diminish and divide. They discuss the Skilled Dialogue approach, which provides a series of strategies that can transform contradictory interactions into complementary ones. These strategies emphasize creating relationships that honor multiple peoples’ differences as well as creating inclusive options by noticing and leveraging others’ dissimilarities. Drs. Barrera and Kramer share sample scenarios to illustrate how to use Skilled Dialogue with colleagues, families, clients and supervisors.
About the Presenters:
Drs. Barrera and Kramer bring a rich professional as well as personal history. They have taught diverse student populations at the university level for over 20 years. Their model, Skilled Dialogue, is particularly focused on communication and collaboration across diverse cultural, linguistic, and other boundaries. They have written extensively on Skilled Dialogue (e.g., Barrera, Kramer & Macpherson, 2012, Barrera & Kramer, 2009; Barrera & Kramer, 2017) and have presented on Skilled Dialogue to educators in multiple states.
Dr. Barrera grew up on the Texas-Mexico border and learned the challenges of diversity at an early age. She grew up in a Mexican-American dominant home culture and entered school speaking only Spanish until the summer before her entry into first grade. She holds a BA in major communication sciences, an MA in Speech Pathology, and a Ph.D. from the University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently Professor Emerita at the University of New Mexico, where she was special education faculty for 20 years.
Dr. Kramer grew up in the Midwest amid a culturally rich neighborhood and later worked with American Indians in the Southwest. She holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of New Mexico. Her doctoral research explored cultural competency and cross-cultural communication in a Navajo preschool. She currently resides in Southern California where she is currently special education professor at National University in Costa Mesa, CA.