Cross Cultural Conversations - A Series of Dialogues for More Equitable Communities

  • Thursday, December 03, 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom
  • 4


Registration is closed


The Cross-Cultural Conversations Council invites community members to attend this important training to learn about, uncover, and address systemic racism, biases and barriers for our community members.

Through self-assessment and facilitated activities, participants gain increased understanding of their personal background and perspective on the implications of how their experience affects how they think and react to others from different backgrounds.

Organizations discover the value of practicing a more open and inclusive mindset into day-to-day operations

Session Agenda -

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

"Cross-Cultural Conversations, Part I: Striving toward Improved Sensitivity in Communication and Clearer Understanding of the Effects of Privilege and Unconscious Bias"

·         Define cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence
·         Identify issues of equality vs. equity
·         Recognize the influence of “isms” in our communication
·         Recognize privilege and bias
·         Identify ways to bridge barriers

“Cross-Cultural Conversations, Part II: Steps to Overcoming Barriers"

·         Where do you stand on the continuum of awareness?
·         Addressing micro-aggression's
·         Recognizing unconscious bias
·         Using tools to enhance communication and understanding

Having a better understanding of ourselves, our colleagues, and our clientele will lead to more cohesion and greater effectiveness in our interactions. With improved communication and understanding, staff will be better equipped to adjust expectations and connect in a more productive manner with others.

Additional information-

  • Due to the group-work required at these sessions each workshop requires a minimum of 12 participants.
  • Please plan to arrive 10 minutes early as these sessions will start on-time. 

 **Costs - $20 for the full-day FREE for this Session!


Thank you to the generous sponsors who have made this workshop available: 


~ Cross-Cultural Conversations Cancellation and Refund Policy ~

CCC is committed to delivering high quality, professional development opportunities. This refund and cancellation policy accommodates the minimum time required to prepare for workshops and training's -including the cost of materials, content development, food and refreshments if applicable, and room accommodations.

As a nonprofit, we keep the fees for programs as low as possible. Absorbing the cost of late cancellations would ultimately increase the price of Cross-Cultural Conversations programs.

Credit Policy

A registrant who provides notice more than 48 hours before the start of the session will automatically receive a check refund or credit to be used exclusively for a CCC workshop.  No cash refunds will be given.  

No credits will be issued with less than a 48 hour notice. 

Right to Cancel

CCC reserves the right to cancel any workshop. If a cancellation occurs, registrants will receive a full refund or a credit towards another CCC workshop.

If you need assistance with a cancellation or a change in your registration, or if you are interested in bringing this important work to your organization,  please email or call our office at 517-796-4750.

Facilitated By— 

Shalanda Hunt

Shalanda is widely known for her exceptional ability to establish trust when interacting with diverse populations.  She is deeply committed to and passionate about being a catalyst for positive change. Her efforts focus on empowering others to challenge their personal biases and understanding about diversity, equity and inclusion through authentic engagement.

Shalanda serves as the Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative Coordinator (MYOI), with the Department of Health and Human Services, in Jackson County. She has been employed with the State of Michigan since 2011. Shalanda also maintains employment as a Youth Specialist, at the Jackson County Youth Center since 2003. In her current roles, she works closely with teens, providing independent living skills and mentor-ship. 

She has an extensive background working in a variety of social work specialties, such as child welfare, juvenile justice, youth development, community networking, and is an advocate for teen mothers and survivors of domestic violence. 

She is a graduate of Siena Heights University with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and is pursuing a master’s in social work. Her experience is not limited to adolescence but extends to training.

Marie Bonkowski

Marie Bonkowski is the Director of Student Affairs at Baker College of Jackson. She currently sits on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council of the Baker College System and the majority of her 20 plus years at Baker was in the position of Dean of Health Sciences. 

Prior to moving to Onsted, Michigan, Marie was a respiratory therapist and worked at Sinai Hospital in Detroit.  Through her experiences at the college, in the health care setting and in the community, Marie has discovered much about the disparities that exist in the education, health and social systems in our community and nation.  She has learned how her own biases have affected her interactions with others in past and not so past situations.  Marie is an enthusiastic facilitator of the Cross-Cultural Conversations Training.  Her goal is to provide information and a safe environment for participants to begin conversations that lead to understanding biases and disparities in their own lives and in their communities. She looks forward to providing awareness and some tools for carrying on these sometimes difficult conversations.

Contact Sharon todayEmma Leriche

Emma is part of the Administration support, Spanish interpreter and member of the Child welfare Anti-racism Team for The Department of Health and Human Services in Jackson County. Her role assisting clients allows her to relate effectively with people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures.

Emma’s mission inspires and supports Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through all her functions in the Department and the community.

As an Economist, she believes that discrimination can lead to an inefficient economy. For this reason, she believes working on recognizing, appreciating and valuing individual differences will build a stronger and more efficient community.

Emma has a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a specialty in Finance. She is also, a facilitator and student of Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism workshops. The most recent one she attended is ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity).

Keila Kilgore

Keila Kilgore, MA, LPC has been a Health Coach/Educator at Henry Ford Allegiance Health since January 2013 with the It’s Your Life program at Prevention & Community Health. She earned her teaching degree from Western Michigan University and a Masters in Community Agency Counseling with a K-12 Guidance and Counseling Endorsement from Siena Heights University.  Keila is a Licensed Professional Counselor at her private practice with 30 years of experience working with individuals of all ages in behavioral health and education. She also serves as the director for the Xchange Teen Center in Hanover providing a supportive caring environment for those participating. 

Keila has extensive training in trauma informed care and assessment, experience as a member of Critical Incident Stress Management teams and is an active on the Cross-Cultural Conversations Council in the Jackson Community. Keila’s passion is to learn and help others focus on understanding how life’s experiences can impact our overall health while encouraging awareness, knowledge, identification and utilization of resources to help build resilience.

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2800 Springport Rd.
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: (517) 796-4750

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