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Chuck Needleman & Jennifer Kim


Culture: Rhyming & Relating

Chuck Needleman & Jennifer Kim

Description: Inspired by poetry slam –the live events where poets read their work – this experiential session combines spoken word performance, facilitated discussion, and collaborative design to empower participants to give voice to their unique cross-cultural stories. The facilitators will kick off this high-energy audience-centered session with a multi-media-enhanced reading of a poem that illustrates the theme of crossing cultures. Participants will then be invited to share their own spoken word favorites —poetry, song lyrics, quotes —that express the theme of "culture in my life." Next, the group will form clusters for a guided discussion of questions like, "What poem did you find most inspiring? What is your untold personal story about culture?" Finally, participants will choose from several stations (each tapping into a different learning modality) to create a "poetic" work that summarizes their insights. This session is designed for expats, repats, lovepats, immigrants, people who work in the international arena, and anyone who communes with the cross-cultural Muse. Objectives: By the end of this session participants will be able to: Express and discuss their personal beliefs, attitudes and experience of culture and its impact on their lives; Describe the benefits of using literature and spoken word performance in training; Describe at least two techniques for debriefing small and large group discussions; Have some serious fun.

Level: Beginner

Delivery: Innovative, experiential

Track: International Education, Training, Exchanges


Chuck Needleman
Senior Consultant

Chuck Needlman has been a management consultant, coach and facilitator over 30 years. He has developed and implemented a broad variety of strategies and programs for training and development for all levels of organizations. He has worked for over five for Marriott Corporation and 17 years for the federal government. He has been a board member of NASAGA since 2005. He is currently a Management and Program Analyst, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Human Capital and Training, Training and Career Development Division.


Jennifer Kim
Learning and Development Associate, George Washington University

As an urban educator and consultant, Jennifer Kim has designed and implemented workshops and conferences, focusing on cross-cultural understanding, teacher training and professional development and learning for the professional community in the U.S. and overseas. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar and is an alum of the Peace Corps Teaching Fellow at Columbia University. She is a former tenured teacher with the New York City Public School and completed her time with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in Indonesia where she worked with the public and private sectors in expanding and promoting academic and cultural exchange in higher education.