Northspan’s Welcoming Community programming is offering the Intercultural Development Inventory® for free to qualifying individuals living or working in rural areas in the seven counties of northeast Minnesota:
- Aitkin County
- Carlton County
- Cook County
- Itasca County
- Koochiching County
- Lake County
- St. Louis County
We encourage IDI for community leaders in the following sectors:
- quasi-governmental community groups
- housing redevelopment authorities
- economic development authorities
Northspan’s goal in making the IDI available to individuals and organizations across northeast Minnesota is to elevate our rural community leaders’ intercultural fluency. We recognize the importance of creating a Welcoming Community for the civic, economic, and intercultural long-term health of northeast Minnesota. Academic research and lived experience show that, in order to create a Welcoming Community and engage in equity learning, we must increase our intercultural competency.
About the Intercultural Development Inventory®
IDI is a well-respected tool for measuring an individual’s approach or orientation to engaging across cultural similarity and difference. Research has shown it to be reliable and cross-culturally valid. Understanding our default orientation allows us to more consciously decide if that or another approach (orientation) would better serve our goals and the group/setting we are in. Understanding the Intercultural Development model also allows us to assess and respond more effectively to how others are engaging in a particular situation.
- The free IDI assessment and 75-minute individual debrief with a certified IDI administrator are available to one individual per organization with the goal of spreading the impact of the IDI over a broad range of groups.
- The IDI is a 50-item inventory (completed online) that is then accompanied by a confidential, 1:1 debrief by a certified IDI administrator. Northspan’s Welcoming Community program has contracted with Kevin Skwira-Brown from Cultural Fluency Associates LLP to coordinate the assessment and provide the individual debrief.
- Northspan hopes individuals who participate in the free IDI will encourage their organizations to offer the IDI to other staff members through avenues such as existing organizational professional development budgets.
These trainings aim to transform leadership practices in the Northland to recognize the diversity that exists and will continue to grow in its communities. We seek to bridge a serious, growing gap in our local and national discourse. Fostering a Welcoming Community is one step in the development of a more generous, inclusive, and engaged community that can work toward eliminating the opportunity gaps that exist in northeast Minnesota.
If you are interested, please apply to determine if you qualify to complete your free IDI assessment and an individual IDI debrief tailored to your developmental orientation (DO).
Itasca Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Tamara Lowney recently completed the IDI assessment through Northspan:
“When I think about how to make a difference in my community, I know it starts with meeting people where they are and trying to understand it from their perspective,” shared Tamara. “However, I don’t always understand the best way to reach people—both people I feel similar to, as well as those I don’t. In my first session with IDI, Kevin helped me understand what I feel is the real benefit of IDI work—perspective influence. How can I connect with and engage individuals to break through stereotypical barriers and help us both make progress in understanding?”
Kevin Skwira-Brown MSW, LGSW (he, him, his)
Kevin is a founding partner and full-time trainer at Cultural Fluency Associates LLP. He has 10 years of direct social service experience, over 20 years of teaching social work and communication courses at the collegiate level and continues to do grassroots multicultural community organizing. For the past 13 years he has developed, presented, and facilitated diversity, inclusion and cultural development work with individuals and organizations striving to live in line with their values and missions. In addition to Intercultural Development work, Kevin engages participants with humility, respect, and authenticity through workshops, keynote presentations and multi-day sessions on white privilege, equity, and inclusion. Clients include colleges/universities, city and county government, foundations, non-profits, schools, and religious organizations. Community equity work he helped lead was highlighted by the Media Policy Center in the PBS special, Our Kids: Narrowing the Opportunity Gap which premiered in 2019. Kevin can be reached at Kevin@culturalfluencyassociates.com.