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All Photos: Jenny Zander
In a partnership connected to the great cultural diversity of the Twin Cities region, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) joined with ILI Partners, Facilitators and Fellows to create a pre-conference learning experience prior to the 2019 AFTA National Convention in Minneapolis. ​
ILI brought a 2-day overview of its approach that emphasizes overlapping experiences, shared spaces and mutual accountability – that seeks to challenge dominant social norms while honoring differences of histories, traditions, vocabulary and more.
The pre-conference included:

  1. A range of ILI partners, fellows and other leaders from the field who explored and engaged one another as well as audience on the four core questions that shape the Intercultural Leadership Institute curriculum.
  2. A framework for participants to understand their own work as well as the work of others from an intercultural perspective.
  3. An opportunity for participants to identify opportunities for greater intercultural awareness and action within their own work.

This preconference started at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 13 and ran through 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 14, taking place in St. Paul at the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center and at the Convention Hotel.


“I appreciated the opportunity to connect with members of the first year’s cohort. The curriculum and methodologies felt really consistent even though it was a shorter period of time. My own ILI experience equipped me to facilitate a pod discussion and participate in the overall experience” – Kyoung Park, ILI 2018/19

“As someone who has spent 25 years doing this work and dreaming of ILI 8-10 years, seeing all those righteous intentions manifest, was amazing. Think about the way we work and have built /designed something standing on the shoulders of ancestors… I felt our ancestors would be proud.  It was so affirming.”

Tufara Waller Muhammad, Datule’ Artist Collective, Little Rock, AR
Pilot Design & Facilitation Team, ILI 2015-18