SIETAR Europa Board Message: COVID-19

Dear SIETAR Europa Members and Friends,

SIETAR Europa has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact in Europe. Weunderstand that each of your regions has been uniquely impacted and are at different stages in their response. The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors is in close contact with each national SIETAR, as well as the direct members, and continues to monitor the progress of this pandemic and its impact on our members and organization.

As interculturalists, many of us have learned to accept ambiguity and uncertainty, yet we understand that it creates fear and stress for many others. We hope this is opportunity for communities to come together and innovate, as we have seen with neighbors in Italy singing and making music together, among many other great examples of generosity and caring across the world. Unfortunately, we are also aware that the situation has stoked fear against those who are different to us. There has been scape-goating and blame-hunting of cultural groups by individuals and unfortunately government leaders. SIETAR-Europa calls upon the leaders in Europe and beyond, from majors to presidents, from union-leaders to CEOs, from athletes to artists, to protect the vulnerable, to unite instead of fracture, to servetheir communities instead of themselves.

SIETAR subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and works towards the elimination of every kind of discrimination based on race, skin-colour, gender, sexual orientation, family and marital status, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Therefore, SIETAR Europa is calling on each of its members to join us in openly rejecting racism, operating from equity, and maintaining a voice of inclusion within our networks, communities, and organizations.

During times of crisis and uncertainty, our values and skill set as intercultural practitioners are more relevant than ever. We believe that times like this call for solidarity and compassion, and it is important for communities to come together across our differences to find solutions and weather the storm.

SIETAR Europa will continue to host our monthly virtual events, and we are encouraging national SIETARs to also host their events online. Let’s continue to build community, learn from one another, and take action towards our values of openness, tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

In solidarity,
The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors