Immerse yourself in a global experience with the Fall 2021 SIT Critical Conversations Webinar Series. Through these free virtual events, prospective students, academic advisors, faculty members, and curious global citizens can hear from SIT faculty, guest speakers, alumni and other experts around the world as we come together to confront our own assumptions and address the most critical global issues of our time.

School for International Training (SIT) developed our Critical Global Issues framework as the basis for all of our programming. Through this framework, we seek to develop the next generation of leaders with the expertise and intercultural understanding to engage all identities, perspectives, and cultures through respectful, enduring, and meaningful interaction.



Photo of Tim Rivera
Tim Rivera
DEI Program Manager & Advisor to the CEO (Interim), World Learning
Photo of Kory Saunders
Kory Saunders
Assistant Director for Strategic Marketing, Diversity, and Inclusion,
North Carolina State University
Photo of Besi Muhonja
Besi Muhonja
Associate Vice Provost of Scholarship, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professor,
James Madison University



The "Intangible Baggage": Gen Z and DEI in Education Abroad

Tuesday, 9/14 | 2–3 PM ET | View the Recorded Webinar (Password: Conversations2021)


PDF icon SIT Study Abroad Global Health & Well-Being Brochure 2020.pdf


Gen Z is the most diverse generation in American history, and they come to study abroad experiences with "intangible baggage" - their own perceptions, needs, and expectations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This presentation will raise a few related questions and food for thought on these issues for students, professionals, and educators interested or working in study abroad.


Presenter: Tim Rivera (he/him)


Centering Indigenous Voices: The Promise of DEI and the Limits of Coloniality

Wednesday, 9/15 | 11 AM–12:30 PM ET | View the Recorded Webinar (Password: Conversations2021)


Research in a Vietnamese Indigenous Context: Challenges and Perspectives for a More Inclusive and Equitable Framework

This presentation provides critical insights into the contextual challenges of conducting research in an indigenous setting in Vietnam. Drawing on studies of indigenous and minority communities in the Mekong Delta, Central Highlands, and Northern Uplands of Vietnam, the author engages in self and methodological reflections to explain the challenges of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion values when doing research that involves indigenous populations.


Presenter: Duong Van Thanh (she/her)


Decolonial Pedagogy and Epistemological Detachment: The Case for an Educative Autonomy for the Mapuche People

In this presentation, the author defines and advocates for the necessity of an educative autonomy of the Mapuche ("people of the land") through a decolonial critique of the state-sponsored violence against the Mapuche people that is materialized by epistemicide, deterritorialization, and ethnocide and is legitimized by a strong misrepresentation of Mapuche history.


Presenter: Roberto Villaseca (he/him)


Celebrate International Day of Peace with SIT's MA in Peace and Justice Leadership

Tuesday, 9/21 | 12–1 PM ET | Register Here


Bruce Dayton will facilitate a short discussion with alumni and current students about peace in the global context. This webinar will also include information about the two-year master's degree in peace and justice leadership, how to apply, and how to pay for it.


Presenters: Maira Tungatarova (she/her), Bruce Dayton (he/him), Voices of peace from alumni and current students


SIT Virtual Open House—Samoa: Social and Environmental Change in Oceania

Thursday, 9/23 | 2-3 PM ET | Register Here


Join Academic Director Fetaomi Tapu-Qiliho as she provides an overview of the Samoa: Social and Environmental Change in Oceania immersive semester program and the learning center in Apia, Samoa. The session will conclude with an open Q&A session. Bring your questions!


Presenter: Fetaomi Tapu-Qiliho (she/her)


Find Your Funding for SIT Study Abroad, SIT Graduate Institute, and Beyond

Tuesday, 9/28 | 3–4 PM ET | Register Here


Studying on an SIT Study Abroad or SIT Graduate Institute program is an experience of a lifetime, but costs can sometimes seem overwhelming at first glance. Start your financial planning early and join us as we discuss SIT and external funding and scholarship opportunities. We will also cover post-graduate awards for continued research and fellowships, such as the Fulbright Program, SIT's Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship, and more.


Presenters: Diane Robinson (she/her), Andrea Asai (she/her)


Coloniality, Indigenous Knowledge, and Healthcare Delivery in the Global South: Chile and Madagascar as Case Studies

Thursday, 9/30 | 12–1 PM ET | Register Here


This presentation aims to provide a critical perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion as they pertain to processes that have shaped health and health policies for marginalized populations, with a special focus on indigenous peoples in Chile and Madagascar.


Presenters: Nat Quansah (he/him), Daniel Poblete (he/him)


Identity and Navigating Study Abroad

Wednesday, 10/6 | 3–4 PM ET | Register Here


The facets of your identity-such as race, gender, class, sexuality, and more—inform how you view the world. These facets will also come into play during your time abroad. During this session, presenters will discuss important considerations and questions regarding identity and study abroad. This session will be a collaboration between Vanessa Doyle and Ian Hefele in SIT Admissions and Kory Saunders, assistant director for strategic marketing, diversity, and inclusion at North Carolina State University.


Presenters: Vanessa Doyle (she/her), Ian Hefele (he/him), Kory Saunders (she/her)


SIT Virtual Open House—India: Sustainable Development and Social Change

Thursday, 10/7 | 12–1 PM ET | Register Here


Join Academic Director Trilochan Pandey as he provides an overview of the India: Sustainable Development and Social Change immersive semester program. Trilochan will also briefly describe the India: Virtual Internship in Environment, Development, and Sustainability and Virtual Hindi Language programs. The session will conclude with an open Q&A session. Bring your questions!


Presenter: Trilochan Pandey (he/him)


SIT Virtual Open House—IHP Food Systems: Agriculture, Sustainability, and Justice

Tuesday, 10/12 | 12–1 PM ET | Register Here


Join Program Director and Program Chair Joseph Lanning as he provides an overview of the IHP Food Systems: Agriculture, Sustainability, and Justice immersive semester program. Joe will also briefly describe the Global Master of Arts in Development Practice program. The session will conclude with an open Q&A session. Bring your questions!


Presenter: Joseph Lanning (he/him)


Cook "Mosakhan" with SIT Jordan

Thursday, 10/14 | 1–2:30 PM ET | Register Here


Sahtain wa Afia! Learn to cook a traditional Palestinian dish called mosakhan with the help of SIT Jordan Academic Director Raed Al-Tabini and a local SIT homestay mother, Sakhaa Batayneh. Learn more about the ingredients and cooking utensils needed and cook the dish together virtually (more information coming soon).


Presenters: Raed Al-Tabini (he/him), Sakhaa Batayneh (she/her)


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Representations and Epistemologies of DEI: A Conversation with Leading Postcolonial Theorist Homi K. Bhabha

Monday, 10/18 | 12–2 PM ET | Register Here


Engage with one of the most influential voices of the past 100 years, Homi K. Bhabha, on conceptual imaginings of society in an era marked by "the governance of the unprepared," "the fragility of democracy," "tribal nationalism," and racism. Bhabha, a leading voice in postcolonial theory, is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities in the English and Comparative Literature Departments at Harvard University and the author of numerous works exploring postcolonial theory, cultural change and power, contemporary art, and cosmopolitanism.


Presenter: Homi K. Bhabha (he/him) | Moderators: Sophia Howlett (she/her), Taieb Belghazi, (he/him) | Discussants: Jana Byars (she/her), Cheikh Thiam (he/him), Paul Chouchana, Said Graiouid (he/him)


Alumni Perspectives on the SIT Study Abroad Experience

Thursday, 10/21 | 4–5 PM ET | Register Here


Recent SIT alumni will talk about their experiences navigating study abroad during the pandemic, social identity, culture shock, program components, budgeting, homestays and lodging, and more. Alumni featured in this presentation studied abroad with SIT over the past year and were students on our virtual programs. This is an open discussion that can take any direction. Bring your questions!


Presenters: Zachary Coeman (he/him), Alumni


Celebrate Global Health Equity Week with SIT's MA in Global Health

Tuesday, 10/26 | 11 AM–12 PM ET | Register Here


Steve Wandiga and current global health master's degree students will talk about global health equity with COVID-19 vaccines from Kisumu, Kenya, where they are completing their first semester. This webinar will also include information about the one-year global health degree, how to apply, and how to pay for it.


Presenters: Steve Wandiga (he/him), Mary Kay Sigda (she/her), Current students


SIT Graduate Institute Admissions—EdD in Global Education

Monday, 11/1 | 1–2 PM ET | Register Here


Learn more about our part-time, hybrid EdD in Global Education program at SIT Graduate Institute. Accelerate your career by building the interdisciplinary expertise and skills to address critical issues in global education. This event is designed for prospective students to learn more in-depth details about these innovative programs.


Presenters: Alla Korzh (she/her), Mary Kay Sigda (she/her)


SIT Language Sampler: Learn Tibetan—the Language of the Himalayas

Tuesday, 11/2 | 11:30 AM–12:30 PM ET | Register Here


Tashi delek! Join SIT's experienced teachers in Nepal for an interactive, online beginner Tibetan language class. Native to the Himalayas, Tibetan is the spiritual language of Tibetan Buddhism and is a living language spoken by more than six million people across Nepal, Bhutan, northern India, and the Tibet Autonomous Region. This sample language class is ideal for anyone with an interest in the culture and identity of the Himalayas.


Presenters: Dhichen Wangmo (she/her), Patricia Owens (she/her)


Gender, DEI, and the Institutionalization of Patriarchy

Thursday, 11/4 | 10–11:30 AM ET | Register Here


Dehumanization, Demonization, and the Invention of Women in Indonesia

Academic Director Ni Wayan Ariati will compare the process of "mythological demonization" of the images of Durga, a Hindu goddess, to the "black propaganda" during the New Order Indonesia that led to destruction of the Indonesian women's movement known as Gerwani (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia).


COVID-19, Gender-Based Violence, and the Institutional Challenges of Gender Equity: Reflections from the Global South

Academic Director Nuria Pena will first engage with gender equity from the perspective of the definitions given by international institutions such as the United Nations before she analyzes some of the challenges Argentina faced in terms of increased numbers of extreme violence cases and the ways the new institutional architecture is attempting to address them.


Presenters: Ni Wayan Ariati (she/her), Nuria Pena (she/her)


Emerging Ethical Brands

Monday, 11/8 | 3–4 PM ET | Register Here


Kerlyne Jean-Baptiste, an International Honors Program alumna (2014), will explore emerging ethical brands and how conscious manufacturing, branding, and products can impact communities globally. Kerlyne is a social changemaker. She is CEO and founder of KerlyGirl (, a natural hair company that provides clean products to folks with coily textures. KerlyGirl aims to be the vanguard of the budding conscious space between beauty and health for folks of color. Featured in The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Providence Business News, the company was one of Rhode Island Inno's 10 Startups to Watch in 2021.


Presenter: Kerlyne Jean-Baptiste (she/her)


Natural Soap Making with the Laguna Verde School in Chile

Tuesday, 11/9 | 12–1 PM ET | Register Here


The Laguna Verde School is a rural educative community in Laguna Verde, on the Pacific coast close to Valparaíso in central Chile. The school educates students through mural painting, Mapuche culture, and environmental issues. The students maintain a vegetable plot with a grange and a laboratory where they process natural products with herbs and plants obtained from the plot. Bring your materials and join Academic Director Roberto Villaseca and the Laguna Verde School to make soap virtually (more information coming soon)!


Presenter: Roberto Villaseca (he/him)


Utu: A Critical Tool in Gender and Queer Studies

Monday, 11/15 | 12–1:30 PM ET | Register Here


In this closing session, Besi Muhonja and Kwame Otu, two leading voices in Africana studies, rethink concepts of gender, sexuality, and queerness from the perspective of Utu, an Africa-centered understanding of ontology. Besi Muhonja is associate vice provost of scholarship, diversity, equity, and inclusion and professor of African-American and diaspora studies and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at James Madison University. Kwame Otu is assistant professor of The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.


Presenter: Besi Muhonja (she/her) | Kwame Otu (he/him)


Program Chair, SIT
Associate Vice Provost of Scholarship, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professor,
James Madison University
Executive Director, Associate Professor & Chair, SIT
SIT Academic Dean
Academic Director - Chile, SIT
Homestay & Program Coordinator - Nepal, SIT
Academic Director & Co-Chair - Vietnam, SIT
Faculty; Academic Director - Samoa, SIT
Senior Advisor on the Humanities,
Harvard University
Academic Director - Netherlands, SIT
Program Director – IHP Food Systems, SIT
Founder & CEO, Kerly Girl
Assistant Director for Strategic Marketing, Diversity, and Inclusion,
North Carolina State University
Assistant Professor,
The Carter G. Woodson Institute
Academic Director - Madagascar, SIT
Academic Director - Indonesia, SIT
Academic Director - Argentina, SIT
PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Program Coordinator – Nepal, SIT
Academic Director - Jordan, SIT
Academic Director - Chile, SIT
SIT Dean of Faculty
Sakhaa Batayneh
Homestay Mother - Jordan, SIT
SIT President
Program Chair; Academic Director - Kenya, SIT
Academic Director - Morocco, SIT
DEI Program Manager & Advisor to the CEO (Interim),
World Learning
Academic Director - India, SIT