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January 26, 2021
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Master Class in Risk Communication and Cultural Diversity
Advanced level training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
This training focuses on cross-cultural skills needed to be an effective risk and crisis communicator. Topics covered include words, images and situations that suggest cultural or ethnic stereotypes. Participants learn negative implications of symbolism and usage that could offend people or reinforce bias. During the course participants discuss language with questionable racial or ethnic connotations. The course highlights different cultural meanings assigned to: symbols, signs, words, different cultural standards conversation, and different meanings of colors and images.

Who should take this course?

This course is recommended for those who perform any of the following tasks:

  • Deal with people and organizations from other cultures
  • Deliver messages to diverse audiences
  • Engage in dialog and information exchanges with diverse audiences
  • Respond to difficult questions and challenging situations derived from cultural differences

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Review existing risk and crisis communication plans, activities, and practices for cultural competency;
  • Describe the skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes needed to be a culturally competent risk and crisis communicator;
  • Describe the attitudes, values, and biases that can influence success in communicating risk across cultures in emergency and non-emergency situations;
  • Recognize the difference between intent and impact in cross cultural conversations about risk; and
  • Analyze case studies for the attitudes, values, and biases that influence success in communicating across cultures.

What are the logistics?
This half-day course is highly interactive and includes analysis of case studies and practice sessions. It also includes discussion of risk and crisis communication challenges raised by differences in ethnicity and race. Maximum course size is 40 participants.

Dr. Vincent T. Covello, founder and Director of the Center for Risk Communication, teaches this course. Dr. Covello is a nationally and internationally recognized trainer, researcher, consultant, and expert in crisis, conflict, change and risk communications. Over the past twenty-five years, he has held numerous positions in academia and government, including Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Clinical Medicine at Columbia University.

Is there available background material?
There is no recommended background material.

For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

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Bullet  Atlanta, GA
  April 25, 2018 - April 25, 2018
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