Origins of FCC
In the late 1990’s, the Diversity Institute at the University of Minnesota conducted a student immersion leadership program, facilitated by Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid, called “Diversity Explorations.” Beth Zemsky soon joined the facilitation team. Together Nehrwr and Beth expanded the curriculum and the audience to include University of Minnesota students, faculty, staff, and community members who wished to build their leadership skills around diversity and inclusion. Nehrwr and Beth conducted Diversity Explorations workshops annually at the University of Minnesota, and later in community settings through the early 2000’s when Phyllis Braxton and julius erolin (both of whom had been participants in earlier Diversity Exploration workshops) joined the team.
Nehrwr, Beth, julius, and Phyllis brought their over 50 years of collective experience in working for diversity, inclusion and equity, and their commitment to learn from each other and workshop participants, to create a new design for training leaders committed to intercultural competence and social justice. Facilitating Cultural Change was born out of this collaboration. The current design of Facilitating Cultural Change owes much to the creativity, passion, commitment, compassion, wisdom, and intellectual rigor of this team.