At my core, I am a peacemaker. The definition for my name, Erin, even means peace. But, we live in a world full of conflict and disruption. Growing up I noticed that many problems in the world are connected to culture. Our race, how we experience gender, the religion(s) in our community, how much money someone has, and where we were born influence our challenges and how we respond to others. Growing up in multi-cultural environments of the Maryland suburbs also taught me that communities are better when differences are truthfully acknowledged and valued. So, in college I studied the problems tied to culture and came up with ways to practice solutions.
Now, my work in intercultural communication has shown me that you cannot fast forward to the "let's hold hands and sing kumbaya" cultural celebration until you deal with the tough parts. And learning to understand and communicate about culture in connection to power, privilege, and systems of oppression is HARD. In my classes we get into the hard stuff with culture. We survive. Then we tell others what we did... I also use media and pop culture along the way to prove how relevant and necessary these skills are.