Bio:

Arnd Wächter is an award winning filmmaker, intercultural educator and social entrepreneur. He founded the non-profit organizations Crossing Borders Education and Morocco Exchange as a creative response to 9/11. His passion for intentional cross-cultural interactions lead him to produce professional feature documentary films, following his conviction that film, through well-crafted storytelling, has the power to put a human face on abstract, complex social issues and make them accessible to large groups of people, build empathy and inspire individuals to engage, dialogue and act. Arnd produced three feature documentaries, founded Crossing Borders Films and produced the cross-cultural landing page for National Geographic Education. His feature films were selected at over 20 intercultural conferences and 15 international film festivals, winning several awards. Arnd and his work appeared in the New York Times, NPR, the PIE Magazine and Euronews, among others.

Arnd was born in East Germany and grew up next to the Berlin Wall. His awareness of national responsibilities to confront historic violence, racism and experiences of outer and inner walls between people and cultures lead him to live for two decades abroad and travel across the world, looking for ways to deepen his own understanding of the world, its diversity and the nature of separation and conflict facilitation. Arnd presents regularly at conferences and campuses in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Jonathan Santos

Originally born in the Big Apple, with family Ancestry out of the Mississippi Delta and Puerto Rico by way of NYC, growing up and traveling throughout Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, and settling in the South Eastern U.S to hone his craft and further education at an HBCU, Jonathan “Santos” has a passion for genuine insight into the complexities of the social construct of race, culture, and privilege as they play out in communities here in the U.S. An artist committed to creating works of inspiration and awareness around intra and interpersonal communication, social as well as environmental justice.  A consistent theme in his work is “I’m Changing the World by Changing Me”.

Santos is founder and Cacique of GlocalSoul Edutainment, an arts based business whose mission is to deliver Life Changing, Entertaining and Educational Programing Empowering healthy collective and individual social change and self-transformation. Programing encompasses curriculum custom for Pre-K through College.

Programs:

The key event of Arnd’s campus visit is a film screening and facilitated student dialogue around his new documentary film American Textures.  The film portrays a constructive intergroup dialogue as a model for bringing both – realness and safety – into the classroom through carefully designed programming.

 

For many students, and the faculty and staff who support them, our times can feel like the most polarizing, uncertain era to be alive.  Unresolved or vaguely addressed issues of race and inequity around the globe are often exacerbated by media platforms promoting discussions that result in overly simplistic or unproductive expressions.

Dialogue is a tool that can help our communities move together, heal and strengthen. Through dialogue, universities and community colleges can use the differences that threaten to fragment campuses to instead weave adaptable, strong communities across a variety of departments and subject areas. Constructive dialogue is a process that happens through learning how to actively listen and build intercultural awareness.  Crossing Borders Education and its affiliated colleagues works alongside numerous colleagues at institutions such as James Madison University, George Mason University and Webster University to help develop capacity in faculty, staff, and students to construct meaningful, sustained dialogues on campus.

At this time of heightened interracial tensions, the film and accompanying educational resources are designed to create common ground from which students, staff and faculty are supported engaging in the honest, compassionate, and at times uncomfortable cross-cultural dialogues necessary, if we are to live in a society that reflects social justice, mutual respect and understanding.

Arnd’s campus visit includes following components:

  • One film screening event and facilitated student dialogue targeting different subject areas and departments
  • One strategic staff/faculty meeting on ways to interlink intercultural and diversity learning on campus.
  • One professional development meeting on how to use the intercultural/D&I video clip toolkits (that include content from the CBE Intercultural Film Trilogy) in classroom settings.
  • The annual PPR license for the film American Textures
  • One follow up consultancy session (via Skype)

American Textures is a powerful and compelling film that reveals the importance of more honest discourse about race in America. The lives and stories of the young people masterfully presented in this film offer both hope and impetus for more of us to join the conversation.

Bryan StevensonFounder, Equal Justice Institute

American Textures gives us a road map to start the kind of dialogue that leads to genuine understanding and respect. The path is not easy. But it is clear.

Mark BaumanExecutive Vice President, National Geographic TV

CBE resources are excellent ways for instructors to discuss sensitive topics in formats that meet students where they are while assisting them in developing essential skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue.

Colette CummingsEd.D., Associate Dean, Multicultural Center, Webster University, St. Louis, MO