Leadership & Civic Engagement

Navigating Difference

Navigating Difference is a cultural competency training for professionals who serve the general public and want to work more effectively across cultural differences. This intensive three-day workshop helps participants deepen their knowledge, build their skills, and grow their appreciation for connecting across diversity with clientele, co-workers and community members.

This research-based training helps individuals gain the knowledge, skills and attitude to increase their own cultural competence in order to build more inclusive work environments and communities. Developed by Washington State University Extension, Navigating Difference: Cultural Competency. The goals for the training are to assist participants to:

  • Become more aware of their own personal and organizational cultures;
  • Examine how our personal and organizational cultures affect our ability to work across difference, in both negative and positive ways; and
  • Build skills to increase competencies as we work with others who are different from us.


Navigating Difference Training

This three-day (18-hour) experiential cultural competence training builds on foundations from social justice, intercultural communication and organizational development. The training intertwines research-based theories and frameworks with activities and discussion from participants’ own experiences. Each successive module builds on the previous one, deepening the participant’s learning. The five modules are:

  • Cultural Awareness
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Cultural Knowledge
  • Cultural Interaction
  • Cultural Sensitivity


Program Takeaways

Participants completing the 3-day workshop (18 educational hours) receive a certificate of attendance. Check with your professional association to see if CEUs are available.

Included in the training are:

  • Lunch, refreshments, and materials needed for each day of the workshop
  • Navigating Difference: Cultural Competency Training workbook
  • Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory Assessment (ICS)

Target Audiences

Navigating Difference has successfully trained Extension professionals, librarians, educators, health and social service providers, public servants, law enforcement and public safety professionals in Indiana and beyond.


  • “This can be a difficult topic and all three [trainers] were able to provide a great atmosphere that inspired discussion."
  • “There is a meaningful purpose for this training and I needed to open (re-open) my mind to exploring cultural and privilege issues.”
  • “I gained the ability to better see situations, identify cultural issues and respond more effectively."
  • “Amazing! Enlightening! Every organization needs this.

To learn more about Navigating Difference please contact:

Kris Parker
Community Development Regional Educator


 For more details about the Navigating Difference Training format and evaluation, refer to:

Cultural Awareness

In this is interactive half-day workshop, participants explore personal and cultural values, biases, prejudices and views. Through conversation and activities, participants learn how culture shapes us, how cultures are different and similar and how we can recognize our own culture(s), including our organization’s culture. The fee per participant is $30 and includes a notebook.

Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

Purdue Extension has several trained Qualified Administrators of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) who can administer this assessment for your team or group. This program includes a short presentation, a group report, one-on-one debrief sessions with each person completing the assessment to discuss their profile report and individual development plan.

Implicit Bias

This engaging 75-minute virtual program touches on emerging research around implicit social bias and how it may impact our behavior in ways that we may not intend. Learn strategies to build awareness of common biases and interact more intentionally with colleagues and clientele.

Contact Kris Parker parkerkj@purdue.edu with inquiries about these programs.

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