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Archived CEI

Crossing Borders

Practicing the Art of Dialogue across Differences.

Join CEI for a unique opportunity to experience the award-winning documentary, Crossing Borders with a guest appearance by the film maker.

Crossing Borders Education’s (CBE) vision is to facilitate intercultural dialogue through interactive workshops, using thought-provoking media, and engaging dialogue that empower you during these uncertain times. CBE is delighted to partner with Charter for Compassion Education Institute to create meaningful connections and combine group learning and practices through media and CBE’s award-winning documentary “Crossing Borders”.

Start Date: September 11, 2023
Duration: 3 weeks
Tuition: $30.00 US
Registration: Now Open!

Meetup Time: Each meetup is 1.5 hours in length. This is a unique and interactive virtual workshop that creates deep, intimate, and personal connections in small groups, using breakout sessions. Because of the nature of the personal sharing of stories of overcoming, insights, thoughts, and feelings, it will not be recorded.  


Meetup Dates and Times:
Monday September 18 9AM Pacific, 12noon Eastern, 5PM UK
Monday September 25 9AM Pacific, 12noon Eastern, 5PM UK
Monday October 2 9AM Pacific, 12noon Eastern, 5PM UK

Course Description
This course will use media and film to engage group discussions that empower people to view the world from multiple perspectives.

The first part of this workshop will look at Resilience and Stories of Overcoming. We invite you to watch the trailer, for a glimpse of the safe and nurturing spaces these sessions generate. 

The workshop offers a place to share our personal stories of overcoming and listen to the stories of others, to enable participants to foster emotional resilience and practice dialogue skills, without prejudice and free of judgement. CBE’s method includes small groups in break out rooms with the same participants for all three sessions, so that trust can be established among the participants.

The first two sessions of the workshop will engage participants in building trusting relationships so that they will feel safe to share their own stories. It will also prepare participants for the third session, which will occur after each participant has viewed the documentary on their own. This is an exclusive viewing of the award-winning documentary “Crossing Borders” where four Moroccan and four American university students travel together through Morocco and, in the process of discovering The Other, discover themselves. The relationships that develop through shared experiences, humor, honesty and a willingness to be challenged, disarm the supposed clash of civilization between Islam and the West.

We invite you to watch the trailer for “Crossing Borders”. After each individual viewing, participants will be encouraged to share reactions, perspectives, insights and thoughts in the final gathering.

Learning Objectives

Each participant will have the opportunity:

  • To grow emotional resilience by having the courage to be intimate and vulnerable in a virtual space.
  • To train your ability to listen deeply – aiming to overcome inherent judgement.
  • To practice how to dialogue consciously.
  • To nurture and cherish kindness and empathy for self and the Other.
  • To explore cultural and religious differences, and how to express different views.

The following Dialogue Agreements create a safe space:

  • Openness: We commit to learning to understand and not to persuade.
  • Personal: We aim to use personal language and avoid hurtful generalizations.
  • Resilience: We commit to listening when something is hard to hear.
  • Confidentiality: We aim to help to create a safe, brave space.
  • Respect: We aim to share “airtime” carefully and equally.

We ask for your full presence for all three online sessions, without distractions and with an open mind. The sessions are not recorded, to allow privacy and confidentiality for the dialogues in small groups. 

Course Details

Three sessions, 1.5 hours per session. Participants will be asked to view the documentary film “Crossing Borders” (70 minutes) on their own, between the second and final session.

Before each session, participants will be asked to reflect and journal on several questions in preparation for sharing in the session.

Session 1: On Discovering Resilience
We start the session by creating a space for sharing and listening, introducing the Dialogue Agreements so we can listen to and share each other's stories of overcoming in a safe environment. With the help of peer videos and a powerful and emotional spoken word performance, we find the courage to be vulnerable. In break-out rooms, small groups will share and explore resilience.

Session 2: On Discovering Purpose
We continue our journey to find the courage to be vulnerable, to listen actively and to speak intentionally. The media content in this session will focus on examples of inspiring individuals who found that they could do something about what was important and meaningful to them in a way that supports others. Small groups, which will be the same participants from the first session, will have time to share and talk about purpose, whatever that means to each participant.

On own: Watch the documentary film “Crossing Borders”. See the trailer.

Session 3: “Crossing Borders” - Practicing the Art to Dialogue across Differences

Intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Robert Alan

During this last session we take an in-depth look into the documentary film “Crossing Borders”, addressing intercultural communication, cross-cultural tension, intercultural understanding and through these, self-awareness.



Good films explain the world to us. Great films show us how to make it better. ‘Crossing Borders’ is a wonderful film that deepens intercultural empathy.

Mark Bauman, EVP National Geographic TV

The CBE session on Emotional Resilience was such a powerful experience of connection and reflection. Listening deeply to others’ stories and having my own voice heard with empathy and acceptance gave me a strong sense of community that I find mostly missing from virtual professional spaces.

Dr Kris Acheson-Clair, Purdue University, Director of CILMA

About Crossing Borders Education and the Facilitators

IMG-Arnd WächterArnd Wächter
Crossing Borders Education was founded by Arnd Wächter, an award winning filmmaker, intercultural educator and social entrepreneur. He founded the non-profit organizations Crossing Borders Education and Morocco Exchangeas a creative and proactive response to 9/11. His passion for intentional, cross-cultural interactions drives him to produce professional, feature documentary films. He strongly believes that through well-crafted storytelling, films have the power to put a human face on abstract, complex social issues and make them accessible to large groups of people. This in turn builds empathy and inspires individuals to engage, dialogue and act. Through Crossing Borders Films he produced three feature documentaries: Crossing Borders, The Dialogue and American Textures. His feature films were selected at over 20 intercultural conferences and 15 international film festivals, winning several awards. He co-produced the cross-cultural landing page for National Geographic Education around his intercultural film trilogy. Arnd and his work appeared in the New York Times, Euronews, the PIE Magazine and on National Public Radio (NPR), among others.


IMG-Linda HuskesLinda Huskes
Linda’s passion for connecting people, organizations and communities is a recurring theme in her life. She was born and raised in the Netherlands where she worked at various secondary schools teaching English. She moved to higher education, to work in International Education, where she met the inspiring people who helped her give students the chance to spend time abroad and learn from others and themselves. Linda holds Master Degrees in English and Education. Meeting Crossing Borders Education’s founder Arnd Wächter gave her the opportunity to facilitate, collaborate and connect with a variety of people and communities. Linda settled down in the Irish countryside where she runs a retreat centre with her husband, and is now a member of the CBE team, facilitating interactive workshops. She also creates other workshops that will serve communities to unlock the powers of diversity and deep connections, something that is so needed right now.


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