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TCKid 2014 Year in Review

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 The TCK/ Cross Culture Community 2014 Year-In-Review

By TCKid

 

In the process of researching and pulling together information for this year in review, I discovered that our voices within the Third Culture Kid (TCK) or global nomad and cross culture community have added more color to the canvas of our identity.  The diversity of backgrounds, opinions, concerns, and experiences within the tribe have begun to become more visible or vocal.  We have begun to move beyond the standard scripts about matters that continue to be close to our hearts: We have moved into discussing social concerns and human experiences and brought them back into the fold of how we experience them as TCKs or cross cultural individuals.  

We have demonstrated that global mobility and cross cultural navigation will always influence how we experience life on some level.  However, we also fear, cry about and are vulnerable to, as well as celebrate, enjoy and rejoice at, the same things as individuals who grew up in one town.   We bleed, hurt, can be flawed and are mortal as any other human beings.  We just have the unshakable context of cultural or geographic mobility.  We find our strengths to overcome challenges through the mobility that made us who we are and when we get up to stand, speak out or do something, we change things around us.

We speak, write and create out of being in between worlds, but we also share some experiences with the rest of the world.  We navigate community, academia, human services, and private enterprise out of being from nowhere and everywhere, but we have also established a niche securely anchored to our tribe’s deep roots and history.  

I hope you enjoy reading through these highlights of first times, milestones and significant events from 2014, which continue the history of our tribe.  If a story or event was not mentioned or overlooked, it definitely does not reflect its significance for the tribe.  I wish to thank all who took the time to contribute their stories and Erin Sinogba for her assistance.  Many of the stories, discovered in the research for this article, were very eye-opening for me and I hope you will find them valuable as well.  

Thank you all for being you and making our tribe look simply human, beautiful, powerful. 

-Myra Dumapias

 

In January, Actress and writer  Elizabeth Liang‘s show, Alien Citizen: an earth odyssey, a play about being “from everywhere and nowhere,” starts to make its rounds at colleges, starting with California State University – Los Angeles, followed by Princeton and M.I.T. in February and Wesleyan, Williams and other colleges the rest of the year.  Liang also starts touring internationally in Iceland and Panama and keynotes for Families in Global Transition (FIGT) in March.  Aside from the global nomad identity, Liang also addresses mixed race topics in the show, which she performs at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University in Chicago in November.  According to Liang,

Something about the learned role of the outsider seems to strike a chord, even in people who I would not expect to relate to that.  This has been a joyous and humbling discovery…and a reminder of lessons I learned while growing up as a TCK: we all have more in common than we know.  My dream is to take the show to festivals and international schools worldwide.

Liang has appeared in television shows, “The West Wing”, “Law and Order: Los Angeles”, “Frasier”, “Felicity”, and other TV shows and movies.

 
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Photo Credits: Ardi Kuhn, Source: Jakarta Globe

In February, Jakarta Globe reports on the effects of the thick ash that covered Yogyakarta after Mt Elud’s eruption in east Java and features the photo of Ardi Kuhn, a TCK who was once one of TCKid’s local group leaders.  Kuhn is a sound and visual artist, web developer and works as a teacher in Java.

 

Babble, a Disney sponsored family-centered online lifestyle magazine, publishes an article written by TCK Rachel Pieh Jones in February on,  The Conversation We’re Not Having: Sexual Harassment and Third Culture Kids .   In the article, Jones confronts how expat adults and teens experience sexual harassment and discusses the importance of taking about the problem.  Jones points out, “While sexual harassment is always awful, shaming, and wrong, experiencing it as a foreigner carries the added dimension of isolation and uncertainty and experiencing it as a foreign kid is especially traumatic.”  

Jones herself has experienced sexual harassment herself as an expat.  In her September 2013 Djibouti Jones blog article, Jones states,  I listen to the stories of the women around me. And I say, me too. That happened to me too. I tell my story, I don’t hide it because it is embarrassing, because my reaction wasn’t what I wish it were. I hear the women around me say, me too. And say, I’m sorry. And say, I’m angry with you, for you. I believe we are the walking wounded. Yes, we are wounded, but yes, we are walking forward, out the front door.

Jones’ TCK and expat related work also appears in other publications, such as Christianity Today, and the New York Times.  

 

Heidi Tunberg

Heidi Tunberg, a TCK who works with TCKs and loves collecting resources and information about the Third Culture experience starts creating TCK-themed boards on Pinterest around February.  “I discovered Pinterest was a perfect place to organize my collections to make them accessible to others…. I created 17 TCK-themed boards spotlighting books by and for TCKs, TCK-themed movies and videos, articles & blog posts, famous TCKs, fun items, quotes and memes for TCKs, and more.”  Tunberg welcomes suggestions for any material to add to her TCK-themed Pinterest boards.  

 

Tofugu, a “wonky Japanese language and culture blog,” which published The Kikokushijo Dilemma: , by TCK Shoko, in late November last year, addresses Japan’s internationalization in a February article by Austin.  Tofugu touches on other topics  TCKs can relate to throughout the year, such as the April article on mixed-race or “half” Japanese by Mami and a July article on experiences of being different from the identity associated with ones physical features, in More Than Gaijin: Specific Ethnic Groups Living in Japan, by Laguna Levine.  Another article that TCKs may find interesting, which discusses hidden populations and explores the concept of whether a certain psycho-social phenomenon is culture-specific to Japan, is All About Hikikomori: Japan’s Missing Million by Kaitlin Stainbrook..

 

 

 
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In March, Doni Luckutt, launches CULTURS: The Global Multicultural Magazine, a new online publication featuring culturally-blended and culturally mobile people, including TCKs.  Founder and publisher of CULTURS, Luckutt is a culturally- and racially-blended global nomad and military brat and former Denver Post columnist, media personality and lifestyle expert.  CULTURS is the first stage towards the launch of the Institute of Global Culture Research proposed to be housed in the Journalism Department of Colorado State University in 2016.   Several TCKs and global nomads contribute as regular columnists (partial list).  

 

The Australian Network of Student Anthropologists features researcher Danau Tanu in March, about her work with TCK’s, such as her study, TCK’s Unpacking ‘Third Culture Kids’: the Transnational Lives of Young People at an International School in Postcolonial Indonesia.  TCK Tanu, a 2014 FIGT Scholar, completed her PhD in Anthropology and Asian studies at the University of Western Australia on mobility and international education in Indonesia.  Tanu also presents in July at the Asian Studies Association of Australia 2014 conference at University of Western Australia, Perth on “Becoming ‘international’: the cultural (re)production of elites and campus dynamics at an international school in Indonesia.”  Danau’s other work can be viewed on her University of Western Australia profile, including publication Engaging Indonesia’s Youth (December, 2014),  article “Are international school students Indonesian enough?” (July, 2014).  

 

Journalist Joyce Man launches her blog Criss-Cross Culture, a “home for cross-cultural questions big and small for citizens of the world from Asia”,  live from the FIGT conference in March. Man, another 2014 FIGT scholar and a German Chancellor Fellow, addresses topics from a Russian TV show host who spouts out racist statements about ‘Narrow-Eyed Mongoloids’ to a film about Korean TCKs by Juliet Yi, which was nominated for best film at the 2014 iPhone Film Festival.  Here is “Finding Home”, filmed entirely on an iPhone:.

 

In April, news about a suspected child molester shakes the community of TCK’s and expats.  TCKs in social media rapidly share a press release issued by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asking the public for assistance in finding more information about the suspected “international child predator,” who worked as international school teacher who worked in nine different countries, including “Nicaragua, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain, and Lebanon.”  According to the FBI, which worked with the “Department of State-Diplomatic Security Service and other national and international law enforcement partners” on the investigation, William James Vahey “used sleeping pills to drug his victims, but investigators (wanted) to learn more about his methods and what drugs he may have used.”

In separate incidents involving the Jakarta International School, outsourced school employees are arrested in April after investigations about multiple cases of reported incidents of repeated gang rape of a kindergarten student.  After the initial investigation, other families begin to report incidents that happened to their own children allegedly involving faculty and administration.  Two faculty members on trial, including one Canadian citizen, claim innocence, along with supportive family members and fellow faculty, and criticize the justice system of Indonesia as being corrupt.

 

David C Pollock

Celebrating the Legacy of David C. Pollock

Interaction International and Ruth Van Reken write powerful tributes on the 10th anniversary of David C. Pollock’s death, April 11, 2004.    Interaction International’s commemoration of Pollock’s legacy provide an opportunity for members of the community to share their words on Facebook.   Ruth Van Reken’s tribute, “A Man Ahead of His Time” is shared on TCKid’s news page as a guest post.  Upon finding a message about the passing of Pollock within the message from John 12:24 about how a kernel of wheat can become a seed he produces many seeds, Ruth relates, “I saw then that there were countless people all over the world in whose lives Dave had planted many seeds. Even though the one who had led and mentored so many of us was soon to be gone, all those seeds now scattered globally would take root and grow in new places. The topic had become too big for anyone person to carry alone. We all had to do our part.”  

 

TCKid launches its new program in April, Research Bridge: Linking Globally Cross-Cultural Researchers and the Public.   This new program aims to 1) cultivate the relationships between globally cross-cultural researchers and the public,  2) facilitate the increase of data, statistics and information about the TCK, Cross Cultural Kid (CCK), global nomad and expat population, and 3) foster the public’s access to research and information about these populations.  TCKid’s first Research Bridge scholarship beneficiary is Katia Mace, whose study was successful. Please stay tuned for more updates on the Research Bridge program.  

 

Summertime Publishing, run by Jo Parfitt since 1997, publishes three books in 2014, starting with Valérie Besanceney‘s B at Home: Emma Moves Again in April,  Douglas W. Ota‘s Safe Passage in October, and Christopher O’shaughnessy‘s Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between in December.  In November, The Worlds Within: An anthology of TCK art and writing – young, global and between cultures, edited by Jo Parfitt and  Eva László-Herbert, is released in November.  The anthology features artwork and writing about the experiences of young TCKs worldwide.       

 

Lill_Salole

Lill Salole of Kyrsscultur (“Cross culture” in Norweigan), “For de som lever der kulturer krysses,”publishes the second edition of  Cross-Cultural Kids: Belonging, Acknowledgement, Dilemmas and Resources in Norwegian in April.  The first edition was published in 2013.    

 

Paris and Beirut based author and publisher Nasri Atallah launches Gate37 in April.  At the time of launching, Gate37 describes itself as “a publishing house for people who find the question ‘Where are you from?’ hard to answer. It’s a place to belong for those who don’t belong anywhere. We’re looking for writers who are Third Culture Kids, fraught with the thoughts that come with a cross-cultural background.”

 

In May, Paula Vexlir, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with the Spanish-speaking expat community, launches her blog ExpatPsi to generate resources, articles and psychology available in Spanish for expats, TCKs, ATCKs and those who serve TCKs. ExpatPsi discusses various topics that affect TCK’s, such as grief, expat parenting, expat partners, and other topics. Vexlir also created a project to end the year that involve expats sharing what they have learned (with some interviews in Spanish and some in English) named “Compartiendo Saberes”. Visit the fanpage  for updates, such as the parenting workshop coming up on 2015 to help parents ease their children`s transitions.

 

Daraja, currently based in Muskegon, Michigan, organizes its first round table on TCK care with Ruth Van Reken, Heidi Tunberg, Michele Phoenix and Eric Larson in Chicago in May. The organization, created by Michael Pollock, establishes the first annual college TCK fall retreat in Muskegon in October.  According to Pollock, Daraja is currently “exploring ways to create networks of TCK mentors and coaches”.  Daraja’s mission is to “care for, encourage, and equip emerging cross-cultural leaders through mentoring, training, discipleship, and leadership experiences so that they will engage the world abundantly and responsively for Jesus’ sake.”  Daraja offers “Bridge Semesters” for post high-school to 20-something year old TCKs and cross cultural kids.  

 

LundstromBook

Catrin Lundstrom’s White Migrations: Gender, Whiteness and Privilege is published by Palgrave MacMillan in May  “From a multi-sited ethnography with Swedish migrant women in the US, Singapore and Spain, this book explores the intersections of racial and class privilege and gender vulnerabilities in contemporary feminized migration from or within ‘the West’.” Lundstrom’s book is described as filling a gap “in literature on race and migration, presenting some of the complexities of the current global power relations and the contextual variations that surround these.”   

 

In July, Myra Dumapias launches The Last Boarding Calla resource for TCKs and global nomads on the journeys of aging, retirement, sudden disability or death and dying.   Dumapias was a 2014 FIGT scholar who first observed the impact of her comments about this topic at the 2014 FIGT conference.  Her blog addresses how certain expats and global nomads, due to economic disparities among expats’ passport countries, are affected by the above life stages.  Dumapias illustrates in Expat Aging, Caregiving and Related Journeys: Why Bring Them Up,  

It is an uncomfortable topic, but a high ranking diplomat, for example, can experience a sudden plummet in his or her socio-economic status if faced with a sudden health crisis around the time of retirement…No matter how much one saves or plans financially, a perfect storm of unexpected events may quickly wipe it all away because a crisis can be just the beginning of a tough road.  Suddenly, the whole family and potentially three generations can become drastically impacted… 

With a background in and as an educator in the social work profession, and a TCK who spent spent years as a sandwich-generation caregiver of a disabled parent, Dumapias hopes to “help other families prepare and make the most of their time together in this journey where there is no turning back.”  

 

between-worlds

Author Marilyn Gardner publishes her collection Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging in July.  Her essays cover different experiences of TCK life, from rootlessness to living in multiple worlds.    

 

Amanda Bates of Bate Consulting and Ellen Mahoney of Sea Change Mentoring launches  #TCKchata bi-weekly Twitter chat event in July.  #TCKchat engages TCKs worldwide in discussions relevant to the community, with topics ranging from identity to college transitions to careers.  An overview of previous chats can be found on the TCKchat homepage, such as this archived chat on Jobs and Careers.    

 

In August, MaDonna Maurer, who is married to a TCK and raises three TCKs, publishes an article on The Transition for the Child with Special Needs on her blog Raising TCKs in August.  Maurer created her blog to “bring encouragement and maybe some wisdom to anyone who is in the process of raising a TCK.”  The blog also has a book review page on TCK-related books, expat living and topics related to living overseas.    

 

Tayo Rockson, speaker, author, podcaster and cross culture expert launches As Told By Nomads in August and UYD Magazine in November.   As Told By Nomads, which features interviews with global nomads, Third Culture Kids, entrepreneurs and multicultural individuals who are leaders in business, culture, travel and global affairs, is recognized as number two among  Entrepreneur’s Top 25 in Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs.  Rockson also pens his first eBook, The Ultimate Guide to TCK Living and becomes a contributing writer for Huffington Post  and Global Living Magazine the same year. Rockson talks about what he finds beautiful about TCKs and other topics in his interview on TCKid Talks

 

In September, Olivia Charlet launches TCK Dating, a dating platform in London for expats and adult third culture kids.  Growing up as a TCK, Charlet “felt there were not enough communities out there for multicultural and diverse individuals” and also “felt that TCKs and expats seem to connect even more with those who have a mixed upbringing.”   From January onwards, TCK Dating will be hosting monthly TCK & expat singles events in London and have online group chats every Monday on all kinds of topics, mostly covering travel, culture, relationships, and expat life.  Charlet shares, “I hope that this website will help TCKs living in London find each other and find love.”  

 

 

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TCKid Philippines, a local chapter of TCKid, holds its first tckid table talks, a major networking event at co.lab in Pasig City in Metro Manila.  The event features speaker Maria Ressa, founder of Rappler, journalist, author, and adult TCK, who shares her experiences and insights as someone who grew up in the Philippines and the U.S.  Twenty TCKs and allies attend the event.  Future events will be organized quarterly.

 

Families in Global Transition – Netherlands (FIGT-NL) becomes the newest affiliate of FIGT, co-created by Kate Berger, Kristine Racina and Vivian Chiona in September. FIGT-NL is one of FIGT’s five affiliates, including affiliates in Boston, Korea, Switzerland and the UK.   In

 

In October, mkPLANET releases a one-time podcast of missionary kid (MK) stories .  The podcast features three MKs who “tell a story about culture shock from their childhood overseas, ranging from painted warriors to surprising superstitions to becoming a hunter’s prey when an innocent game goes sour.”  mkPLANET is a “hub of information for current and former MKs, their families, and MK care professionals.”  Dana Friesen is the founder and community manager of mkPLANET, joined by Joel, “administrator and tech guy.”  

 

Diane Lemieux discusses class and white privilege in The Blindness of Expat Privilege in October.  Lemieux states,  

My point is not to try to define exactly who is or is not an expat, but to call attention to the hierarchy of privilege that exists within the globally mobile community. From refugees, to migrant workers, to immigrants, to knowledge migrants, to expats: the difference lies in the ability of individuals to make choices over how and where they want to live. Often, the people we call expats are those who have the greatest control over their expatriation experience.  

Regarding race, Lemieux expresses her concern that certain issues are overlooked because “much of what is written about expatriation is written by white women (like me)…” and points to the example of how obtaining visas is easier for passport holders of European and North American countries.  

 


Hip-hop artist 3ck, aka William officially releases his album, “Eyes of Denial” in October, which he describes as the album that is most influenced by his experiences growing up as a TCK thus far.  William, who grew up as a missionary kid, shares about how his TCK experiences influenced his music in a TCKid Talks interview about “Eyes of Denial.” 

 

In December, TCKid Talks gathers together for an interview 2014 FIGT scholars and FIGT board member Michael Pollock, who serves for the first time as the chair of the David C. Pollock Scholarship, created in his father’s namesake.  The David C. Pollock Fund, which builds on David Pollock’s legacy, aims to “attract, involve and educate emerging, global-minded, intercultural leaders.” The interview features 2014 FIGT scholars Cate Brubaker, founder of Small Planet Studio, and previously mentioned Danau Tanu, Joyce Man, and Myra Dumapias, who discuss how the scholarship and attending the 2014 FIGT Conference impacted them and their work:

 

 The “Military BRAT” (BRAT) community, as represented in various social media outlets from Amazon to Facebook to Twitter, start to see BRAT-favorable changes as a result of a BRAT-led movement to maintain language used to name their identity growing up in December.   TCKid covers details of the story in Refusing to Be Erased, which connects how TCKs sometimes face skepticism about the TCK identity and experience to this BRAT-led movement.  

 

2014 Notable Mentions

TCKid wishes to thank the most supportive (people who supported TCKid through establishing partnerships, collaborated on projects, donated generously or provided moral and other support): Shannon Irby, Simi Serianni, Paolo Cruz, Doni Luckutt,  Ruth Van Reken,  Maria Ressa, Colab, Paulette Bethel, Michael Pollock, Annette Floystrup, Dana Friesen, Donna Musil, Bob Holliker, Marc Curtis, Rae Shue Blalack, Gena Wasley, and all the military “BRATS” TCKid had the pleasure of connecting with towards the end of the year. TCKid appreciates all your support and all that you do!    

 

TCKid remembers the lives lost in and loved ones affected by 2014 international flight disasters:  

Malaysian Airline flight MH370, reported missing en route between Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Beijing on March 8.  

Malaysian Airline flight MH17, which was shot down and crashed en route from Amsterdam to KL on July 17.

Malaysia-based, Indonesia operated AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore on December 28.  

TCKid also remembers other flight fatalities less covered in media, such as TransAsia Airways Flight GE 222, which crashed in Taiwan on July 24, and Air Algerie Flight 5017, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria, which crashed in Mali also on July 24.

 

TCKid also takes a pause to remember all loved ones we have lost in 2014 and years earlier, especially those who have been supportive of the work for and by TCKs, Cross Culture Kids and globally mobile families.  This year, TCKid CEO Myra Dumapias lost her mother, Evangeline V. Dumapias, an enthusiastic supporter of the work for TCKs and the volunteer work behind TCKid.

 

TCKid Fanpage mentions:   

The most shares of the year from our Facebook (FB) fanpage, at 148 reported shares, 1545 people reported reach :  the Alienation of Extraordinary Experiences, based on Harvard study conducted by Gus Cooney, Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson (2014), shared on October 21.  

The post with the most reach from our FB fanpage, at 11,464 people reported reached, with 58 reported shares:   TCKid’s article Refusing to Be Erased, shared on December 13.    

 

-Written by Myra Dumapias.

If you would like to send a story for TCKid’s Annual Year in Review, please send a message to TCKYearinReview@tckid.com

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and does not advertise for for-profit business purposes. Mention of any entrepreneurs and small businesses in the context of this 2014 Year in Review is for educational purposes and serves to depict TCKs in leadership positions and relationships TCKid has with supporters that contribute to TCKid’s mission.  

 

Written by TCKid Admin

January 17, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Refusing to Be Erased

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Refusing to Be Erased:

Acknowledging the TCK Experience

[An exploratory opinion piece by Myra Dumapias.  Opinions shared in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TCKid as an organization, or its staff and volunteers.]

 

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neys/3277625707/ Used with Creative Commons license

“Erase and Rewind” by Neys Fadzil

I love great conversation.  I love stimulating intellectual discourse, and I love passionate debates that stay within the boundaries of mutual respect.  However, there are some topics that are not up for debate.

If I had a conversation with colleagues about how I made my career decisions, most likely, they would not argue with me about it.  If I spoke about my influential teachers and role models, they probably would not debate me in response.  If I described the utmost significant relationships and events that impacted my life, people probably would not challenge me about it, and it would be unthinkable to minimize my expressions of reverence about family members who have passed away.

Most people would not scoff at matters close to another person’s heart or stories out of someone’s struggles, battle scars (literal or metaphorical) and victories. Yet, for some odd reason, there still seems to be a point that some people doubt, minimize or challenge:  the Third Culture Kid (TCK) identity and/or experience.


 It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else…


 

Throughout the years, I have heard the below responses that minimize the impact of a globally or culturally mobile childhood and adolescence, the first three of which I heard before I knew the term TCK:

“Yes, but I’m talking about real childhood struggles, like about money, gangs or drugs, not just emotions.”

“Maybe you’re affected this much about (best friend) leaving because you don’t have brothers or sisters.”

“But what does moving frequently have to do with romantic relationships?”

“You sure it’s not because you’re single?”

“Oh, I always wanted to travel and you’re complaining because you travelled so much?”

“You’re just being nostalgic.”

“Isn’t it just abandonment issues?”

“But I know some military brats and they didn’t complain.”

It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else: being overly nostalgic, sensitive, single, sheltered, abandoned, the list goes on.  Some people cannot seem to accept that the frequent relocations or good-byes, the ever changing cross-cultural environments, the occasional separation from one or both parents, the constant pattern of leaving and making new friends, the sheer impact of multiple losses and other experiences can lead to the struggle to belong, the risk for depression (and in some cases, risk for suicide and PTSD), the existence of certain attachment issues, the itchy feet, or the sense of isolation.

 


 …If adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other, but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility, have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation


 

Of course, the effects are not only negative.  There are also the gifts that are common, such as the tendency to be able to engage in dialogue or relate with just about anyone, global consciousness, innovative thinking, sharp observational skills, the ability to adapt to different environments, insight to cultural nuances, an ability to navigate language with advanced analytical and communication skills and other talents.  However, the negative impact is something that is either underestimated or just dismissed.

It is true that global mobility or mobility through different cultures is not the only cause of these traits or experiences. Non-TCK’s can also share certain traits with TCK’s.  However, if adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation. It should not be dismissed.

It is also true that in the grand scheme of everything within the scope societal problems, the struggles of TCK’s do not have the same impact as the struggles of youth born into forced slavery or trafficking, for example, or major illnesses or extreme poverty.  Still, for those who are affected, it can impact many things in life.  This is why the persons who know the impact of certain experiences should be experts of these experiences, rather than someone who never experienced them.

 

 Some Words for My Readers:

For my readers who may have thought or uttered statements similar to the above, I am not angry with you and do not hold anything against you.  I only ask that you try to “listen” to the rest of what I have to share, letting me be the “teacher” for once.  Questions from a place of curiosity are welcome, but please not from antagonism.  I do not presume to know more than you about your life and the significance of your experiences.  In return, I respectfully ask you to see how you cannot be the expert of my life experiences nor that of thousands of people who have benefitted from discovering they were not alone in our shared experiences.  I ask this from you especially if you interact with TCK’s or provide any services specifically geared towards TCK’s (military brats, foreign-service brats, missionary kids, corporate dependents, and others who grew up globally mobile).

For my readers for whom this may be new or more in-depth knowledge, I hope this will be somewhat informative for you.  I appreciate your time in even reading this far and am grateful for any support for the TCK tribe.  If, through your further discovery of other TCK topics, you find yourself relating to this identity, welcome to the tribe!

For my readers who may fit the TCK definition, but do not necessarily relate to how global nomads have connected with one another around their TCK experiences, I am grateful to those who support us nonetheless. To those who were alongside us on our journey at some point but “got over it,” I celebrate the diverse ways different people have moved on from the initial stages of discovering the TCK identity. Continuing to work in this field as it evolves is simply my way of “getting over it”

Last but not least, for my readers who can relate to my experiences above, may the remainder of this article remind you that your voice is valuable and that you are not alone.  To the early community leaders, artists, writers, researchers, speakers, educators and supporters out there, I would not even be here discussing this were it not for the hard work you have paved the trail with, which you blazed for us.  I am deeply grateful for your sacrifices.

Written by TCKid Admin

December 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Just How Big Is the TCK Population?

with 2 comments

  While thFeedbacQ World Expat Population (Aug 2013)is infographic, “World Expat Population: The Numbers” from FeedbacQ’s blog (as of August 2013) may not provide definitions or clarity about the age ranges of the population studied, it does provide a way to visualize just how big the expat population may be.  “Expats” as a term is also not synonymous with “Third Culture Kids” because, among other reasons, expats are not necessarily individuals who spent their developmental years with globally mobile lifestyles.

 

 Nevertheless, Here are some interesting numbers about the growing tribe of expats:

 

– In 1960, there were only 73 million expats.  As of 2013, there are 230 million expats!

– Expats make up 3.1% of the global population.

– If all expats were to form a human chain, they would circle the earth one time. This is a distance of 40,000 km or almost 25,000 miles.

– About half, 49%, of expats are women.

– The top 5 countries that receive expat remittances are (starting from the country that receives the greatest amount): India, China, Mexico, Philippines, and Nigeria.

–  The top 5 countries with the highest share of expats in their total population are:  Qatar, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Jordan and Singapore.

– There are 6.32 million “American expats” (presumably from the USA) and 4.7 “Brits” abroad.

– One expat moves every 44 seconds.

 

These numbers aren’t far from another source’s.  According to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are “232 million international migrants …living in the world today.”

 

In Pico Iyer’s TedGlobal talk, “Where is Home” in June 2013, he refers to a growing tribe of people “living in countries not their own” numbering 220 million.  Iyer visualizes this number in the following way: “… if you took the whole population of Canada and the whole population of Australia and then the whole population of Australia again and the whole population of Canada again and doubled that number, you would still have fewer people than belong to this great floating tribe.”   Iyer also talks about “the number of us who live outside the old nation-state categories,” a population that increased by “64 million just in the last 12 years, that soon there will be more of us than there are Americans.”

 

These are astounding numbers indeed about a “floating tribe” who represent, in Iyer’s terms, “the fifth-largest nation on Earth.”

 

 

Written by: Myra Dumapias, MSW, TCKid CEO, Nov 2, 2014.

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity.  Find out more about us.

Written by TCKid Admin

November 2, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Please Be Informed

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September 4, 2014

Open letter to the community –

It is with the intention of protecting our members and the general community to report that TCKid’s name and logo has been used in a way that promotes another organization without benefit for TCKid and until recently, without our knowledge.  Whether this was out of carelessness or ill intent is still under investigation.   Please be warned to look more carefully at the domains of the websites and emails that may be interchanged with TCKid’s name and logo. TCKid’s official domain for its website and emails is tckid.com.

As an effort to protect individuals who may have been led to believe they were sending contributions to TCKid  through another organization in the form of sponsorship or other support, please be informed that only the Paypal links directly on TCKid.com or its Why Support Us page, and occasional fundraising drives (ie. on GoFundMe), announced by TCKid’s operational management stafff are the only authorized channels of donations for TCKid.  TCKid’s operational management staff are Myra Dumapias, TCKid CEO and Erin Sinogba, TCKid Executive Assistant.  TCKid has not been receiving and were not previously notified of any donations collected outside these channels donors may have been told would benefit TCKid.  TCKid’s only partners at this time are Culturs Magazine, the Global Multiculture Magazine and Cross Cultural Kid, with Ruth Van Reken.   (Please click here about TCKid’s recognized partners and history)

Please inform us at report@tckid.com with information about any websites, email messages or other communications or sources that utilize TCKid’s name, logo or likeness asking for support or sponsorship, offering free or discounted membership to another organization, interchanging TCKid’s name with other similar but slightly different names, or requesting for your information that is not directly on a TCKid.com website or not from an email message with tckid.com as its domain (@tckid.com).

Please also inform us if you have been receiving emails from an individual instead of TCKid as an organization or if it seems that TCKid has been interchanged with another organization’s name.  Any changes in TCKid’s name or logo will come from TCKid’s current staff or board members, Shannon Irby, Richard Klopp, Erin Sinogba and Myra Dumapias.   Updates to authorized staff, partners, logos or other matters will be maintained here (please click here).

Please click here for information on TCKid’s recognized partners, staff, clarification on previous partnerships and other updates.

 

You may email me at report@tckid.com with any information related to the above.

 

Thank you for your cooperation. We apologize for any distress or inconvenience this has caused. TCKid is in the process of investigating this further.  If this was not intentional, the parties involved may be wiling to resolve the issue.

 

Myra Dumapias, MSW

CEO of TCKid

September 4, 2014

Written by TCKid Admin

September 4, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“In memory of David C. Pollock: A Man Ahead of His Time” (Guest Post from Ruth Van Reken)

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In memory of David C. Pollock

A man ahead of his time

June 9, 1939 – April 11, 2004

Written by Ruth E. Van Reken

David C PollockFor many, many adult TCKs, our “aha!” moment when we realized we had a name came as we sat in Dave Pollock’s lecture on The TCK Profile or read one of his early articles about this topic. Although Ruth Useem, sociologist from Michigan State University, coined the term Third Culture Kids in 1960, Dave was the person who translated it from an academic idea to making a difference in the lives of those who were living it.

While living in Kenya near an international school in the 1970s, Dave heard many common themes from the students he interacted with from that school. In time Dave, a master synthesizer of distilling these recurring themes into easily accessible models, created his landmark TCK Profile and one of the first models of transition which he simply called The Transition Experience.  When he  returned to the States, Dave resumed leadership of an organization called Interaction, Inc. whose purpose was to help organizations sending families overseas to care for them well. He and Paul Nelson chaired the first international conference on matters related to TCKs in October, 1984 in Manila, Philippines.

Dave traveled endlessly to schools and organizations, including the UN, trying to create awareness of this growing phenomenon occurring in our globalizing world. Initially, he faced much skepticism both at the importance of dealing with issues of transition and identity development for global families, but also the question, “But it’s not that big a deal because not that many families are involved.” But Dave saw the big picture and where the world was headed. He persisted in not only raising awareness, but offering concrete strategies for how parents and organizations could help children grow strong in the context of a cross-cultural and highly mobile childhood.

From the early 1980s, Dave set up reentry camps each summer to help repatriating TCKs learn how to successfully navigate these often rough waters so they wouldn’t be caught in the unexpected rapids which sometimes swirled around. He saw early on that issues related to internationally mobile families was a global topic, not just a Western one. Dave worked diligently to help organizations from non-Western countries develop his signature “Flow of Care” for those they sent overseas and to think through the potential cultural changes their children might experience as they attended international schools rather than local schools. By the end of his life, Dave was also focusing his attention on refugee communities, understanding that in living outside of their original cultures these children faced many of the same challenges as traditional TCKs did.

When my friends and I had the idea of organizing the first Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference in 1998, I called Dave to see if he would be willing to come and help us launch our dream. With less than eight weeks notice, he agreed and because he came, attendees came from many places to hear him and FIGT became reality. Dave was the plenary speaker for the first two conferences and did workshops for us regularly after that.

In the end, Dave literally gave his life in and for the worldwide community he served so well. In 2004, although he did not feel well, Dave embarked on what was to be one more tour through Europe, Africa, and Asia. In one of his first stops in Vienna, he went from the stage at the American School to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis from a blocked bile duct. They performed surgery that night to remove the offending gallstone but the next morning he had a cardiac arrest and died 9 days later on Easter Sunday.

The loss of such a thought-leader in our community staggered me. How would we all go on when he was such a strong, passionate, and visible advocate? Soon after I received the news that his death was imminent, however, I attended a Good Friday service and pondered in the silent darkness the great “But why?” question. “Why Dave? Why now?” And then the verse came to mind from John 12:24, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” I saw then that there were countless people all over the world in whose lives Dave had planted many seeds. Even though the one who had led and mentored so many of us was soon to be gone, all those seeds now scattered globally would take root and grow in new places. The topic had become too big for anyone person to carry alone. We all had to do our part.

And so it has been. FIGT is one of those trees that has grown from the seeds Dave Pollock planted in not only me, but in so many who have been instrumental in helping it grow. All who have ever attended or gained from this organization are in a real sense tasting the fruit from one of the trees he helped to plant in this world. It is right that on the tenth anniversary of his death, we stop and give thanks as we remember a truly great man who shared his pastoral heart with the world.  Many of us will never be the same because of him. Thank you, David Pollock. I’m sorry you aren’t here to see what so many seeds you planted have become. And thanks to you, Betty Lou, and your family for sharing him with us and today we recognize your personal loss of husband, father, and grandfather as well as our communal loss. I am grateful the FIGT Board established a David C. Pollock Scholarship Fund in his honor and memory so that his contributions remain fresh in our minds – as they should.

Written by TCKid Admin

April 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

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TCKid 2013 Year in Review

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The TCK and Cross Culture Community 2013 Year in Review

by TCKid 

[The first year in review for the TCK  and Cross Cultural Community]

Since the coining of the term “third culture kids” (TCK’s), credited to Dr. Ruth Hill Useem “in the 1950s while a member of the Sociology Department at (Michigan State University),” there have been many more developments in the study of, insights on,  discussions on,  and resources for  TCK’s.  Throughout the decades, TCK’s have created a distinct voice as a community.  What was once a marginalized field of study or population identity has slowly been emerging out of the shadows with continued pioneering work.  Early pioneers include researcher Dr. Ann Baker Cottrell who worked with Dr. Ruth Useem and Families in Global Transitions co-founder Ruth Van Reken, who in addition to other publications, co-authored “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds” with the late co-author David C. Pollock.  It was through Ruth and David’s work that the definition of  “third culture kid” began to have more consistency that the rest of the world began to widely use.   The work of people like filmmaker Donna Musil and her film BRATS, which was featured on CNN, NPR and 178 countries worldwide on the Armed Forces Network Television have brought the TCK identity closer to mainstream attention.

With TCK’s described as the “prototype citizens of the future” in 1984 by Ted Ward, then a sociologist at Michigan State University, it is worth noting not only how prominent TCK’s such as US President Barack Obama, as referred to by Ruth Van Reken in a 2008 Daily Beast article, have impacted the world, but also how the field of TCK studies and the community of organizations and service providers that cater to the TCK or expat community have evolved.  As such, significant milestones have occurred with the passing of each year.

 

TCKid reviews some significant milestones for the cross cultural, TCK, or expat community from 2013.  Here are some of them:

 

TCK JT McInnis, while watching a film at a cinema, makes a connection between his teen years and the film he was watching, Argo, which won multiple awards.  JT McInnis realizes there was a part of the story the world did not know and writes about his involvement with the hostage situation in Tehran 1979 in his blog.  A central Texas television network journalist takes the opportunity to interview him in February.

(Please click here for the full KVUE interview)

 

Families in Global Transition (FIGT) introduces “IGNITE Sessions” in its annual conference program and in March of 2013, FIGT  offers seven engaging IGNITE Sessions.  With the concept, “enlighten us but make it quick,” the six-minute-forty-second maximum sessions are designed to generate awareness and stimulate discussion.  Check out the topics of the 2013 FIGT Conference IGNITE Sessions and be sure to register for the 2014 conference, The Global Family: Redefined!

 

Aga Alegria decides to expand on the stories shared in her short film, “Les Passagers” which led to the vision behind “Where is Home?,” a documentary examining the experiences of TCKs and their search for “home.”  Aga and her production team — Producer Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer and director, and Production Assistant, Alethea Wang, also a TCK – start a successful campaign that ended in March 2013 to gain support for “Where is Home?”   Their campaign was featured in a TCKid interview with TCKid Executive Assistant Erin Sinogba .  The “Where is Home?” campaign and Aga’s work was also referred to by the International New York Times in “Where is Home for a Third Culture Kid?”

With timeless value, here is her short film again:

 

 

Paula Vexlir , a psychologist who has been counseling since 2002, launches Expat Psi, an online psychology resource for Spanish speaking expats.  Paula also embarks on the elaborate task of translating psychology and counseling resources and materials into Spanish, opening up more avenues for the TCK community, expat families and those who serve TCK’s.  Find out more about Paula’s work, which she wrote about in France-based Expatriates Magazine, and be sure to go on their Facebook page for announcements, such as a Spanish blog for expats that Paula will start in 2014!

 

 

Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang opens the Stage Left Women at Work Festival in NYC on September 24 & 25 after a successful 5-week run in May at the Asylum Lab in Hollywood, CA with Alien Citizen: an earth odyssey, a funny and poignant one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England.  Lisa, a writer and award-winning bilingual actress who has worked in theatre, television, and film for more than 25 years, including a recurring role on ” The West Wing,” co-hosts the podcast “Hapa Happy Hour” and is published in Writing Out of Limbo.

 

 

Al Jazeera streams an episode on June 5 on  “Cultural Chameleons,” pushing TCKs further into mainstream consciousness.  A TCKid Washington DC Group Leader, John Liang, a contributing author of anthology Writing Out of Limbo, shares a comment to the streaming episode  (you may still access the page, but the video is no longer viewable in certain countries).

 

Pico Iyer, author of “Global Soul” and other books about global travel, tackles the question challenging for all global nomads, “Where is Home?” at Ted Global on June 13.  In his Ted Talk, Pico estimates that the number of people living in countries not their own is now around 220 million. Pico Iyer also points out that this “great floating tribe” or those who “live outside the old nation-state categories is increasing so quickly, by 64 million just in the last 12 years, that soon there will more of us than Americans.  Already, we represent the fifth-largest nation on Earth.” (Please click option on video to read full transcript from Ted)

Pico Iyer was also notably FIGT’s 2013 conference welcome keynote speaker in March.

 

 

Linda A. Janssen publishes The Emotionally Resilient Expat – Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures (Summertime Publishing, July 1, 2013), which helps readers understand how the key to successful transitions and beyond “lies in emotional resilience to adapt, adjust or simply accept.  Linda combines candid personal stories from experienced expats and cross-culturals, with a wealth of practical tools, techniques and best practices from emotional, social and cultural intelligence, positive psychology, mindfulness, stress management, self-care and related areas.”  Expat Arrivals wrote a book review.

 

Ema Ryan Yamazaki, documentary filmmaker follows ups her earlier film “Neither Here Nor There” with “Monk by Blood,” a film about a young TCK  that juggles his many worlds as the next in line to take over his family’s 800-year-old temple.  Al Jazeera streams her new film “Monk by Blood” in July.

 

Alaine Handa, founder and artist director of A.H. Dance Company, brings her dancing and choreography talent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with Habitat Project.   Alaine, TCKid Singapore’s Group Leader who was also active in the New York group, was interviewed by The Thread in November.

 

 

James R. Mitchener, speaker and author of The Illusive Home, contributes to the understanding of TCK’s by offering this illustration and definition of a TCK on his site, Third Culture Kid Life, on Sept 5.  Read the definition and other interesting topics, such as his perspective on TCK’s and relationships, the importance of having TCK’s in leadership, etc. at Third Culture Kid Life.

JRMitchener_TCK_Definition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://thirdculturekidlife.com/2013/09/05/defining-a-third-culture-kid/

 

 

Erin Vignali eloquently addresses the topic of race and her experiences as a TCK, the perspective of which many TCKs can relate to. She writes on Cecilia Haynes Sept 20 blog page, Unsettled TCK, “It’s a bizarre twist of the TCK life that the racism experienced overseas will never make you feel quite as lonely as not fitting in in your supposed home country. For me, growing up as a white TCK, no matter how long I dealt with the discrimination, I always held out hope for people to see me like I see myself – no race, no accent, no nationality.”

 

Rahul Gandotra officially releases his Academy Award shortlisted film The Road Home on Sept 20.  Rahul invites everyone to watch his film and receive goodies by staying in touch with him, as he continues his work and starts preparing for other film projects.



 

 

Lois J. Bushong publishes what may be the first book specifically written for therapists and counselors who work with TCK’s, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile (Mango Tree Intercultural Services, September 23, 2013). A licensed marriage and family therapist, Lois delves into this previously, unexplored world of how to effectively counsel clients raised outside of their parents’ home culture.   Expat Book Shop wrote a review of her book.

 

Dr. Paulette Bethel, international speaker, breakthrough coach and international adjustment expert launches the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit with Havilah Malone, TV celebrity and media spokesperson, in October.  Together, they host live interviews with  visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and others.  On the second day of the live interview series, TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, also social work professor, discusses her vision and plans for the future direction of TCKid.  Please contact Dr. Paulette Bethelif you are interested in the full line of speakers and how to get a hold of any available replays.

GlobalSummit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids launches TCKid Talks: An Interview Series Featuring Movers and Shakers from the Third Culture and Cross Culture Community on October 26 with an interview with FIGT co-founder and author Ruth Van Reken and Michael Pollock, director of Daraja and son of the late author David C. Pollock.  The interview is landmark event, the first time both were ever interviewed together.  They discuss how the field was like prior to the publication of The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds published in 1999 and later retitled Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (as of the latest edition), as well as helpful information for both TCK’s and non-TCK’s from the book.  A few other highlights: Ruth dives into the importance of telling your story and her grief journey in her book Letters Never Sent and Michael, who will be interviewed about his work with Daraja later, discusses where we are now after the work of his father and the vision he had. You can find the full interview on TCKid.com.

 

 

Sea Change Mentoring, founded by its CEO Ellen Mahoney, provides valuable presentations for students and parents in the Hague, Brussels and London in October.  Sea Change provides short-term guidance and professional mentors to third culture, global nomad and expat students in high school and university through evidence-based mentoring.

 

Quenby Wilcox, founder of Global Expats, recognizes Third Culture Adults, a term Dr.Paulette Bethel coined at a FIGT conference, as Unsung Heroes in a Huffington Post article in November. Quenby writes, “The trailing spouse of today needs to be given a voice, as well as an active role, in producing and delivering solutions to what everyone in the global mobility industry agree is their number one challenge; the adaptation and integration of the expat family.” She refers to the work of Robin Pascoe, or the Expat Expert, to refer to as a voice of spouses who follow their partners with foreign assignments, or expat homemakers.

 

TCKid receives its IRS letter of determination in November, grant it a 501(C)(3) public charity status. All donations to TCKid since Dec 2011 can now be claimed as tax deductible. Please email execdirector@tckid.com if you need a more formal receipt for your donation to TCKid. TCKid can now apply to be fiscal agent/ lead organization in collaborative projects with other organizations sharing a similar mission/vision and submit grants and applications for corporate sponsorships.  Find TCKid’s nonprofit report and upcoming programs on Guidestar!   You can still make a last minute tax-deductible donation to TCKid at our old donations page before we  update it.  All staff are voluntary, with the exception of our contracted web developer.

 

The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, announces its first call for papers in December.  The goals and objectives of the journal are to promote and publish research centered on cross-cultural families for the expansion of understanding and practical application.  The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, with Dr. Emily Hervey as the chief editor, is the first known academic, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to cross cultural family studies that is multi-disciplinary in nature, involving psychology & mental health, sociology & anthropology, and education & communication.  Find out more about the journal at Worldwide Writings and be sure to spread the word about their call for papers.

 

Written by Myra Dumapias, MSW

If you would like to send a story for TCKid’s Annual Year in Review, please send a message to TCKYearinReview@tckid.com

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and does not advertise for for-profit business purposes. Mention of any entrepreneurs and small businesses in the context of this 2013 Year in Review is for educational purposes and serves to depict TCK’s in leadership positions and relationships TCKid has with supporters that contribute to TCKid’s mission.  

Written by TCKid Admin

December 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

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Posted November 25, 2013

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

GlobalSummit

TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW was one of the experts interviewed by Dr. Paulette M. Bethel on October 23, 2013 for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit.

Dr. Paulette M. Bethel has brought together 28 world class authors, entrepreneurs, mentors, visionaries, and global life experts from around the globe share their insights and offer solutions for the Lost in Transition  Global Telesummit, running from Oct 22-26, Nov 11-14, and Dec 2-6.  This Telesummit includes visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and many more.  Click here for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

The TCKid Executive Director accepted the torch of leadership from Founder Brice Royer in 2011 and has since been developing TCKid’s organizational structure and sustainability to strengthen its impact on the world’s understanding and appreciation of Third Culture Kids.  Daughter of a second generation Foreign Service Diplomat and Third Culture Adult mother born with itchy feet, her developmental years are colored with memories of walking on water in an imperial garden in Beijing, eating freshly made Roti for breakfast on Sundays in Kuala Lumpur, observing the human spirit of Romanian gypsies and revolutionaries in Bucharest, and the smell of bakeries in Hamburg.   She also lived in Korea, Philippines and Bahrain, where her son, also a TCK, spent part of his developmental years.  As a Social Work professor, she integrates global awareness into cultural competency standards.

In the interview with Dr. Bethel, Ms. Dumapias shares her personal stories and advice as a TCK, insights from the Social Work field and her vision for TCKid.  Please visit TCKid at TCKid.com

Click here to listen to Dr. Bethel’s interview TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW – https://soundcloud.com/tckid_tv_radio/the-person-behind-tckids

 

Written by TCKid Admin

November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

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3 (3)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date released:  October16, 2013

Contact:  Myra Dumapias, Executive Director, TCKid  MyraDumapias@tckid.com

Or Erin Sinogba, Executive Assistant, TCKid ErinSinogba@tckid.com

[For radio, please note: “TCKid” is pronounced “Tee See Kid”]

 

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

 

(International) – TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement, will kick off its new interview series with Ruth Van Reken, co-author with the late Dave C. Pollock of international bestseller Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds.

The interview will be broadcast live on http://TCKid.com on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 1500 GMT (10am CDT).  Audience of the live broadcast will have the chance to submit questions on our community forum until Oct. 22, or during the Question and Answer session of the interview.  Not all questions will be selected but may be combined under a general theme. A recording of the broadcast will remain on TCKid’s page.

[Please click here to submit questions before Oct 22 and please look out for an option to submit questions to the right of the screen during the live broadcast]

Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds has remained one of the main resources of knowledge and help for TCK’s and the cross cultural population.  “Third Culture Kid was the first book I read and immediately I felt validated. So much of what I’ve experienced since I graduated from my last international school to try and try but failed to fit in as another Filipino-American all of a sudden found the missing piece of the puzzle,” says Myra Dumapias, MSW,  TCKid Executive Director who accepted the torch of leadership when Founder Brice Royer searched for a leader who could continue the legacy he created.

“Through conversations I’ve had with countless TCKid members and staff and our discussion boards, I know this book has helped so many other people on that interpersonal level. And professionally, the book also provides substantial information that can be used as a resource for social workers, school counselors and mental health practitioners, as well as other professions,” added Myra, has a background in social work, research and teaching.

Both Ruth*and Myra, who grew up as a daughter of a second generation foreign service diplomat, grew up in five countries, moved a dozen times and attended three high schools before graduating from high school, are part of a global telesummit featuring 28 interview series (Ruth will be interviewed on Oct 22, and Myra will be interviewed on Oct 23) with International Speaker, former USAF Officer, Breakthrough Coach and Transition Expert, Dr. Paulette M. Bethel (Please click here to register for this free global telesummit ASAP).

TCKid will be featuring four types of guests in its series of interviews: 1) Education: authors, researchers, lecturers, etc. 2) Art: filmmakers, visual artists, musicians, performance artists,  3) Leadership: TCK’s/CCK’s in leadership positions, and 4) History: TCK’s /CCK’s who were somehow involved in a historical event.

At this time, TCKid is open to working with corporate sponsors and partners who have a heart for this community interested in expanding its international network.  TCKid is also in need of more volunteers interested in gaining experience in public relations, grant writing, marketing, social networking, community development, special events planning,  fundraising, media and just having fun meeting diverse people around the world.  Please click here more information on how corporations and businesses, how organizations, and how individuals interesting in volunteering can be involved, or email manager@tckid.com with any specific questions you have.

 

*More about the author –

RuthVan Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK)* and raised her three daughters in Liberia. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author ofLetters Never Sent, her personal journaling written as she sought to understand the long-term impact of her cross-cultural childhood. For nearly thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons.She is co-founder and past chairperson of the annual Families in Global Transition conference. In addition to her two books, she has writtena chapter in Strangers at Home, Unrooted Childhoods, and Writing Out of Limbo  plus various other writings.

Written by TCKid Admin

October 18, 2013 at 11:34 pm

TCKid Launches Interview Series

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3 (3)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(For Local San Antonio News)

Date:  October16, 2013

Contact:  Myra Dumapias Executive Director, TCKid  MyraDumapias@tckid.com

[For radio, please note: “TCKid” is pronounced “Tee See Kid”]

 

 

 

 

 

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

with Valuable Information for Expats, Military Brats, and Global Nomads

(San Antonio) – TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids, a non-profit organization headquartered in San Antonio that serves those with an international upbringing or career, will launch its new interview series with Ruth Van Reken, co-author with the late Dave C. Pollock of international bestseller, Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 10am Central.  TCKid serves Third Culture Kid (TCK) adults and youth and the Cross Cultural population across geographical boundaries. TCKid’s mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement. TCKid will broadcast the interview with this world-renowned author live on its community forum via http://TCKid.com with a Question and Answer session to allow for the audience to interact with the author.

“There tends to be many Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) out there who don’t even know they are a TCK. Most find out in their 30’s or 40’s and wish they would have known much earlier. I myself only found out about 3 years ago from a work colleague who identified me as such when I mentioned my cultural upbringing,” says Myra Dumapias, TCKid Executive Director.  Dumapias is a local resident of San Antonio who accepted the torch of leadership on a pro-bono basis in 2011 when TCKid’s Founder Brice Royer was looking for someone who could continue the legacy he created for the community of TCK’s.

“When I discovered I was a Third Culture Kid, went on TCKid.com and read this book by Ruth Van Reken and Dave C. Pollock, so much of what I’ve experienced since I left the expat community to fit in as another Asian-American ….but never fully fit in in ways I could never place my finger on…all of a sudden found the missing piece of the puzzle,” added Dumapias. Dumapias, who grew up as a daughter of a second generation foreign service diplomat, grew up in five countries, moved a dozen times and attended three high schools before graduating from high school.

Van Reken and Pollock, in Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, define a TCK as “a person who spent a significant part of his or developmental years outside the parents’ culture” who “frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any” (p 15 Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Nicholas Brealey Publishing: 2001.)

TCKid identifies four main family backgrounds their members come from: military, missionary, foreign service and multinational corporations.

Those who watched this year’s TedGlobal talks may already be familiar with one experience of TCK’s: that of the elusive process of defining home, as described by Pico Iyer in his talk “Where Is  Home” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m6dV7Xo3Vchttp://blog.ted.com/2013/06/13/where-is-home-pico-iyer-at-tedglobal-2013/). In his talk, Iyer mentions that people living in countries not their own now numbers close to 220 million and refers to the different possible answers to the question, “Where do you come from?”

For TCK’s, explaining where you are from is only one part of the complex experience.

“Growing up with that much transition comes with it a great deal of loss that impacts your education and ways of relating to people, yet the fields of education, social work and mental health for a large part currently underestimate this impact because there is not enough understanding about it, and friends who did not grow up similarly don’t fully understand either,” says Dumapias, who has a Masters in Social Work and a background in non-profit management and human services, research and teaching.

“On the other hand, we are gifted in living in between worlds and are usually insightful about things people do overlook that we have so much to offer in marketing, community relations, philanthropy, management, education, mental health and other areas, beyond what is available in textbooks or classrooms.”

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds has this review by Wm Paul Young, author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller The Shack:

“As an adult TCK, I have long wrestled with how I fit into this world.  This book is the ‘bible’ for anyone who wants to understand the blessings and curses of growing up multi-culturally.”

Another review is by Scott Gration, Maj Gen, USAF (Ret), President Obama’s Special Envoy to Sudan:

“Growing up as a TCK has been a gift and has significantly shaped my life and work.  As I interact with world leaders one day and with those living in refugee camps the next, I continually draw upon my experience of living among different cultures.  I am delighted to see the lessons learned from the traditional TCK experience live on in this new edition of Third Culture Kids.”

TCKid wants to welcome everyone to join in the broadcast to capture those who may be working with a TCK, or are TCKs themselves, but do not yet know it.  TCKid helps the community connect with one another and find a sense of belonging. TCKid will be providing a series of interviews that feature TCK’s who have something educational to share, are in leadership positions, are artists, and have been involved in historical events. After the live broadcast on the 26th, a recording will remain on TCKid.com.

At this time, TCKid is open to working with corporate sponsors and partners who have a heart for this community interested in expanding its international network.  TCKid is also in need of more volunteers interested in gaining experience in public relations, grant writing, marketing, social networking, community development, special events planning,  fundraising, media and just having fun meeting diverse people around the world.  Please contact visit http://tckid.com or email manager@tckid.com for more information on the interview series or organization.

More about the author –

RuthVan Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK)* and raised her three daughters in Liberia. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author ofLetters Never Sent, her personal journaling written as she sought to understand the long-term impact of her cross-cultural childhood. For nearly thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons.She is co-founder and past chairperson of the annual Families in Global Transition conference. In addition to her two books, she has writtena chapter in Strangers at Home, Unrooted Childhoods, and Writing Out of Limbo  plus various other writings.

 

 

 

Written by TCKid Admin

October 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

A Journey to “Home”: An interview with the team behind “Where is Home?”

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Where is home? Many TCKs are faced with this existential question on a regular basis, but not all are able to answer it with certainty. The idea of home is often challenged, reactions ranging from saying it is nowhere, everywhere, or even that it changes constantly. It is one of the themes of self-examination that run through many TCKs’ experiences, an ongoing journey with multiple resolutions.

In July 2011, TCKid hosted a mini festival of TCK-related short films in Toronto, featuring some of what would become popular films highlighting TCK experiences. One of these films was “Les Passagers”, an emotional exploration of the identities and experiences of TCKs. Aga Alegria, the film’s director and producer, shared her experiences live from Barcelona, Spain, and it has since become among the most-watched films about TCKs online.

Since then, Aga decided to expand on the stories shared in “Les Passagers”, leading to the vision behind “Where is Home?”, a documentary examining the experiences of TCKs and their search for “home.” Aga and her production team — Producer Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer and director, and Production Assistant, Alethea Wang, also a TCK — have high ambitions for “Where is Home?” and have since launched a fundraising campaign to support its goals of high quality editing and participation in major international film festivals. The campaign is ongoing on Indiegogo and ends on 7 March 2013.

TCKid took some time to talk to Aga and Alethea about “Where is Home?” and their campaign.

“Where is Home?” – Official Campaign Trailer from whereishomethefilm on Vimeo.

A still from "Where is Home?"

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

What was the inspiration behind “Where is Home?”?

Aga: I’ve spent most of my life living out of a suitcase.  I think I’ve moved a total of about 21 times so far! But I’ve always struggled with my inability to stay in one place. This struggle became really difficult when I hit 30. I longed desperately to be content with my decision to settle down in Toronto to start a family. But I could still feel the restlessness inside me and having to constantly fight the restlessness was very tough on me emotionally.

What was worse was that I felt alone in my struggle! No one around me, not even myself, could understand why I was so restless. So one night I just started ‘Googling’ how I felt, and that’s how I came across the Third Culture Kid community. I finally felt understood! I had found my ‘tribe’ and I was inspired to tell our story. More than anything, I wanted to know how others like me coped with being uprooted, with feeling torn between many different cultures, and whether or not we were able to find ‘HOME’ while remaining in constant motion.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of what “Where is Home?” is about and what issues will be explored?

Alethea: The film tells the stories of several adult Third Culture Kids while also following Aga’s personal journey. To all of them, “Where is Home?” has been an extremely hard question to answer and each of them have embarked on an existential quest to find ‘HOME’. The key issue that the film addresses is how to fashion a sense of ‘HOME’ or self when all the traditional coordinates are gone, and we aren’t sure where our affiliations lie. How one comes to terms with the restlessness and ambivalence when those feelings are part and parcel of one’s identity.

Another topic that we highlight is the positive qualities that arise due to moving between the wondrous diversity of cultures in our world. We’d like to share that with the world.

Talking about our experiences as TCKs can be both liberating and painful. How did it feel for you and the participants to work on the film?

Aga: I learned A LOT from listening to the wisdom shared by the participants in my film! Everyone was excited to have a safe outlet to share his or her story.  But to get to the emotional root of our experiences, I had to push them to truly open up their hearts and talk about feelings they had mostly kept to themselves before.

A still from "Where is Home?"  Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

Because the journey ‘HOME’ was such a struggle for all of us, having the opportunity to really speak out and share our experiences was extremely liberating! And for me, it allowed me to let go of the pain I felt inside and truly embrace the joys of having grown up as a Third Culture Kid. I think a lot of the participants would say the same.

It seems like a lot of people are making TCK-related films of different kinds, which is amazing! How will “Where is Home?” be different?

Alethea: Yes! There are several shorts that have come out in the past two years — ”Neither Here Nor There” by Emma Yamazaki, “So Where’s Home?” by Adrian Bautista, (both documentaries) and “The Road Home” by our friend Rahul Gandotra (fictional, but based on personal experiences). All of these have been wonderful films that have highlighted Third Culture Kid identity.

On top of being the first feature length documentary, I think that the difference between our documentary and the others is that “Where is Home?” focuses in on exploring the concept of ‘HOME’ and how the search for home is necessarily different for those in constant movement.

I also feel that because Aga and most of the participants in the film have had a chance to live through the search for ‘HOME’, it has a different perspective then the other two documentaries. As a slightly younger TCK, I think this is really important to me because I want to have some foresight into what kind of obstacles, as well as rewards, might be in store for me as I continue to search for my own definition of ‘HOME’.

Oh! And the film was shot in 5 different countries, so the viewer really does get a sense of movement and travel as they watch the film.

Back in 2011, TCKid hosted a global film screening event, streamed live from Toronto. One of those films was Aga’s “Les Passagers”. How does “Where is Home?” fit in or expand upon “Les Passagers”?

Aga: “Les Passagers” was made to map out the issues that Third Culture Kids face as a result of their mobile, cross-cultural upbringing – so like the other two shorts, it explores Third Culture Kid identity and gives the viewer a sense of what it’s like to be a TCK.

Whereas “Where is Home?” – like Alethea mentioned – is really meant to create a dialogue and cause for reflection on what ‘HOME’ means in a globalized world. What does ‘HOME’ feel like? And why the journey ‘HOME’ is important.

We tried to make the message of “Where is Home?” a universal one.

A still from "Where is Home?"  Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

You have now opened up the campaign for “Where is Home?” Please tell us a little bit about it and how we can support you.

Aga: Making “Where is Home?” has taken me four years and I’ve invested my entire heart and soul into it because I saw how ‘Les Passagers’ has really helped Third Culture Kids put their experiences into perspective, allowing us to connect with one another and feel understood. Our goal with “Where is Home?” is to expand on that connection to include people who are not necessarily Third Culture Kids but who also feel ‘lost’ in our increasingly complex global society. This film has been almost exclusively funded out of my own pocket so far, so I really do need the financial support to finish the post-production editing.

Alethea: Right, we’ve launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo, where you can make a donation to help with post-production of our film. It’s more like an investment really, because your donation comes with a perk, such as getting a copy of the DVD once it’s released!

We also love hearing from all the TCKs out there so please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress.  Also, because our goal is to eventually submit the film to film festivals, any sort of publicity is great. So, if you know of any organizations who might be interested in “Where is Home?”, please let us know!

Written by TCKid Admin

March 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm