Cultural Adaptations & Leadership

From USCRI Book: RE for Refugees and Immigrants

From USCRI Book: RE for Refugees and Immigrants

IDEALS is actively seeking collaboration with ethnic and cultural groups to adapt the MML curriculum to meet cultural needs. Relationship Enhancement® and the MML program are skills training programs, rather than content based. Because MML teaches skills, it is easy to adapt the program to meet cultural needs.

MML was developed through Mary Ortwein’s long-time work with Appalachian and African-American communities. It’s first pilots as Love’s Cradle were within Hispanic communities in Texas. Prior to MML, RE had been translated into Greek, French, Spanish, German, and Mandarin. It’s original research was done with a majority of the participants in the lower two stanines of the Hollingshead SES Index. Through work at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement RE developed a high level of appropriateness for professional participants. While MML began as a program for low-education participants, we quickly learned that only minor adaptations were needed to make it appropriate for the middle class.

Our current grant programs include several Hispanic projects, a Native American project, several projects that center in the African-American community, and several refugee populations. We have a CCF project centered in Oakland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Camden which is producing videos by Hispanic and African-American couples, is training 8 couples to become Trainers of Leaders, and is translating participant and leader materials into Spanish. Regina Glaspie and Dr. Cheek from Fresno are African-American trainers of leaders.

Because of the wide variety of Latino populations in the US, we have established a Latino Advisory Council to review printed materials and provide cultural guidance.

Through Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) the MML program has been translated into Korean. We have participant and leader materials available, with trainers of leaders from KCCD and HIS University being trained.

One Love’s Cradle project with the Blackfeet tribe is operating in Montana.

Through a project with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) the MML curriculum has been adapted for use with immigrant populations. While in English, the curriculum is sensitive to cultural needs of immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Seven Trainers of Leaders are in the final formation stages to be able to teach community leaders how to teach this program.

MML is now being translated into Chinese, Hmong, and Vietnamese.  We hope to have materials and training available in these languages before the end of 2009.  For up to date information on progress, contact Mary Ortwein at 859-806-4484 or

If you are interested in bringing RE skills to your cultural group, contact us.  We’d love to bring you on board.