University Law School graduate Judge LaJune Thomas Lange stressed to students the importance of developing cultural awareness Friday at a Carlson School of Management forum.
Lange, president of the International Leadership Institute and a state trial judge, told students good international relations stem from a common understanding of cultural differences.
“Being culturally savvy will help students succeed in their careers, and help them avoid missteps, ” Lange later said.
She explained to students the meaning of terms such as “capital flight,” which refers to money taken from communities through under-the-table deals, and why some commonly used terms in the United States, such as “no-brainer,” are offensive to people in South Africa.
The students were also given information on organizations that they could become involved in, including Water For the People, The St. Paul Companies and Africa One. Each of the companies has some type of international interest.
Water For the People is a nonprofit organization that provides fresh water for people in developing nations.
The St. Paul Companies is bringing Nelson Mandela to Minneapolis to speak this week.
Africa One helps bring high-speed cable around the continent of Africa to spur a technology and communication revolution.
Students appreciated Lange’s presentation.
“She did a really great job of answering questions,” said University sophomore Kristine Novak.
Josh Wieland, another University sophomore, said he was intrigued by the Africa One program.
“The most interesting (thing Lange talked about) was bringing Internet access to other countries,” Wieland said.
Lange has also been a public defender and has worked with several organizations, such as the World Jurist Association, the Minnesota Minority Lawyers Association, Minnesota Civil Rights Commission, Minnesota International Center, and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.
Lange is well known as a local and international speaker. She has spoken to many groups, including the Nobel Conference, the National Conference of Negro Women, the Hennepin County Bar Association, the University Law School and the United States Information Service.