Intergroup Dialogue

Our second core activity involves in-person facilitated intergroup dialogue, where small groups of faculty and/or department leaders come together to explore social group identity, conflict, and social justice. Intergroup dialogue is a powerful tool to promote complex thinking about diversity, social change, alliance building, and a better understanding of the self (Chesler, 2001; DeTurk, 2006). To further augment faculty members’ skills, we are developing an intergroup dialogue curriculum to explore identity groups defined by race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability. Our goal is to form “cohorts” of faculty members across campus, where up to 15 participate in a facilitated intergroup dialogue group over the course of a year. In line with similar intergroup dialogue efforts (Dessel, Rogge, & Garlington, 2006; Nagda & Gurin, 2007), we anticipate that these small-group facilitated settings will provide faculty with critical skills to promote positive change in their positions— working with colleagues, interacting with students, developing inclusive policies, and improving communication. This initiative is designed to complement our diversity and inclusion educational opportunities initiative.