The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is undertaking a pilot project to create the foundations of a robust intergroup dialogue program for the campus. Intergroup dialogue is a well-researched pedagogical approach to engaging across differences in curricular and co-curricular settings. In its infancy, this pilot project initially seeks to engage students in spaces that center inquiry into the lived and diverse experiences of racial advantage (White) or racial disadvantage (BIPOC). Open to all students, these groups provide an opportunity for students to come together to explore the lived experience of a particular racial group for the purpose of exploring that identity as individuals and as a group. By exploring a particular identity, students are able to see or name dynamics of privilege or oppression that may be hard to initially navigate on one’s own. Following a period of time “looking inward,” developing knowledge and awareness of oneself as a member of a particular group, our goal is to eventually provide opportunities for students to “look outward” by engaging in facilitated intergroup dialogue where the focus is on cross-group interactions and experiences.
Following the offerings of Fall 2020, we anticipate that the Spring 2021 semester will be a period of time where we will offer several “Looking Inward” dialogues and a “Looking Outward” dialogue. Facilitators of these experiences are trained by staff in the ODEI and are compensated for their time and expertise.