Intergroup Dialogue Working Group

Definition: Intergroup dialogue is an innovative practice in higher education that promotes student engagement across cultural and social divides, fostering learning about social diversity and inequalities and cultivating an ethos of social responsibility...Per Zuniga et al. (2007)

What is our purpose?

Rationale : In alignment with the U's core values, the IGD program promotes respectful dialogue across differences among students, faculty, and staff, and the understanding of perspectives and ideas that facilitate intellectual advancement as well as personal development as members of the UM community.

Goals : To develop an inclusive community through curricular and co-curricular experiences for students, faculty, and staff that build skills in dialogue across difference to promote a culture of belonging. A culture of belonging is one where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to add value or be actively engaged.

What are we doing?

  1. Surveying Campus Faculty & Staff - Who is doing this kind of work already? How can we compliment or support what is already being done? Where are the gaps?

  2. Inviting students to serve on subcommittees.
    • Onboarding
    • Resident & Commuter Students
    • Student Engagement
    • Intergroup Dialogue Course
    • Intergroup Facilitation Scholars Program
    • Faculty & Staff Learning Communities
  3. Administering a training with University of Michigan staff on campus during Spring Break.

  4. Launching a Faculty/Staff Intergroup Dialogue for Spring 2018 - Will prepare us to launch the undergraduate course and help focus the Faculty & Staff Learning Community

  5. Launching a credit bearing course for Undergraduate student Fall 2018

Description of Subcommittees

  • Onboarding: developing programs that promote dialogue across difference and set expectations for students as they join the 'Canes family.

  • Resident & Commuter Students: developing programming that promotes dialogue across difference in both the residential colleges and commuter student spaces.

  • Student Engagement: creating and promoting student- and faculty-led programming for student organizations and groups that promotes dialogue across difference.

  • Intergroup Dialogue Course: helping to develop an IGD course, coordinated by the Educational and Psychological Studies (EPS) and Teaching and Learning departments in the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), that will be open to all undergraduate students. Once approved, this course will become part of the new cognate Belonging in a Diverse Society: Intersections of Culture, Identity, and Social Justice.

  • Intergroup Facilitation Scholars program: developing an Intergroup Facilitation Scholars program. Similar to the current Civic Scholars program, we hope to design a program whereby students who complete the IGD course, and participate in other initiatives related to the Culture of Belonging, will have the opportunity to receive a special Diversity Scholars designation on their transcripts. This group will partner with the Diversity and Equity Education Program (DEEP), which is coordinated by the LGBTQ Student Center and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. The DEEP program provides students with various opportunities to engage in dialogue across differences, enhance their multicultural competency, and develop skills in social justice advocacy and action.

  • Faculty & Staff Learning Communities: creating faculty and staff learning communities. These learning communities will create and promote programming for staff and faculty to engage in dialogue across difference, and for faculty to implement or improve dialogic teaching across the curriculum.