Intergroup Dialogue is a three credit course that brings together small groups of students from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and gain knowledge from one another.
Intergroup dialogue (IGD) is a small group intervention that brings together individuals from two or more social identity groups with a history of tension or conflict (e.g., People of Color and White people; LGBT people and heterosexual people; Christians, religious minorities, and secular individuals; women and men). The goals of IGD include: (1) creating sustained, face-to-face communication across groups; (2) raising social consciousness (e.g., about social inequalities, one’s role in perpetuating these inequalities, and the personal impacts of these inequalities on oneself and others); and (3) building bridges across group differences and a commitment to work toward social justice together. IGD has been implemented at colleges and universities across the country to engage students and faculty in dialogue about the most pressing and difficult social divisions in our society.
IGD represents a sustained conversation over a period of several weeks to have individuals more deeply and consistently engage with a topic that typically creates tension and conflict. Students meet in small groups for a period of 8 weeks to discuss one social issue (e.g., racism). The dialogue is facilitated by two individuals trained in IGD. The students and facilitators must equally represent the different identities associated with the dialogue topic (e.g., People of Color, White people). This model has been shown to increase individuals’ empathic understanding of different perspectives, as well as to raise self-awareness and cultural competence.
With support from the Office of the Provost and Division of Academic Affairs, a group of faculty and staff have begun piloting a program bringing IGD to TU. Courses have been offered with an IGD component in multiple colleges and departments. Training is offered at TU for faculty and staff who are interested in becoming facilitators or creating a course that would use IGD.
For more information, please contact Christa Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Psychology.