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Center for Diversity & Inclusion

Fall 2016 Dialogue Groups

dialogue group

Dialogue is different from debate because individuals seek to understand and learn from one another versus arguing or trying to prove a point. Dialogue facilitators are trained students who craft each dialogue session specific to the interests of the participants. In order to move from surface-level conversations into deeper dialogue facilitators create a space for participants to talk and explore these extremely important issues about identity and social justice. Individuals who participate should be personally interested in the topic of the group they apply for and be willing to share their own personal experiences and perspectives.

Requirements to participate: All students are welcome to apply. Those who participate should be committed to attending the full seven weeks of the Dialogue. Fall 2016 Intergroup Dialogues begin the week of October 3 and end the week of November 17.

We look forward to your participation. Questions can be directed to and folks can apply through our online application.

Conflicting Identities: A Dialogue on the Intersection of Nationality and Culture

Mondays 6-8pm

How does culture and nationality manifest in your life? Do you ever feel reluctant to be defined solely by nationality or culture? How do your other identities intersect with your culture and/or nationality? How does your nationality and culture influence your other self-perceptions? How have your assumptions, stereotypes, and perceptions of your identities been affected by your nationality and culture? Through this dialogue we seek to answer these questions and explore the ways in which our personal identities engage with each other and affect our daily lives. We welcome students of all nationalities and cultures in this dialogue.

Changing Times and Unchanging Principles: Race, Belonging, & Community

l Mondays 6-8 pm

As we move into new spaces and communities, race and intersecting identities affect our sense of belonging. From our hometowns into college, or neighborhood to neighborhood, we may experience shifts in attitudes and behaviors towards our race. How does race play a role in how we are perceived and how we perceive our surroundings as we go through life transitions? How do notions of community affect where we show love, empathy, feel safe, and are valued? How is your role adjusted as communities around the nation rapidly change through gentrification, demographic shifts, and - cross-cultural interaction? Join us for a profound and personal dialogue that will stretch your comfort zone on how diverse experiences affect our identities in changing times.

Exploring Social Inequities and Privileges on Campus – What Is Our Role?

| Tuesdays 6-8 p.m.

How has your identity shaped your experiences on campus? In what ways have these experiences been reaffirmed? In what ways have they been suppressed? Do you have trouble identifying or understanding how experiences of privilege and marginalization exist for you or others here at American? And, if so, do you think or wish that something can be done about all of this? This dialogue will explore our experiences and observations of privilege, marginalization, inequity, difference and inclusion as they play out on AU’s campus. We will not only explore how we each experience these themes, but we will also grapple with our role in engaging with and addressing these experiences as they take form around us. With this dialogue we hope to get closer to answering the following questions together: what is our role in exposing/addressing these hidden social processes on campus, and how can we move forward and create change to make our campus better?


Keeping Up Appearances: Race, Gender, and Representation

| Wednesdays 6-8 p.m.

How does the intersectionality of race, gender, body shape, size, self-representation, and appearance affect your experience on AU’s campus and beyond? How might respectability politics impact who is seen as valuable, beautiful, and worthy of affirmation? Every day we make choices about our appearance. How should I represent myself in class? On a job? At social activities? What do others assume about me based on my body, the way I dress, and what I say? This dialogue will allow you to examine the relationship between race, gender, and appearance while reflecting on self-image and societal expectations. Join us in a conversation where we will learn from each other about the complexities of what aspects of our identity and beyond shape our appearance. We encourage all to apply!


Sexuality, Gender, and Race: Personal Experiences of Intersecting Identities

| Wednesdays 6-8pm

There has seemingly been more space to discuss sexuality, but the picture tends to be painted with broad brush strokes. In reality, there’s a wide range of how people experience their sexuality. This dialogue will explore the topic of sexuality through the exchange of personal experiences and examinations of norms, as well as through external and internal perceptions. How do one’s race and gender play a distinct and interconnected role? We will explore the overlap of our identities and their influence on one another. Additionally, we will be exploring the interconnections and experiences of people's bodies, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, values, and relationships.


At a Crossroads: Race and Class in America

| Thursdays 6-8 p.m.

How do you understand socioeconomic status and race in relation to oppression and inequality? Classism and racism operate together and separately in unique scenarios. In this dialogue, participants will discuss topics such as affirmative action, environmental justice, class privilege, white privilege, and best practices for allyship. Students will also gain the tools to translate their experience into conversations about race and class in collegiate spaces.



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