This program grows out of one of our capstone courses for the Peace and Conflict Studies minor, Dialogue Models, developed and taught by David Derezotes, in Social Work, and assisted by George Cheney. The program involves several partners, including the Women's Resource Center, the U's Office of Diversity, Chamade/Perspectives on Prejudice, and the Inclusion Center. The project is designed to bring together groups for deep discussion of differences that may divide them. However, the program is designed to be as proactive as possible, in addition to being prepared to response to tensions as they arise. A dialogue training and response team will consist of 25-30 professors, staff and community representatives. The first audience to be engaged is instructors of diversity courses at the U.
Issues to be treated in this project will include both (a) those that arise with some sense of urgency, as in controversies surrounding specific incidents or events; and (b) those of ongoing concern (including questions of "difference" within and beyond the campus; also, conflicts related to the environment, the economy, religion, and politics).