Intergroup dialogue is an educational model that brings together community members from diverse social identities in a cooperative, small-group learning environment.
Colgate Conversations have come in the form of weekly brownbag discussions, peer-driven and student leadership workshops, full-day symposiums, and staff/faculty-led Orientation presentations. They all use an intergroup dialogue (IGD) approach to encourage individuals to explore the complexities of social identities (religion, race/ethnicity, gender, class, etc) to improve communication and relationships between individuals from different social backgrounds. Through experiential learning opportunities, Colgate Conversations fosters an understanding of how individual perspectives are rooted in systems of power and privilege and provides an opportunity for community members to work together across difference toward purposeful social change.
How to Get Involved
Intergroup dialogue often involves members of groups with a history of conflict or limited opportunities to engage in deep and meaningful discussion of controversial, challenging, or divisive issues.
Look for the "Colgate Conversations" name, in the form of weekly brownbag discussions, peer-driven and student leadership workshops, and staff/faculty-led Orientation presentations. They all use an IGD approach to encourage individuals to explore the complexities of social identities (religion, race/ethnicity, gender, class, etc) to improve communication and relationships between individuals from different social backgrounds. Through experiential learning opportunities, Colgate Conversations fosters an understanding of how individual perspectives are rooted in systems of power and privilege and provides an opportunity for community members to work together across difference toward purposeful social change.
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Every Spring semester the Office of Equity and Diversity, Dean of the College, Dean of Faculty and ALANA Cultural Center have collaborated on 2-day IGD experiential workshops.
The next 2-Day IGD Experience workshop for faculty and staff will take place January 13-14, 2020. More information to follow.
Denise Larson '19 explored how attending IGD-based brown bag events impacted her perspective, and why it is something every student should experience, in the Odyssey Online:
A LESSON IN GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Fall 2019 Colgate Conversations Brown Bag Series:
September 16: "The ABCs of LGBTQ+ Identities"'
Danny Barreto (Assistant Professor of LGBTQ Studies) & Jake Licker ‘21 (LGBTQ Studies Minor)
Through a discussion about language, we will begin to explore how gender and sexuality are constructed, lived and expressed. We will analyze how heteronormativity operates in our daily lives to exclude certain people and practices, as well as provide tools for creating less harmful and more inclusive spaces. This workshop will also take into account how gender and sexual identities intersect with other identity categories such as class and race.
September 23: “Talking Funny: Language and Accent as a Tool of Otherness”
Jailekha Zutshi ‘21 & Tracy Milyango '19
This IGD brownbag hopes to unpack how an individual's linguistic identity and accent can shape their experiences. What does it mean to say someone has an accent on a campus like that of Colgate? How can imposing language norms be construed as part of a broader movement to prioritize one set of rules that is particular to a group with historical and cultural capital? We will explore the nuances of the impact of language and accent on someone's experiences, and offer solutions to prevent language from becoming a tool with which to perpetuate otherness.
September 30: "Our Common Place: connecting with our shared place in space and time"
John Pumilio (Director of Sustainability) & Pamela Gramlich (Assistant Director, Sustainability and PC Environmental Studies)
This discussion will take a look at our moment in history and our place in the universe in a way that invites humility and generates a feeling of gratitude for our common home (our planet and its natural history). Protecting and caring for our "place" is a shared responsibility that can put differences in perspective.
October 7: “How to Talk with your Racist, %#*$-ist Uncle”
IGD Interns Hilary Almanza ‘22 and Pomelo Wu ‘21, with Esther Rosbrook (Assistant Director of Residential Life)
Heading home for break sometime soon? Dreading the discussion around the dinner table after a few too many social drinks? Unwilling to sit quietly as someone you love or admire spreads ignorant understandings and hatred-centered opinions? Then this dialogue is for you. During this IGD talk, we will discuss instances in which we feel trapped in between either our family or friends when discussing topics involving generational and/or ideological differences. We will dissect how one should attempt to have these conversations with loved ones while also bearing in mind our own biases.
Colgate faculty are incorporating IGD methodologies into curricular courses. Interested students may contact faculty members directly to express interest in joining a course. Faculty members will manage course enrollment to ensure representation of diverse groups of participants, in line with IGD pedagogy.
The Wellness Passport Program allows students to attend a variety of classes, workshops, and events — including IGD-based "Colgate Conversations" — encompassing the eight dimensions of wellness to earn PHED credit.