Community Dialogues

January 2023 will mark the launch of Community Dialogues, President Holmes-Sullivan’s signature initiative. This ongoing program is intended to make healthy, constructive dialogue a part of our identity as an institution, and the foundation of how we relate to each other in community in both informal and formal settings.

To begin, 24 members of our community—faculty, staff, and students from all three of our campuses—will be prepared by Essential Partners to facilitate meaningful dialogue across differences. Then, throughout the spring 2023 semester, the facilitators will hold space inside and outside the classroom for us to learn and practice dialogue in both formal and informal settings in order to build our capacity to listen, speak, and learn with each other about topics central to our collective well-being, even when those topics are contentious.

Information about scheduled dialogues will be shared with the community by February 1, 2023.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is for our community to learn and practice dialogue in both formal and informal settings to build our capacity to listen, speak, and learn with each other about topics central to our collective wellbeing, even when those topics are contentious.

—President Robin Holmes-Sullivan, PhD

Essential Partners

Essential Partners has over 30 years of experience helping campus communities large and small become more inclusive and resilient by learning to respectfully engage on sensitive topics such as:

  • Race and ethnicity
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Religious differences
  • Economic inequality
  • Climate change
  • Intellectual diversity
  • Political partisanship

Learn more about their higher ed–specific approach and how they create what they call the Dialogic Campus.

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Facilitators to be trained in January 2023