A Different Dialogue engages students, from one or more social identity groups, in facilitated dialogue about the similarities and differences of experience that exist within a group and/or between and across groups. The goal of A Different Dialogue is for students to develop comfort with, and skill for, discourse on difficult topics in order to foster positive, meaningful, and sustained cross-group relationships.
In April 2009, Dr. John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University President, authorized the establishment of three working groups: academics, admissions, and student life to provide actionable items for consideration as a part of his Diversity and Inclusiveness Initiative. A year later, the Student Life Working Group, comprised of students, staff, and faculty from across the Main Campus, distributed their final report, which included a number of co-curricular recommendations to prepare Georgetown students to live and interact in a multicultural community. One of those recommendations was to launch an intergroup dialogue program devoted to University founder Archbishop John Carroll’s vision of a university committed to education with respect for diversity and open dialogue in the pursuit of truth. A Different Dialogue hosted its first dialogue session in the Spring 2010 semester.
Since 2010, A Different Dialogue has offered over 35 co-curricular dialogue sessions for students, focusing on topics ranging from Sexuality & Gender Identity; Race, Ethnicity, & Nationality; Social Class & Capital; Religion; and Ability and Disability. In Spring 2016 and Spring 2017, A Different Dialogue partnered with Dr. Leslie Hinkson to pilot a curricular version of A Different Dialogue, in which the students in Dr. Hinkson’s SOCI 244 course (“Engaging Difference: Race, Ethnicity, and Intergroup Dialogue”) participated in a staff-facilitated intergroup dialogue experience as an additional discussion component of the course. A Different Dialogue is now an offering within Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) as it works to increase curricular partnerships with faculty across campus, beginning in Spring 2018.
Awards, Presentations, and Papers
Velazquez, D., & Williams, D. (2015, July). More than a conversation: Inter-group dialogue in Jesuit higher education. University of San Francisco, JASPA 5 Year Institute, San Francisco, CA.
2011 Commitment to Diversity Award winner for Outstanding Program presented by the Student of Color Alliance at Georgetown University.
2010 Distinguished Program Award presented by the Association of Jesuit College and Universities at the 29th Annual Conference on Multicultural Affairs.
2010 Commitment to Diversity Award nominee for Outstanding Program presented by the Student of Color Alliance at Georgetown University.
Anderson, A.A., Huff, W., & Stensberg, K. (2010, June). A Different Dialogue: Something to talk about. Georgetown University, Division of Student Affairs, Washington, DC.
Anderson, A.A., Stensberg, K., & Huff, W. (2011, March). A Different Dialogue Speaks Loudly: Building an Intergroup Dialogue Program. Session presented at the annual meeting of ACPA College Student Educators International, Baltimore, MD.
Huff, W. (2010, Spring). Let's Give Them Something to Dialogue About... Georgetown University: Division of Student Affairs Parents Newsletter.
Huff, W. & Stensberg, K. (2010, December). A Different Dialogue: Building an Intergroup Dialogue Program. Session presented at the annual meeting of the District of Columbia College Personnel Association, Washington, DC.
Stensberg, K., Anderson, A.A., & Huff, W. (2011, June). Integrating Intergroup Dialogue in Residential Communities. Session presented at the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Region 1 Conference, Lugano, Switzerland.
Stensberg, K., Huff, W., & Anderson, A.A. (2011, March). A Different Dialogue – Building an Intergroup Dialogue Program. Session presented at the annual meeting of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Philadelphia, PA.
Velázquez, D. & Lim, S. (June 2016) A courageous partnership: Georgetown’s intergroup dialogue program, presented at the Association for Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Conference of Diversity and Equity, Santa Clara, CA.