“I came to A Different Dialogue to garner courage to be able to speak about race issues and further develop understanding of that for others and myself.”
– Student Participant Fall 2016
Q: What is A Different Dialogue?
A: A Different Dialogue is Georgetown University’s intergroup dialogue program that engages undergraduate students in structured conversations on a range of complex and controversial topics including race, gender, social class, religion, and sexual orientation among others.
Q: What is inter-group dialogue?
A: Inter-group dialogue is characterized by students’ willingness to listen for understanding. This differs from discussion where students generally engage in serial monologuing – offering their own perspectives on a given topic without genuinely engaging in mutual conversations with one another. Inter-group dialogue is also different from debate where students typically learn to listen to gain advantage – each student seeking to trump the perspectives offered by their peers. The goal of inter-group dialogue is to enable to students to develop comfort with and skills for, meaningful cross-group interactions and relationship building.
Q: Why should I participate?
A: Depending on the semester, Dialogue participants will either receive a free meal during each of the 7 dialogue sessions or academic credit. Additionally, they will learn more about their own personal and social identities, develop comfort talking with peers who are similar to and different from themselves, and build dialogue skills that have been proven to help facilitate career advancement.
Q: What are the requirements?
A: There are no formal prerequisites for participating in A Different Dialogue. We only ask that you come with an open mind, ready to learn from and with your peers.
Q: Who facilitates the dialogues?
A: Each dialogue session is co-facilitated by two trained and experience staff facilitators from Georgetown University.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: To participate in any of our dialogues, students must fill out our participant interest form. Students will then be contacted within one week of the start date of the dialogues regarding their placement.
Q: How many students are there in each dialogue?
A: For optimal conversation, the ideal size for each dialogue is 8-14 students.
Q: Is attendance mandatory?
A: Each session builds upon what the group has accomplished together in past weeks. Therefore, attendance is crucial to the learning and growth process. We expect that participants will take this responsibility to themselves and their peers very seriously.
Q: Can I observe a dialogue session?
A: Unfortunately, due to the structured nature of the dialogue we do not allow outside observers. The dialogue environment is built on trusting relationships amongst the participants. Allowing observers, even for research purposes, who are not a part of the dialogue would impose on that relationship structure.
Q: Can graduate students participate?
A: For the time being, our dialogues are offered to undergraduate Georgetown students only. However, we have received interest from graduate students and are willing to explore new opportunities for expanding the program. Therefore, if you are interested in getting involved, please e-mail us!
Q: How do I become a facilitator for A Different Dialogue?
A: Complete our facilitator interest form. If you have questions about the facilitator role/responsibilities please email us.
Q: If I have more questions, who can I contact?
A: Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.