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Course Overview

This course is designed to provide an environment that is supportive of self-exploration and understanding through attendance and participation in intergroup dialogue. The goal of intergroup dialogue is to develop comfort with, and skill for, discussion of difficult topics and fostering positive, meaningful, and sustained cross-group relationships. This course engages students in facilitated dialogue about the similarities and differences of experiences that exist within a group and/or between and across groups. In debate, the goal is to listen to gain advantage; in intergroup dialogue, the main goal is to listen to gain understanding. As a result, students develop increased multicultural interaction, increased intergroup awareness and sensitivity, and greater commitment to civic engagement. Each semester there will be a variety of topics addressed by the dialogue sections. The topics and number of sections of the dialogues are flexible and will change from semester to semester. The original set of dialogues includes race, language, LGBT, US/Foreign Born, and Interfaith/secular. Through the intergroup dialogue process, it is our hope that we will better understand our own biases and positioning on the topics, deepen our learning to build bridges and create kinship within the group, and develop skills for discussing difficult topics with people who hold a variety of perspectives.

Prerequisite: Permission of the department chair

Program: Communication Studies

Credit: 3

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