Intergroup Relations

The Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) is a social justice education program. IGR blends theory and experiential learning to facilitate students' learning about social group identity, social inequality, and intergroup relations. The program prepares students to live and work in a diverse world and educates them in making choices that advance equity, justice, and peace. IGR was founded in 1988 and was the first program of its kind. IGR is a partnership between Student Life and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. 

Mission Statement

The Program on Intergroup Relations is committed to helping students, and those who work with them, pursue social justice through educational engagement, practice, and pedagogy.


Through our national leadership and on-campus presence, we are committed to educating students on social justice and intergroup relations, and emphasizing student learning through intergroup dialogue, engaged pedagogies, research, and leadership opportunities both in and out of the classroom. With a focus on the whole student, we work to build opportunities for our students to facilitate, think critically, reflect, build resiliency and lead. We prepare students to work, live, thrive, and actively contribute to a more inclusive campus and community. We strive to work with others on the U-M campuses and on other colleges and universities to build capacity to offer students these types of opportunities.

Core Work


IGR offers seven different courses that are designed for students with special interests in social diversity and social justice. The courses utilize experiential pedagogy to analyze and understand social conflict, intergroup relations and issues of diversity and justice. Within these, students who follow a specified course sequence, along with certain other requirements, earn the Patricia Gurin Certificate of Merit in Intergroup Relations.


The CommonGround Workshop Program was developed for students to learn about social inequalities and social justice in a workshop format. Student organizations, classes, and other campus communities can request workshops on topics that increase awareness of issues of identity, diversity, and intergroup relations.

Community Outreach

The Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity program increases dialogue among high-school aged youth in schools across metropolitan Detroit. Young people of African, Asian, European, Latino and Latina, and Middle Eastern descent participate in structured dialogues and other programs that challenge discrimination and create change.

National Institute on Intergroup Dialogue

The institute is for other institutions who wish to learn “The Michigan Model” of Intergroup Dialogue philosophy and techniques for the purpose of creating dialogue programs on their own campuses. Since 2006, IGR has hosted over 120 institutions.


IGR conducts research to assess program outcomes and aims to answer questions about what students gain from intergroup dialogue participation and how the pedagogy influences these outcomes. Using various methodologies, researchers mentor undergraduates and graduate students. Together, they have published journal articles (including peer-reviewed), monographs, essays, book chapters, books, and doctoral dissertations on intergroup dialogue research.


Staff Spotlight: Roger Fisher

For this edition of "Staff Spotlight", a regular feature where we share things you may not know about IGR staff members, we sat down with IGR Associate Director (LSA) Roger B. Fisher.

In his role, Roger teaches training and practicum classes, directs IGR's partnership with the School of Social Work on the Summer Youth Dialogue Program, performs high-level administrative functions for IGR, trains K-12 professionals, consults with other Higher Education institutions on dialogue programs and works on special Student Life projects. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Roger! 

  • Where did you grow up and where did you go to college? I was born and raised in Detroit.  I am a product of the 60's and 70's Motown experience.  I came to the University of Michigan in the early 80's for undergraduate school and stayed for graduate school.

Student Advisory Board Opportunities!

Student Life is seeking 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate/professional students who are passionate about issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to serve on our inaugural DEI Student Advisory Boards (DEISAB​s).  These advisory boards will allow institutional leaders to regularly enlist broad and diverse student perspectives on the University’s DEI Strategic Plan implementation and assessment.  

You Are Invited to Register for the Second Biennial Conference!

We invite and encourage all members of the IGR community to consider attending this event. IGR and The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) will be this years' site hosts. IGR will also be presenting two sessions at the conference.


IGR Students Tell You What IGR Is and Why Get Involved!

The Program on Intergroup Relations would like to thank the students on IGR's recruitment team for creating this video to share the benefits and transferable skills they've gained from their involvement in the program!

Jonathan Lee, Javonne Barrett, and Corine Rosenberg of IGR's Student Recruitment Team

Meet the IGR Advisory Committee

We are pleased to share the names of the IGR Advisory Committee with you. The committee meets yearly to discuss the growth and direction of IGR, as well as discuss issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus.

For more information about any of the individuals listed, simply click their name(s). If you have any questions about the committee, please email for further information. 

Alford A. Young

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