2014 National Intergroup Dialogue Institute Inspires Participants

Group photo

July 10, 2014

If you are really committed to social justice education and advocacy this is a must do! The Institute provides a comprehensive, evidence-based, and practice-oriented model (of IGD) that is unparalleled. - 2014 IGR Institute Participant

IGR was pleased to host its 8th annual National Intergroup Dialogue Institute in June. Through the institute, IGR seeks to give colleagues from around the world the opportunity to learn IGR’s philosophy and techniques, so that they will be able to create dialogue programs on their own campuses.

IGR was very pleased to have seen its highest turnout ever this year, with 77 participants from 27 different institutions across the United States and Canada! IGR staff and faculty enjoyed working with attendees to disseminate the pedagogy for intergroup dialogue, facilitation training and support, and general intergroup education. 

During the four day long institute, participants explore "The Michigan Model" of Intergroup Dialogue. Among the large group sessions offered by IGR faculty and staff, Dr. Patricia Gurin (IGR Research Director) shared key findings in intergroup dialogue research. The institute also offered a facilitator panel in which several current and past U-M student facilitators of intergroup dialogue shared their personal insights on facilitating IGR courses. Other institute sessions conveyed essential information on program development, explored a variety of common challenges in intergroup dialogue, and facilitated discussion on the use of dialogic pedagogy in settings outside of higher education. 

Participants also spend time in smaller "cluster groups". Among other things, these groups give them an opportunity to participate in the same activities that students in an intergroup dialogue course would experience. In general, the cluster group sessions gave participants the chance to:

  • Build basic skills in using a dialogic approach 
  • Analyze the concepts of socialization and privilege/power/oppression
  • Participate in exemplar dialogue activities
  • Create and build on networks with other individuals and institutions that are interested in dialogue work 

One participant noted, 

Honestly, we went in skeptical about whether this program had anything to offer our campus, but came out energized, inspired, and prepared to advocate for the IGR approach. We have a lot of challenges on our campus that stem from a lack of diversity in general, and a lack of relationships between diverse groups specifically. This approach offered us a way forward that is proactive, positive, research-based, and academically  
valuable. I have been excitedly sharing the model with everyone I have talked to since returning to campus, and hope we are able to fully implement it here.

IGR's annual institute is a reflection of the program's international leadership in the field of intergroup dialogue. IGR staff and faculty noted that holding the institute each year is a significant component in achieving the program's mission of pursuing social justice through education. 

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for information about IGR's 2015 National Intergroup Dialogue Institute, please send an email to IGR.info(at)umich.edu.The IGR website will also be updated as the registration period approaches.