IGR, Community Action and Social Change launch new certificate

Photo taken from above of students studying at a round table.

October 10, 2023  |  By Nick Pfost and Couper Tanko

University of Michigan students with an interest in intergroup dialogue facilitation and social change will have the opportunity to participate in a new certificate program, dialogue for community change, starting in fall 2023. The certificate program is sponsored by the School of Social Work’s Community Action and Social Change (CASC) program and The Program on Intergroup Relations, itself a unique joint initiative of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Division of Student Life.

Undergraduate students who have declared either the CASC minor or IGR minor are eligible for the dialogue for community change certificate.

“We’re thrilled to formally offer this certificate,” said IGR co-directors Donna Rich-Kaplowitz and Monita Thompson. “This is the natural evolution of years of collaboration between IGR and the School of Social Work, offering students recognition for work that they’ve already been doing and highlighting new pathways for all students. IGR minors who participate in the certificate program will use these advanced opportunities to employ their dialogic skills in community-based applications, further their experience, and deepen their understanding of building coalitions for change across identity.”

Abigail Eiler, CASC’s director of undergraduate minors and a clinical associate professor of social work, said, “This certificate offers an opportunity for emerging scholars at the University of Michigan to expand their understanding and practice of meaningful and intentional dialogue facilitation that promotes communication action and social change."

The CASC minor is designed for students to build skills and knowledge to enact social change. The IGR minor helps build and fortify skills to raise critical consciousness, interrupt dominant narratives, and collaborate across differences. Students who add the Dialogue for Community Change certificate must meet a few additional requirements in addition to their CASC or IGR coursework.

About the Certificate in Dialogue for Community Change

The new certificate helps students in LSA, School of Social Work, and across campus mobilize to address pressing societal challenges, creating purposeful change and impact in the world. CASC and IGR students will explore intergroup dialogue facilitation and popular education approaches for community action and social change, both as a social justice intervention and social change tactic beyond higher education.

Students in the certificate program will have the opportunity to:

  • Support opportunities for engaged learning and community-based (on or off campus) practice.
  • Build skills in creating, sustaining, and effectively participating in coalitions for change across social identities.
  • Develop cohort support and connections across students minoring in either or both programs and creating opportunities for meaningful community building for students.

Students—learn more

To learn more, CASC students can sign up for an advising appointment with the CASC minor academic advisor, or email [email protected]

IGR students can learn more about the certificate and submit an interest form to be notified when the declaration option goes live, or email [email protected] to schedule an advising appointment with an IGR academic advisor. 


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