Intergroup Relations

Group Photo of 2015 CommonGround Team

by LaQwana Dockery, IGR Programming Team

Within IGR, you will find CommonGround, the co-curricular student-led workshop program. CommonGround works with student organizations, residence halls, Greek life, academic courses, and other campus communities in raising awareness around social identities, prejudice, stereotyping, power, privilege, and oppression through workshops that involve Intergroup Dialogue. CommonGround workshops are facilitated and coordinated by trained U-M undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Workshops help promote social identity development and enhance group dynamics, while building a community of social justice advocates on campus through interactive activities and dialogue.

This year, we have seven members on the CommonGround Programming Team. There are:

  • Program Coordinators (3) - Tahany Alsabahi is a junior in LSA, studying International Studies and Middle Eastern & North African Studies with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC). ’Dolapo Adeniji is a junior in LSA, studying International Studies with a Crime and Law minor. Both Tahany and ‘Dolapo manage workshop requests, meet with requestors and help determine their needs and goals, and help find facilitators while assisting them with the development of a workshop agenda. From the Ross School of Business with a minor in Law, Justice and Social Change minor, we have Tyra Bandt returning as the third Program Coordinator. Tyra has been involved with IGR CommonGround all four years of college and has been a part of the Programming Team for three years!  Tyra helps with scheduling meetings between Workshop Managers and outside requestors. Tyra also creates and distributes the biweekly email called the Digest. Assisting the entire Programming Team in their daily operations is Program Assistant Ben Frey. A senior majoring in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Intergroup Relations, Ben has a large role when it come to the support and function of the Programming Team. 
  • Masters Graduate Student Interns (3) - All from the School of Education, we have Laxmi Shastry, LaQwana Dockery, and Melissa CharlesLaxmi is in her second year of the Masters of Higher Education Program and assists the Programming Coordinators with their workshop planning. Working with the Student Coordinators and marketing and recruitment is LaQwana (also known around the office as Q). Q is a second year graduate student in her first year at the School of Education working on her Masters of Higher Education with a concentration in Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education. Melissa is also in her first graduate year in the Higher Education program. She is studying to receive her Masters in Higher Education with a concentration in Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education. Melissa works with both MESA and CommonGround in curriculum and program development around allyhood.
  • Overseeing the entire Programming Team is Senior Student Life Program Manager Danny Alvarez. Danny has been working with the Program on Intergroup Relations in various capacities for over 2 years. Danny also teaches courses through IGR as well as the School of Social Work. Danny received a Masters in Social Work degree from U-M in 2012 with a focus on Community Organizing.

Request a Workshop

  • We will begin accepting workshop requests for Fall semester beginning September 1st, 2018.
  • Fall semester workshops can be scheduled between October and mid-December. CommonGround does not host workshops in September as we use this month to train facilitators. 
  • We are still accepting workshop requests for late November and early December. 

 We appreciate your understanding and look forward to working with you!

  • Requests must be submitted three (3) weeks prior to the intended workshop date.
  • The general purpose of these workshops is to create interactive spaces to engage in dialogue about social justice and social identity. If your organization is seeking mediation, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution ( or Student Activities and Leadership's Student Organization Support can serve as resources