Intergroup Relations

Training students W19

ALA 320/SOC 320/PSYCH 310

(2 credit mini-course)

ALA 320 is cross-listed with Sociology 320 and Psychology 310. Students interested in Training in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation should read through the information below and complete an online Training application.

(Synchronous and Remote)

This mini-course is designed to give students a foundation for the effective facilitation of structured multicultural intergroup dialogues as a social justice education tool. It is intended for students who wish to facilitate intergroup dialogues in a future semester. The topics of this course include group facilitation skills and their applications in inclusive, diverse settings; group processes and dynamics involving social power; social identity group development; prejudice and stereotyping and their effects on groups; difference and dominance and the nature of social oppression.  

Class sessions will utilize: in-class activities, simulations and role-plays, practice facilitation, asynchronous videos, reading discussion, and reflections on interactions and assignments. The goal of this class is to help students develop competencies in intergroup dialogue facilitation. Ultimately, we hope this class leads students to develop greater intergroup empathy, skills to lead difficult dialogues across different identities, and participation in social change.

This is the first course in a two-course sequence. Students are expected to enroll in a subsequent semester in: ALA 321/PSYCH 311/SOC 321: Practicum in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation.

Class Format: The class will be taught synchronously, online. We will rely primarily on zoom for our class meetings. Students will be expected to attend class during the scheduled meeting times. Because of the community nature of this class, a camera is expected. Accommodations will be made for students with excused absences.

Course Prerequisites

There are no required prerequisites for this course, but IGR strongly recommends that students take an intergroup dialogue course, ALA 122, or Foundations of Intergroup Relations, ALA 220, prior to applying. 

Is becoming a facilitator right for me?

The facilitator position requires an individual who exhibits responsibility, commitment to the pursuit of social justice, and the desire to teach, learn, and grow with others. You will have the opportunity to expand your own self-awareness, and potentially influence the identity development and multicultural understanding of other students. Through the training course and facilitator position, you will develop valuable life skills not only in facilitation, but in intergroup communication, group dynamics, and teamwork. If you are looking for ways to make a positive difference at the University of Michigan, then this may be the very opportunity for you.
The position is a great leadership opportunity for future professionals, educators, and activists. Facilitation and dialogue skills can be applied in any meeting or group setting, one-on-one conversations, and even structural and institutional analysis. The experience is eye-opening at the very least and often transformative.
Training and Practicum have allowed me to connect with some truly amazing people. Out of all of the spaces on campus, they are the places where I've felt the most support from my peers -  our love for each other and our caring about each other are tangible.
- Adam Tannenbaum

Training Course Commitments

Students admitted to the training mini-course are expected to attend a weekend retreat and four class periods. Please plan to reserve the full weekend retreat for zoom meetings. We will not be meeting all day every day, but we will have activities for you to do throughout the weekend. Students unable to attend the weekend retreat will not be able to take the mini-course. This mini-course is offered twice a semester. Here are the commitments for the Winter 2021 semester: 

Winter 2021:

Section 001

  • Weekend Retreat: Friday, January 22 (5:00 - 7:30 pm)
    • Saturday, January 23 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:30 - 5:00 pm)
    • Sunday, January 24 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 - 4:00 pm)
  • Four classes: Wednesdays, 2:30 - 4:30 pm
    • February 3
    • February 10
    • February 17
    • February 24
  • Commitment: Fall 2021 (or a future semester):
    • Enroll in Practicum Course (ALA/SOC 321, PSYCH 311)
      • Mondays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm 
      • Wednesdays, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Section 002

  • Weekend Retreat: Friday, March 12 (5:00 - 7:30 pm)
    • Saturday, March 13 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:30 - 5:00 pm)
    • Sunday, March 14 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 - 4:00 pm)
  • Four classes: Thursdays, 2:30 - 4:30 pm
    • March 25
    • April 1
    • April 8
    • April 15
  • Commitment: Fall 2021 (or a future semester):
    • Enroll in Practicum Course (ALA/SOC 321, PSYCH 311)
      • Mondays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm 
      • Wednesdays, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

The Application Process

If you are interested in applying for the Processes of Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation (ALA/SOC 320, PSYCH 310), please complete the online Training application. After submitting your application, you will be scheduled for a group interview with other training applicants or an individual interview, facilitated by IGR staff. Please allow 3 business days for our office to process your application.


Please email any questions about the course or the application process to or call (734) 615-1458