Frequently asked questions
Complete and submit our workshop request form. We'll receive a notification, review your submission, and follow up with you.
Requests are currently being accepted for spring/summer. Requests for fall will be accepted starting in August 2023.
We follow a workshop request process so that your experience as requesters meets your expectations and addresses the growing needs of our campus.
- Requests accepted by semester: We can only accept workshop requests for the current semester. We will accept workshop requests for the Fall (Oct - Dec) starting on August 1st, for the Winter (Jan - Apr) starting on December 1st, and for the Spring/Summer (May - Aug) starting on April 1st. We can accept workshop requests until we reach capacity for the semester.
- Waitlist: Once we have reached our capacity for workshops for the semester, we will add requesting groups to our waitlist. If a space opens up (e.g. another workshop gets cancelled), we will reach out to groups on the waitlist to schedule a workshop.
After we receive a request, a workshop manager (a student staff member) will be assigned to your workshop. The workshop manager will reach out to set up an intake meeting with the requester to assess their needs and goals.
Following the intake meeting, the workshop manager will find workshop facilitators who are available to do the workshop. Together, the workshop manager and facilitators will have a meeting to create the agenda and curriculum for the workshop.
Finally, the facilitators will lead the workshop and facilitate the activities decided upon. After the workshop, CommonGround will follow up with the requester and send them the workshop evaluations collected.
No two CommonGround workshops look exactly alike! Here at CommonGround, we want to be sure we are meeting your group’s individual needs and goals. During our intake meeting, we will assess what the group most wants to accomplish, and then we will decide on specific activities accordingly. While there is no “script” for a workshop, CommonGround activities address themes of communicating across difference, social identities (race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc), how power and privilege function within a group dynamic, and how to effectively navigate social identity tensions.
CommonGround workshops are designed to cover a variety of social identity topics and can be tailored to fit the needs of your community. These topics generally fall under the following categories and if you have thoughts on combining topics or including others not listed, you will have an opportunity to discuss these possibilities with a workshop manager during your intake meeting.
- Entering Communities
- Social Identity 101
- Communicating Across Identities
- Power and Oppression in Groups
- "American Dream"
- Social Justice Journey
Read descriptions of each topic on our CommonGround main page.
Workshops are typically 1.5 to 3 hours long. While we are able to be somewhat flexible with time, please note that in order to be most effective, our workshops and activities require at least an hour and a half.
In order to create a more effective learning environment and use engaging activities (small and large group discussions, interactive exercises, simulations, etc.), our workshops work best with 8-80 participants. Please reach out to us (IGRCommonGround@umich.edu) if you would like to request a workshop for a group outside of this size range, and we can discuss if this is feasible.
- For larger workshops: We have more facilitators at larger workshops and often need a second/breakout room to split the participants into smaller groups.
- For smaller workshops: If there are very few participants at a workshop (fewer than 8), the facilitators will decide if it is still possible to lead the workshop.
CommonGround doesn't offer "train-the-trainer" or facilitator training workshops, but we would love to lead a workshop for your student leaders, advisors, and/or educators.
How do I know if a Common Ground workshop is right for me?
A CommonGround workshop may be right for you if you are a student or student organization and:
- You want to create a group or environment that is more inclusive.
- You want to create an interactive space to engage in dialogue about social justice and social identity.
- You have noticed difficulty navigating conversations within your group due to social identities such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.
Though our workshops often enhance these skills, CommonGround does not directly cover workshops on leadership, team building or conflict resolution. If your organization is seeking mediation, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution or the Center for Campus Involvement can serve as resources.