Summer Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit

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Through the Summer Youth Dialogues program, U-M students learn about and facilitate critical diversity dialogues with high school students and young people in metro Detroit, the nation’s most segregated metropolitan area.

Young people are open to discussion of race and ethnicity, but live in segregation, often with few opportunities to communicate with people who are different from themselves. They understand the limitations of segregation, appreciate diversity, and want to interact across boundaries – again with few opportunities to do so.

Leveraging IGR's nationally-recognized dialogue model and staff expertise, we train all U-M facilitators involved with the program. Facilitators will enter a variety of communities and facilitate dialogues and community-building projects with young people—of African, Asian, white European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent—from urban and suburban school districts, grassroots groups, and community agencies.

SYD is a partnership between The Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) and the School of Social Work (SSW). 


"By being in an environment where people encourage honesty, dismantle hierarchies, and express boundaries, I’m learning to advocate for those things in other spaces." - Atiya Farooque


Program objectives

  • Increase youth dialogues on race and ethnicity
  • Enable young people to build relationships with others who are different from them
  • Plan action projects that challenge discrimination and create change
  • Build school and community capacity for work of this type
  • Promote youth participation in public policy
  • Involve supportive adults in working with young people
  • Engage diverse youth in a social justice precollege program 

Become a U-M Social Justice Fellow

University of Michigan students (undergraduate and graduate) are invited to become a University of Michigan Social Justice Fellow to join an educational team and facilitate the Summer Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit Program (SYD) in an extended program. These dialogues will occur remotely with high school students in Detroit.

Applications for summer 2024 will open in the 2023-24 academic year.

Educational and practical experience
  • Academic credit: Fellows will have the opportunity to enroll in a for-credit social work mini-course (1 credit) on intergroup dialogue and social justice, and a for-credit facilitation support / engaged learning experience (3 credit) during the spring-summer terms. We are searching for the best available facilitators. If it saves you the cost of tuition, we will help arrange for you to receive the credit in the Fall semester. See below for stipend information​.
  • IGR minor: IGR minor program students can count their course credit to their elective courses requirement in the minor. IGR minor students who have questions about fulfilling their minor requirements should contact to set up an advising appointment.
  • CASC minor: CASC minor program students can count their course credit toward their Diversity requirement in the minor. CASC students who have questions about fulfilling their Diversity requirement should contact Diana Seales at​

Fellows will be paid a summer seasonal stipend of $2,500 for their field service time (including program time with the youth participants).

Applicants must be

  • U-M undergraduate or graduate students,
  • currently enrolled at time of application, and
  • in good academic standing during the fall and winter semesters.

Facilitators do not need extensive experience, and will receive training and support throughout the process and be prepared to aid with coordinating programming as well as facilitating dialogue as a variety of roles are needed throughout the program.

Fellows will enroll in up to a total of 4 c.u. complementary coursework, including facilitation support and community activities. They might hold other employment and may be enrolled in other coursework, but are required to participate in all program activities as scheduled. 

We review applications on a rolling basis. Selected applicants will participate in a group interview before acceptance into the program. Applications for summer 2024 will open in the 2023-24 academic year.


Friends and supporters

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