Summer Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit

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Apply to be a fellow  

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. 

The application for summer 2024 is now open.

Social justice fellows will either facilitate small group dialogues or large group project planning and program logistics.

Educational and practical experience
  • Academic credit: 
    • The fellowship includes 2 courses—a minicourse (1 credit) and a field practicum (3 credits) that can be taken for School of Social Work graduate credit or LS&A undergraduate credit during the spring-summer terms.
    • Enrollment can be deferred until, and paid for in, fall 2024.
    • Credit can be given for a grade or credit /no credit.
  • IGR/CASC requirement fulfillment: Classes can be used to fulfill the requirements for the intergroup relations education minor or the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor, and also for the joint Certificate in Dialogue for Social Change.

Fellows will be paid a summer seasonal stipend of $2,500 (~119 hours at $21/hr) for their non-credit bearing field service time.

There is an opportunity to earn an additional $500 for overnight supervision duties 3 evenings during the retreat.

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.

The fellowship will occur over 11 weeks, from May 20 - July 31, 2024. 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. 

This calendar is advisory and not yet final.  Please be aware of the following program obligations:

  • Dialogues: Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
    • June 15, 2024
    • June 22, 2024
    • June 29, 2024
    • July 20, 2024
    • July 27, 2024
  • On-campus retreat: July 7-10, 2024 (lunch provided)
  • Mini-course: Conducted over two weekends (dates TBD)
  • Practicum: Conducted over 6 weeks for 6 hours/week (dates TBD)

Lunch will be provided on Saturday dialogues and during the on-campus retreat.

We review applications on a rolling basis. Selected applicants will participate in a group interview before acceptance into the program. Applications for summer 2024 are now open. See link above to apply.

  • Application open: Dec. 2023
  • Application review: Rolling through February 23, 2024
  • Interview notifications: Early March, 2024
  • Interviews: Early-mid March, 2024
  • Decision notifications: March 18, 2024


Friends and supporters

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Email Roger Fisher [email protected].