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Real Talk: Engaging Diversity Through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue

Real Talk: Engaging Diversity through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue (formerly known as Engaging Diversity, Keeping It Real: An Introduction to Intergroup Dialogue) will provide faculty, teachers, administrators, social service professionals, community leaders and activists with an opportunity to participate in intergroup dialogues with professionals from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Unlike most diversity education programs, intergroup dialogue creates an open, honest and equal space for communicating deeply about historically challenging issues as part of the process for building bridges among groups.

Real Talk: Engaging Diversity through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue centers learning on the knowledge, experiences and perspectives of participants facilitated by trained professionals. An intergroup dialogue is a facilitated learning approach that engages participants in exploring issues of identity, inequality and change through continuous, face-to-face meetings between people from two or more social identity groups that have a history of conflict or potential conflict. Intergroup dialogue is an innovative strategy to enhance participants’ awareness, knowledge and skills in relating to people who are different from themselves. The dialogue will assist participants in enhancing their skills in the area of multicultural competency development, cross-cultural communication, problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration.

Real Talk will consist of dialogues on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, and ability. During the online registration process, registrants will be asked to select several dialogue topics that they would like to dialogue on based on their individual preferences. There must be a minimum of 12 people to have a dialogue on a topic with an even number of people from the target and agent groups.

Past Symposium Co-Sponsors include:

  • Arcadia University, Office of Institutional Diversity
  • Saint Joseph's University, Office of Institutional Diversity
  • Elizabethtown College, Office of Diversity
  • Temple University, Teaching and Learning Center
  • Multicultural Affairs Congress, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Western Carolina University, Office of Intercultural Affairs
  • College of Charleston, Office of Institutional Diversity
  • Drexel University, Office of Multicultural Programs
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education


Tchet Dorman, Director, Center for Social Justice and Multicultural Education, Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership. E-mail: Phone: 215-204-5509.


Through dialogue people can gain an understanding of others. Intergroup dialogue provides the context for asking questions that often go unasked but are very important for intergroup understanding and relations. Here are a few common questions we hope are asked and answered during Real Talk: Engaging Diversity through Intergroup Dialogue:

  • How am I supposed to break barriers when what often happens is that I get shut out or I am told it is not my job to teach you?
  • When a white person says, “We’re all equal. I just see the person.” What do you think and feel when you hear that?
  • Have you ever been accused of being racist, sexist or homophobic?
  • Do you ever get confused by political correctness?
  • Were you ever ashamed of the clothes you were wearing, house you lived in, or car you had?
  • Has a man ever stood up for you when a sexist incident occurred?
  • What are your fears regarding people who are gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual?
  • What does your religion mean to you?
  • How does it feel to be a woman?
  • In what ways do you remain “silent” when it comes to your privilege?
  • What is the cost to you to share power and to look at your responsibility for religious intolerance?
  • Do you ever feel guilty about not sharing what you have with others?
  • What fears do you have about being in a predominantly non-white environment?
  • How is your religion misunderstood by others?
  • Why are you interested in dating people who are different from you? Why don’t you just date your own kind?
  • What comes up in your mind when you see an interracial couple?
  • What comes to mind when you see a person in Muslim garb?
  • Do you hate whites or are you just angry at them?
  • Why do heterosexuals feel comfortable displaying their affections publicly but deplore it when gays do so?
  • Do you ever feel mistreated because of your strong religious views?
  • How would you like to be identified?
  • How can we stop all the hate and really get to know each other’s stories?
  • How does it feel to not share lover/partner/girlfriend/boyfriend with your family because they won’t accept them?
  • Did you grow up with enough food to eat?

*The majority of these questions were created by Lee Mun Wah as part of his What Stands Between Us: Diversity Conversation Flash Cards, which can be purchased by going to