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TRANSFORMATIONAL INTERGROUP Race DIALOGUE

The Transformational Intergroup Race Dialogue facilitates intergroup learning by bringing together a racially diverse group of individuals to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions about race in the United States.  While the dialogue will allow participants to better understanding race and racial identity on structural and institutional levels, the major focus will be on helping participants to explore their own racial identity on an individual level.

The goal of the dialogue is to help individuals improve their capacity to engage race issues in the area of intergroup communication, intergroup understanding, and intergroup relations. The dialogue will help individuals better understanding their own obstacles for teaching, leading and communicating with racially diverse groups.

The Race Dialogue will be comprised of only 10-12 individuals to facilitate a deep and substantive dialogue. While the dialogue will be focused on engaging participants in sharing their thoughts and experiences, skilled facilitators will manage the process by encouraging meaningful exchanges and thoughtful, constructive conflict.

DIALOGUE FACILITATORS:

Mary Stricker is an Associate Professor of Sociology (Teaching) and undergraduate advisor in the Sociology department at Temple University where she also received her Ph.D. in 2001. Her Ph.D. dissertation, A New Racial Ideology For The New Christian Right, analyzed racial reconciliation efforts in conservative Christian communities.The courses she teaches include History and Significance of Race in America, Racial and Ethnic Stratification, and The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity. She received the ATTIC Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007. Mary has been co-facilitating and participating in Intergroup Dialogues since 2010. She believes these dialogues are a critical component in the struggle for racial justice.

Tchet Dereic Dorman presently serves as the Director of the Center for Social Justice and Multicultural Education in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership at Temple University. He is the founder of Temple's Transformational Intergroup Dialogue program and manages the Graduate Certificate in Diversity Leadership. Additionally, he has also taught the following relevant courses Emotions, Diversity, and Democratic Leadership; African American History; African Literature; Introduction to African American Studies; Gender Studies; Class, Gender and Race in the Global Village; Social Conflict; Introduction to Sociology;  Cultural Anthropology and Multiculturalism and the American Identity.  The National Association for Multicultural Education named him the Educator of the Year in 2007. Tchet received a Master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University where he is an advanced doctoral student.

DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATION:

The Race Dialogue will take place for 5 consecutive weeks beginning Friday, March 14, 2014 from 3-5pm and run until Friday, April 11, 2014. All participants are required to participate in each weekly dialogue. The other dates are March 21, 28, and April 4. The location for the dialogues is the main campus of Temple University, 1801 N. Broad Street, Conwell Hall, Suite 303.

COST AND REGISTRATION:

The Race Dialogue is free and open to professionals interested in advancing their awareness, knowledge and skills in the area of intergroup relations.

Anyone interested in participating in the Race Dialogue must register to participate online. During the online registration process, registrants will be asked about their social identity. It is our intention to have the dialogue comprised of an even number of people from both target and agent groups. We hope to recruit between between 10 and 12 people.

To register for the dialogue, please click here.

March 6 is the deadline to register for this dialogue.

WHAT IS TRANSFORMATIONAL INTERGROUP DIALOGUE?

Transformational Intergroup Dialogue draws from two well-known and successful models for promoting democratic dialogue, action and civic engagement in the context of diversity: (a) theMichigan Intergroup Relations Model (http://www.igr.umich.edu/), a process used by the University of Michigan and universities throughout the United States to promote intergroup dialogue and engagement in higher education and community settings; and (b)Transformational Social Therapy(TST), a process used internationally to promote knowledge sharing and collaborative action involving diverse parties in municipalities, civil society, educational settings, and other public arenas. Both models are informed by the theory and practice of multicultural citizenship and theory and research on learning and equitable social change in the context of diversity. TST’s grounding in depth psychology and critical social theory complements the Michigan Model by contributing a more robust understanding of the ways human needs and social structures interact and influence intergroup behavior.

Intergroup Dialogue

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 participant’s awareness, knowledge and skills in relating to people who are different from them. Dialogues assist participants in enhancing their skills in the area of multicultural competency development, cross-cultural communications, problem solving, teamwork and collaboration.

There are a number of universities that conduct annual intergroup dialogues following the model of the University of Michigan, including the University of Maryland College Park, University of Washington, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Occidental College, Arizona State and Mount Holyoke College. Under this model, the aim is for participants to construct new meanings together, build alliances, and move to action. Intergroup dialogue differs from other diversity education programs because it focuses on both the cognitive and affective dimensions.

Two trained facilitators from varying identity groups facilitate the dialogue. The facilitators are trained in the following areas: self awareness, including awareness of their own social identity in the context of systems of domination/privilege and of oppression/exclusion; knowledge of the groups involved in the dialogue; group process; and community building.

Transformational Social Therapy

Charles Rojzman, a renowned French social psychologist, author, and international consultant, invented Transformational Social Therapy twenty years ago as a method for transforming institutions by helping people address the hatred and violence that separate them and prevent them from working together. The Charles Rojzman Institute has done extensive work in resolving intergroup violence and conflicts in France, Rwanda, Chechnya, and Israel. The main goal of TST, which begins with group dialogues and leads to transformative action, is to foster the practice and theory of healthy multicultural democracies by building relationships between individuals and groups.

TST is oriented to community problem-solving, particularly where groups are divided and problems appear intractable. The TST group building process allows participants to express their emotions, feel sufficiently safe to come into non-violent conflict, share information, and engage in transformative action on problems that affect them.

The transformation of violence into conflict is a key aspect of TST. Violence, defined as the denial of the humanity of the other, is a pathological accommodation to fears that arise from a confluence of societal, institutional, and personal factors. This kind of violence prevents people from living, working, and problem solving together and provides support for fear-based authoritarian and extremist perspectives. The group process enables participants to move from blaming others to taking collective responsibility for the problems they face.  The ability to come into conflict, without the usual “masks”, enables participants to take collective responsibility for the problems they face and put on the table what they know about particular issues or problems.