Intergroup Dialogue, Education and Action (IDEA) Center
 
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Definition and Goals of Intergroup Dialogue

Definition
Intergroup dialogues are face-to-face meetings of people from different social identity groups. They are designed to offer an open and inclusive space where participants can foster a deeper understanding of diversity and justice issues through participation in experiential activities, individual and small group reflections, and dialogues.

The intergroup nature of dialogue emphasizes open communication on justice issues, such as social group membership, identity, and positionality vis-á-vis structural and societal power relations.
In intergroup dialogues, therefore, participants share personal experiences, exchange information about each others’ cultures, and examine both personal and cultural narratives in the context of systems of oppression and privilege. They reflect on relevant issues, work with differences and conflicts, and identify socially just actions they can take individually and in alliance with others.

Goals

  • To develop a capacity for dialogue -- deep listening, suspending judgments, identifying assumptions, reflecting, and inquiring
  • To reflect upon and learn about self and others as members of a social group(s) in the context of systems of privilege and oppression
  • To explore the similarities and differences in experiences across social group memberships
  • To gain knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of difference and dominance at the personal and political levels
  • To develop skills to work with differences, disagreements, and conflicts as opportunities for deeper understanding and transformation
  • To identify individual and collective actions for interrupting injustices and building alliances to promote greater social justice.