What does the CU Dialogues Program do? (expand/collapse)

The CU Dialogues Program facilitates conversations primarily in CU classes that enable students to explore a variety of issues surrounding ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic differences through an honest, respectful exchange of perspectives. Examples of the kinds of dialogues we hold are:

dialogues between students living in residence halls and custodial staff working in residence halls

dialogues among international students

dialogues between Honors students and first-generation students

dialogues between CU students and University Hill neighborhood residents

What is a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

A dialogue is a facilitated conversation that creates a welcoming space for open discussion of important and sometimes controversial topics. A dialogue is deliberately non-polarized; it does not organize discussion around opposing viewpoints. A dialogue broadens awareness of many viewpoints without legitimizing any one point of view. A dialogue does not aim to solve a specific problem or advance a specific agenda. It does seek to increase understanding through open communication across social, cultural and power differentials.

Why hold a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

A facilitated classroom dialogue is an effective pedagogical tool for addressing complex and/or contentious issues within a classroom setting. Facilitated dialogue fosters thoughtful discussion based on mutual exploration of the many different perspectives that participants hold. Classroom dialogues support meaningful learning on the part of students. The process of dialogue encourages students to raise key questions, fosters personal reflection, raises awareness of multiple perspectives, and motivates students to become more involved in their communities.

Where do dialogues take place? (expand/collapse)

Dialogues take place primarily in CU classrooms and residence halls. Dialogue topics are tailored to fit course content and residence hall programs.

Who can hold a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

Any member of the CU-Boulder community - whether a faculty member, a student, an administrator, or a staff member - may participate in a dialogue.

What is the value of a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

Dialogues are highly effective in bridging differences based on ethnic or cultural background, socio-­‐economic status, and level of education. Person-to-person exchange fosters respect for individuals and builds a sense of community. Dialogues are especially well suited for fostering thoughtful discussion of complex issues and topics.

What makes a dialogue different from a diversity training or conflict mediation? (expand/collapse)

A dialogue encourages honest and respectful exchange across differences. It provides a diversity-centered experience without expecting participants to respond in a particular way. Participants in a dialogue may address contentious issues or raise uncomfortable topics, but the facilitator lets participants themselves speak to these issues/topics and guides them through a discussion that explores their different perspectives. Dialogue facilitators do not seek to resolve conflicts.

How are dialogues funded? (expand/collapse)

The CU Dialogues Program receives ongoing funding through the Office of the Provost (http://www.colorado.edu/AcademicAffairs/EVCPhome.html). CU alumni and other friends of the University may contribute to the Dialogues Program through the CU Foundation (http://www.cufund.org/guide-to-giving/ways-to-give/). The CU Dialogues Program is co-directed by Dr. Ellen S. Aiken and Dr. Karen E. Ramirez and is administered through the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement (http://www.colorado.edu/iece/).

Can I observe a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

If you would like to observe a dialogue prior to participating in one or requesting one for your class or group, please contact Dialogues Program Coordinator Pilar Prostko at Pilar.Prostko@colorado.edu or e-mail us at Dialogues@colorado.edu.

How do I request a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

If you would like to schedule a dialogue for your class, student group,residence hall, or campus organization, please contact Dialogues Program Coordinator Pilar Prostko at Pilar.Prostko@colorado.edu. You may also fill out the the Request for Dialogue Form. For more information, visit our Scheduling page.

Is there a cost for holding a dialogue? (expand/collapse)

Dialogues are free to faculty and campus units/organizations requesting a dialogue for the first time. To help cover expenses, we charge for holding subsequent dialogues. For more information, visit our Scheduling page. In cases where a unit is unable to fund a dialogue, the CU Dialogues Program has a limited number of grants available. If you would like to apply for funding, please fill out a grant request form, which is found at the bottom of the Request for Dialogue Form.