Intergroup Dialogue (EDUC 2610)

Intergroup Dialogues are peer-facilitated, three-credit courses structured to foster communication and collaboration across sociocultural and power differences. By blending theory and experiential learning – introducing participants to core social justice issues through reading materials, and inculcating the key skills for dialoguing across deeply-held value differences – the course strives to prepare students for living and working in an increasingly diverse world.

Each dialogue comprises 10-14 undergraduate participants and two trained peer facilitators, and revolves around one of several social identities – race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, (dis)ability, or sexual orientation. To maximize learning, participants are purposefully placed to ensure a balanced representation of views and experiences. For instance, a sexual orientation dialogue will have equal numbers of straight and LGBTQ-identifying participants and facilitators.

IDP is a course unlike any other in Cornell; each participant plays the equally important roles of being a teacher and a learner. Our unique, peer-facilitated approach encourages the honest sharing of lived experiences of privilege and oppression – adding a powerful, personal dimension to the dialogue. This mix of storytelling and academic theories not only challenges deeply entrenched views, but also collectively reshapes one’s understanding of social identities, equity, and justice. Through learning to converse and collaborate with peers from all walks of life, these dialogues further strengthen individual and collective capacities to advance social justice.

The course has had an indelible impact on students, and has grown immensely through word-of-mouth. Since its inception in Fall 2012, the program has grown from 30 students in 2 dialogues to over 200 students in 13 dialogues in Spring 2016. We remain committed to our goal of training at least 200 students each semester; meeting this target ensures that at any given time, there are at least 1000 students on campus using their skills to make a difference on campus and beyond.

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EDUC 2610 fulfills the following requirements:

  • CALS: Diversity (D), Cultural Analysis (CA), & Social Behavior Analysis (SBA) distributions requirements.
  • ENG: Cultural Analysis (CA), & Social Behavior Analysis (SBA) distributions requirements.
  • Applicable to Education Minor

If you are a Cornell University undergraduate student interested in enrolling in EDUC 2610, please contact: dialogue@cornell.edu