What is Intergroup Dialogues?
Intergroup Dialogues (or IGD), is a nationally utilized and recognized program that has its origins at the University of Michigan under Dr. Charles Behling. The program is designed to teach students to dialogue about topics like race and ethnicity where different perspectives from different groups often lead to hard conversations. IGD emphasizes dialogue as a way to listen to another’s perspective and to share one’s own, as opposed to debate which often leads to a shutting down of other’s perspectives. Dialoguing does not always lead to agreement, nor does it need to, but it allows for better understanding of different perspectives and views, especially among participants who come from different backgrounds or identities.
In the IGD program at Cal Poly, students work in small groups to first learn dialoguing skills, and then begin to actively practice these skills while discussing a variety of difficult topics.
Why should I participate in Intergroup Dialogues?
Universities across the country use this program (sometimes under different names such as Intergroup Relations, Difficult Dialogues, and others) and as such its benefits are well-known in many spheres. Having IGD training on your resume signals to employers or graduate schools that you’ve taken some extra training in a skill that many are looking for in today’s social climate. Being aware, knowledgeable, and having skills in cultural competency is a big plus on today’s job market, and helps you to be more confident in working and getting to know people who are different from you in some way. Dialoguing skills can be beneficial in all kinds of situations that might involve conflict or confrontation as well.
How do I get involved?
Take the IGD Facilitator Training
The College of Liberal Arts is partnering with Student Diversity and Belonging to offer sections of facilitator trainings every quarter. In these trainings, students learn about dialoguing skills, how to use them, and how to facilitate difficult conversations. There are 8 weekly 2-hr sessions starting the second week of each quarter, and lead by trained staff. Students must complete all 8 sessions in order to receive an IGD certificate. Additionally, students who receive a certificate are eligible to apply to be a Peer Facilitator in PSY 304 (described below).
Take PSY 304: Intergroup Dialogues
CHECK WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT FOR SCHEDULE
This class was established in 2008 and has steadily grown in size every year as students realize the benefits of learning to dialogue. In PSY 304, students are placed into small groups of approximately 15 that are formed in order to allow for racial and ethnic diversity in each group. Students are guided through a series of activities by Peer Facilitators each week, in addition to hearing lectures from the professor or other guest experts from across campus about a variety of topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). PSY 304 carries GE credit as well (upper division D). Peer Facilitators must take the IGD Facilitator Training prior to applying.