University of Vermont

The Center for Student Ethics & Standards

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Intergroup Dialogue Program


A willingness to address difficult societal issues with honesty, civility, and practicality. We are a community that values respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility.” (University of Vermont, Strategic Action Plan 2004).

The mission of the program is to enable its participants to develop comfort with and skill for discourse on difficult topics toward the end of fostering positive, meaningful, and sustained cross-group relationships as it relates to campus climate.

IDP Goals for students:
  • to reflect on one’s own identity and communicate it to others
  • to explore similarities and differences among and across groups
  • to be active participants in one's own learning
  • to interact with diverse peers in a comfortable setting
  • to understand history of conflict or potential conflict between social identity groups
  • to recognize, negotiate and learn from intergroup conflicts
  • to advance one's understanding of and respect for diversity and social justice issues and to augment one's skills in responding to intergroup differences and conflicts.

    Intergroup Dialogue Program Approach
    The IDP accomplishes its work through campus programming, Dialogue Peer Facilitators and web based discussions which are coordinated by the facilitators. Each facet of the program supports the other by creating and fostering spaces for dialogue about the myriad of ways each of us sees and experiences the world around us.

    Borrowing from models at the University of Michigan and Arizona State University the Intergroup Dialogue Program at the University of Vermont will focus on “intergroup” relations which is defined as the “interaction, both positive and negative, that develops between groups of people. These dynamics include ingroup bias, cooperation, identity development, friendships, conflict, privilege, discrimination, stereotyping, prejudice, and other intergroup processes” (GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF THE INTERGROUP RELATIONS CENTER, Arizona State University).

    Towards this end, one facet of the IDP is to have Intergroup Dialogue Peer Facilitators whom may be graduate students, staff members and undergraduate students who have completed some form of leadership or exhibit a strong interest in facilitating social change. Each Peer Facilitator will be trained in facilitation skills, program logistics, curriculum elements, and afforded helpful exercises and resources.

    Last modified December 14 2009 12:28 PM

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