The Fall 2019 Difficult Dialogues on Campus Race Relations were conducted successfully in September and October 2019. Thank you to all who have supported this initiative over the years.
The October session saw a full house, one of the biggest we have seen in recent years, with about 70 participants, including 10 co-facilitators and 8 note-takers. Every seat was taken and the tickets were sold out within a few days of us announcing the event.
We are grateful to the Department of Communication for featuring us on their website here. This article includes perspectives from my colleague Dr. Anna Wolfe who joined the team earlier this year as my co-director and from Vanessa Gonlin (PhD student in Sociology) who has been with my team since the beginning in 2016 (we also remember Dr. Alex Sousa who just graduated and is now an assistant professor at Indiana University, Southeast and has been with our team from the very beginning).
You can also read a slightly shorter edited version of above piece that appeared as a news article in the campus community newspaper, The Battalion. It is written by student journalist Madison Brown, who is a gifted photographer and writer (and my dear student of mine who took COMM/WGST 407; Women, Minorities and the Media with me).
And here is yet another news article on our Difficult Dialogue project from the Battalion.
Here is a quote from one of the students who participated in the most recent session:
"Agricultural leadership and development senior Gilberto Rebolloso participated in the session as a representative for the Residential Housing Association. Rebolloso said he was intrigued and excited by the prospect of the workshop, as this was an opportunity for students to learn how to integrate and normalize conversations about race into their organizations. “I definitely want to go to the second one and get the little links[online modules provided] and get this to RHA,” Rebolloso said. “I’m also a senator, so bringing it to the senate and maybe have a little open forum to explain and educate students.”"
By centering the voices and experiences of underrepresented and minoritized folks on this campus, we hope that these conversations will serve as spaces for healing and affirmation......and over the long run, perhaps slowly change attitudes, behaviors, and organizational culture but those are still aspirations and the labor of bringing about systemic changes rests on ALL of us.