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Intergroup Dialogues

Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) is a nationally recognized, evidence-based program that brings together small groups of individuals with different social identities to share their experiences and gain deeper understanding of each other. (Social identities refer to salient sociological constructs such as gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability/dis-ability, spirituality/religion, or other belief systems – including political affiliation.) The opportunity to explicitly engage in meaningful, in-depth dialogue about these matters deepens our capacity for genuine relationships with colleagues, students, and others of different backgrounds and experiences.

Neither a debate format nor a purely intellectual discussion, the model uses the dialogue method developed by the Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan. This program has been recognized by the American Association of Higher Education and the American College Personnel Association for its effectiveness, in addition to its endorsement by President Clinton’s Initiative on Race and the US Department of Education’s Gender Association. At JMU, Intergroup Dialogues are among an array of programs and efforts emerging from President Alger’s ongoing focus on enhancing diversity initiatives and strengthening JMU's culture of inclusivity.