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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Biren A Nagda
GIS 215
Seattle Campus

Intergroup Dialogue

A facilitated, small group environment to engage students from diverse backgrounds in learning about issues of social diversity and justice. Through dialogic communication, explore issues of social identities, differences, and inequalities with an aim to build greater understanding skills and values for intergroup collaboration, civic engagement, and social justice work. Credit/no credit only.

Class Description

This course is built on intellectual and experiential engagement with issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Through dialogic communication, students will explore issues of social identities, differences and inequalities with an aim to build greater understanding, skills and values for living, learning and working in a multicultural society. Students will develop an understanding of human life and conditions in the greater social context of diversity, inequalities and social change. Students will develop skills to foster relationship building among group members, and awareness of social diversity and inequalities. Students will also extend their knowledge to action by learning how to act against intolerance, promote diversity and greater equality.

Topics to be covered in the course include: personal and social identity, prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, intergroup communication, intergroup conflict and alliance building.

Course Objectives To develop a language and capacity for dialogue -- deep listening, suspending judgments, identifying assumptions, reflecting, and inquiring To reflect upon and learn about self and others as members of a social group(s) in the context of systems of privilege and oppression To explore the similarities and differences in experiences across social group memberships To gain knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of difference, diversity and discrimination at the personal and political levels To develop skills to work with differences, disagreements, and conflicts as opportunities for deeper understanding and transformation To identify individual and collective actions for interrupting injustices and building alliances to promote greater diversity and equality.

The course instruction and pedagogy draws heavily on student-centered ways of learning through participation in experiential learning activities, small group and large group dialogues. Dialogic communication, guided and facilitated by trained facilitators, will engage students to share their perspectives, listen to others' perspectives, ask questions and derive new or deepened understandings. Students will also draw upon readings and mini-assignments for the dialogues.

Recommended preparation

Students interested and open to learning about issues of diversity and difference, and a desire to learn from others, will find the course interesting.

Class Assignments and Grading

Students in the intergroup dialogue class will be required to: attend and participate in weekly dialogue sections (approx. 2hrs/week) complete readings to inform dialogue (approx. 25-40 pages/week) write a learning reflection paper after every session (2 pages) complete a final integrative paper (6-8 pages)

The class is a credit/no credit class. Students who successfully complete the requirements listed above will gain credit for the class.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Biren A Nagda
Date: 03/16/2004