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Transformational Intergroup Dialogue

Part Two: Overcoming the Obstacles to Intergroup Engagement

This second workshop is designed to provide practitioners with the tools to create productive spaces for learning and relationship building across social identities. This will be done through exercises and activities that engage participants in further identifying their obstacles and fears to intergroup engagement, particularly when facilitating, teaching, leading and managing diverse groups.

The workshop will focus on helping participants develop an awareness of their own positionality and attitudes regarding intergroup engagement, and to develop the trust and shared motivations among diverse group members. Included in this process is an awareness of (a) any biases one may hold and how one may overcome or manage them; (b) the roles one enacts in intergroup contexts; and (c) the ways one participates in collaborative situations. Participants will then be introduced to and practice tools for designing and setting up their learning environments in a way that manages these contexts. 

These tools will aid in transforming social violence into constructive conflict, a key aspect of Transformational Intergroup Dialogue. In this context, social violence is defined as the denial of the humanity of the other based on social identity. It operates as a pathological accommodation to fears that arise from a confluence of societal, institutional, and personal factors, particularly influencing social separation related to race, gender, and sexual orientation. This kind of violence prevents people from living, working, and problem-solving together by supporting fear-based perspectives that maintain social separation and social control.

Part 2: Key Dimensions of the Workshop: Healing the Social Wounds through Dialogue

  • Creating the Optimal Environment for Intergroup and Intragroup Communication through Dialogue 

  • Transformational Dialogues as a Process of Social Identity Exploration 

  • Moving from Social Violence to Constructive Conflict: Minimizing Fears for Social Healing

Goals of the second workshop:

  • Learning tools to manage the fears, mistrust and social violence in intergroup settings

  • Understanding, developing, and expressing individual motivations for intergroup engagement and intergroup facilitation

  • Minimizing one's fears during intergroup interactions as a participant or in a position of leadership