Terms and Dates:

Cornell Affiliations:

Graduate School


Opportunity Description

Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2018

Do you ever find it challenging to connect with your students? With faculty? With colleagues? Have you ever encountered power dynamics in your field or at Cornell that you didn’t know how to address? Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something that made you uncomfortable and you didn’t know how to react? Do you ever want to talk about social identities like race, gender or sexual orientation, but you don’t know how? Do you want to be able to have meaningful conversations about bias incidents with your students? Do you want to connect with others who have the same questions?

The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) will be offering one 6-session course Summer 2018 for Graduate and Professional Students and Postdoctoral Scholars that will be focusing on such questions through a highly interactive and engaging process known as intergroup dialogue, this course will provide participants with an opportunity to explore how their own social identities shape their professional choices and teaching/learning style, build capacity to have meaningful dialogue and effective collaborations across social, cultural and power differences, and explore the power of alliances and allies when seeking to create an inclusive environment.

This course will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, July 10th 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 12th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 17th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 19th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 24th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm 
  • Thursday, July 26th 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

About the Intergroup Dialogue Project 

The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) seeks to transform the campus climate at Cornell though courses for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. The courses we offer blend theory with experiential learning, and they are designed to facilitate communication across social, cultural, and power differences in a critical and meaningful way. Focusing on social identities such as race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, ability/disability, nationality, and gender, the main goals of IDP are to promote the development of consciousness about social identity, oppression, and privilege; to build relationships across differences and conflicts; and to strengthen individual and collective capacities to promote social justice and equity. Intergroup Dialogue found its way to Cornell in the Fall of 2012, where it was first offered in the form of EDUC 2610: Intergroup Dialogue, a course for undergraduates. There were two topics offered to the 30 students who were enrolled: race and gender. Today the course has grown to 13 sections per semester to accommodate approximately 200 students. Our topic offerings have expanded to include: race, gender, religion, ability/disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and nationality. The success of EDUC 2610 inspired the Intergroup Dialogue Project to expand in order to provide offerings for graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff.

Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate Students and Postdocs 

Graduate students and post-doctoral scholars are required to communicate and work across cultural, social, and power differences on a daily basis. They interact with mentors, colleagues, undergraduate students, and professors in a variety of academic settings, and need to navigate different spaces, ways of thought, and academic practice. Throughout their long and complex training, many of them are also occupied with questions and thoughts about the scholars and professionals they want to become, and how different aspects of their identity might influence their “professional persona." This course provides a space for a group to come together for two weeks to connect in a deep and personal way across differences through activities designed to stimulate critical reflection of social identities and power dynamics in society. Through this process, our participants gain the skills and confidence to engage in difficult conversations in an empathetic way that allows for authentic dialogue.

The Intergroup Dialogue Project, the Graduate School, and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, have been working together to create a meaningful process for graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to explore their social identities, to practice communication across difference, and to think together about authentic diversity in academia. This peer-led course enables participants to reflect on their personal experiences related to such issues, but to also explore ways through which they can promote equity and inclusion in their academic spaces and circles. 

This program offering for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars has been made possible through funding support from the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement, CU-CIRTL, the Graduate School's ETS/CGS Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education, and the National Science Foundation-funded Cornell AGEP Program under Grant No. 1647094.