Intergroup dialogue (IGD) is "a facilitated, face-to-face encounter that strives to create new levels of understanding, relating and action between two or more social identity groups who have a history of conflict or potential conflict" (Zúñiga & Nagda, 2003).
The model is rooted in social justice education, co-empowerment, and social identity group theories and has been extensively evaluated and refined at a variety of institutions of higher education. Evaluations of IGD have found that, in comparison to peers in control groups, participants show increased empathy and greater motivation to bridge differences.
An MCLA team attended an IGD experience at the University of Massachusetts Amherst last March. Based on the research and their experiences with IGD, this group proposed the creation of an IGD program here at MCLA to help move us towards a campus culture of Inclusion Everyday, as recommended by Dr. William Lewis in his report on preparing MCLA for a Chief Diversity Officer.
On August 28 and 29, a group of 16 faculty and staff members participated in an Intergroup Group Dialogue (IGD) workshop facilitated by two trainers from UMass. This fall, they will explore ways to infuse the IGD model into our current diversity efforts and to develop new initiatives for its use in the classroom and beyond.