Saint Louis University

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  • Fulfills Social Science Core Requirement
  • Fulfills Arts & Sciences U.S. Cultural Diversity Core requirement
  • Offered out of the Department of Communication
  • Crosslisted with the African American Studies Program 




What is intergroup dialogue?

Intergroup dialogues (IGD) are face-to-face meetings of people from different social identity groups that have a history of conflict or potential conflict. They are designed to offer an open and inclusive space where participants can honestly confront and discuss issues in order to foster a deeper understanding of diversity and social justice.

In other words, intergroup dialogue provides a safe space for individuals to discuss difficult, controversial, and even taboo topics that many people think about daily but don't have a structure from which to discuss these issues in depth (you know you have questions that you are too afraid to ask). Participants reflect on relevant issues, work with differences and conflicts, and identify socially just actions they can take individually and in alliance with others.


What makes intergroup dialogue unique?

No Tests.
No Lectures.
Learn as A Group.
Ask Questions. Get Answers.
Students Facilitate the Course.
Students Make the Course Content.

Intergroup dialogue uses specific dialogue processes, which are different from discussion or lecture based courses. You are not being 'taught to' but rather everyone has an equal part in the learning and teaching by exploring your own culture, backgrounds, and worldviews with others.

The dialogue is also led by trained student facilitators, not by a professor. These facilitators have previously taken intergroup dialogue and have received extensive training on group facilitation, social justice theory, and managing emotions and conflict. Because students are leading the dialogues, you don't have to hold back or censor your thoughts.


If students facilitate the course and there are no tests, then how do I get a grade?

You are expected to submit weekly journals, complete readings, work on a group project, and write a final paper. The professor will be in the classroom to review readings, journals, and other assignments, and the student facilitators will lead the main content and activities for the course (without the professor present). The facilitators also meet with the professor weekly to discuss progress of the dialogue.


What does this mean for me?

You will...

  • Meet once a week for three hours over the entire semester
  • Spend time discussing, reading, and reflecting on issues relating to race/ethnicity 
  • Explore commonalities and differences between groups
  • Be challenged to think critically on social justice issues


Have more questions? Contact IGD@SLU.EDU and we will connect you with students who have taken the course!