U.S. Campus Initiatives

Student Programs

University of Alabama
Building Community through Ethnographic Films

“Building Community through Dialogue and Ethnographic Film” includes five different types of activities. Film for Thought—short ethnographic film produced by students, these programs create opportunities for meaningful dialogue about real people, real differences, and real (mis)perceptions.  Diversity Week Film Scramble short student-create flms used as springboards for discussions on diversity. Community Town Hall Meetings—using ethnographic films to bring town and gown together to discuss relevant community issues.  Intergroup Dialogue—exploring alternate approaches to increasing student interest and participation in structured dialogue opportunities.  Faculty and Staff Development Workshops are designed to encourage faculty to integrate dialogue into the curriculum by teaching responsible dialoguing in classes and/or encouraging students to participate in out-of-class dialogue experiences.  This project was initially funded by the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues initiative.

University of Michigan
National Intergroup Dialogue Institute

The University of Michigan’s Difficult Dialogues program is a campus-wide effort to create an environment that embraces and models respect for diversity and religious pluralism. This initiative engages faculty, students, and community members in discussion, exchange and study, so that religious difference is seen as an opportunity for reflection and exchange, rather than silence, animosity, or fear. Difficult Dialogues is timed to coincide with two University Theme Semesters, Exploring Evolution (Fall 2006) and Citizenship: From Local to Global (Fall 2006 and Winter 2007). The project is being coordinated by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.  This project has been ongoing for two decades and received additional funding from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative.

Portland Community College
Student Interactive Theater

The Illumination Project (IP) is Portland Community College’s innovative student leadership and education program designed to foster a climate of equality, compassion, justice, and respect for all people in the PCC academic community and the community-at-large.The Illumination Project uses interactive social justice theater as a venue for Student Educators and audience members to join together to rehearse ways of solving problems. Interactive theater, with its capacity to engage diverse learning styles and members of a community, is an ideal way to challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression. In performances audience members enter a scene and dynamically change its outcome. In this way, the Illumination Project challenges the viewpoints of both the audience and the actors/Student Educators in a performance.  This project has been ongoing and received additional support from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues initiative.