Pillar 1: Dialogue and Allyship

Moving toward positive change will require people to listen and engage in genuine, diverse conversations about differences. Modeling the work currently being done in the Center for American and World Cultures and Intercollegiate Athletics, the task force should explore ways to provide opportunities for more students, faculty, and staff to engage in structured, well-facilitated, open dialogues. How can the reach of these programs be extended to include more students, faculty, and staff? What training and structure are required to ensure their success? Can we engage communities of students in our residence halls? Can these be designed to expand on the baseline learning provided by the diversity, equity, and inclusion modules required of new students and employees? How can we include alumni in these conversations? How can our leadership institutes and programs be engaged?

As a university, we also need to engage our campus community on a regular basis and listen in ways that inform our planning around diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice. What structures and mechanisms can we build to gather feedback from our campus community on a sustained basis?

Recommendation 1: Provide institutional support for a robust and sustainable intergroup dialogue initiative.

Rationale:

Intergroup dialogue (IGD) is an academic initiative for leveraging diversity as an institutional resource and an evidence-based strategy for moving the campus climate needle. Based on a theoretical model developed and researched for over 30 years by the University of Michigan, and a cohort of peer institutions, IGD brings together participants from different social identity groups in a sustained and facilitated learning environment. Through sustained dialogue with diverse peers that integrates content learning and experiential knowledge, IGD encourages participants to be intellectually challenged and emotionally engaged. These facilitated relationships influence participants' understanding of their own, and others', experiences in society and cultivate individual allyship and collective agency to effect social change. IGD provides opportunities to develop and strengthen skills in both dialogue and allyship/accompliceship.

  • With respect to IGD for students, there is an increasing number of student IGD programs nationwide. Therefore, IGD represents an opportunity to assess the value of a diversity education effort across institutions. Miami’s Voices of Discovery is an intergroup dialogue program piloted by Global Initiatives through the Center for American and World Cultures (CAWC) in the Spring of 2019 and assessed by Miami’s Discovery Center for Evaluation, Research, & Professional Learning. Last year, the CAWC also piloted intergroup dialogue programs around race and ethnicity among faculty and staff through a CTE Faculty Learning Community and among unclassified staff of the Center for Career Exploration and Success.

  • The US Department of Education's Gender Equity Expert Panel cited IGD as "Promising Intervention" in the "prevention of sexual and racial harassment and violence against students in higher education." The panel rated IGD as "excellent" on significance and usefulness to others/replicability, "very good" on quality, and "good" on evidence of effectiveness.

Recommendation 1 Details

Accountable Party:

The success of this initiative depends on buy-in by top leadership (dean level and above) who will “champion” it. Buy-in from this group of stakeholders signifies a shift in the climate and culture of the institution toward one that is more inclusive. These champions will support the Office of Institutional Diversity in establishing a Diversity Dashboard or Scorecard with goals and metrics for dialogue and allyship for each campus constituency. Global Initiatives, through its CAWC, will spearhead the initiative in partnership with departments and offices to recruit participants, train dialogue facilitators, oversee assessment, and report progress.

  • Pathway:

    • University Communications and Marketing: Embed IGD opportunities and benefits in institutional marketing and promotions.

    • University Advancement: Establish fundraising mechanisms to cover the cost of expanding dialogue and allyship opportunities. For example, offer DEI giving day and an option for donating specifically for dialogue programs.

    • Finance and Business Services: Allocate funding for expansion as follows:

      • Year 1: Temporary funding to pay graduate and undergraduate student peer dialogue co-facilitators until there is a pipeline of trained and qualified peer student facilitators.

      • Year 2:

        • Permanent funding for two additional staff positions for the Center for American and World Cultures (CAWC) who are responsible for the strategic planning, implementations, and ongoing management of the intergroup dialogue initiative (including the training of co-facilitators using the train-the-trainer model) and to help other departments, programs, and offices develop IGD academic and co-curricular program capabilities.

        • Permanent funding for the ongoing assessment through the Discovery Center.

    • Global Initiatives: Through the CAWC:

      • Develop a pipeline of qualified co-facilitators from targeted constituencies through various “credentialing” mechanisms:

        • Undergraduate students: Create a new minor in intergroup relations.

        • Graduate students: Create a new graduate certificate in intergroup relations.

        • Faculty: Recognize dialogue facilitation and participation as “service.”

        • Unclassified staff: Recognize dialogue facilitation and participation as professional development.

        • Classified staff: Provide Job Enrichment points for dialogue facilitation and participation.

      • Collaborate campus-wide to develop constituent-based incentives (see II below) for dialogue completion, and offer credentialing through certificates and badges (certificates similar to Safe Zone and Green Zone) and additional credentials for those who become trained co-facilitators.

      • Serve as a resource for other dialogue-based programs and structures, including those that may require less preparation and/or training and can be used for single, free-standing workshops. One example is Living Room Conversations.

Consequences:

IGD invites participants to step out of their comfort zones as they engage in empathetic, open, and constructive dialogue that explores issues of intergroup relations, power, privilege, oppression, intellectual diversity, free speech, and conflict. Such engagement can be uncomfortable and may lead to pushback. If participation is “required,” there will inevitably be individuals for whom such engagement is difficult. These situations would need to be managed appropriately to prevent harm. Intergroup dialogue co-facilitators will receive training in techniques to increase buy-in and de-escalate disruptions, as well as training in basic clinical work principles (e.g., empathetic listening, motivational interviewing) to mitigate harmful situations.

Timeline:

  • Year 1: Launch fundraising and a marketing campaign.
  • Year 2: Fund the needs described above in the Pathway (Finance and Business Services) section.

Assessment Mechanism:

Establish a high-profile Diversity Dashboard or Scorecard that sets IGD goals and metrics to track progress. Ultimately, Miami’s most recent campus climate survey provides a baseline from which to measure future campus climate changes.

Recommendation 2: Expand intergroup dialogue (IGD) to include peer cohorts of faculty, staff, and administrators.

Rationale:

IGD is an evidence-based strategy for both moving the campus climate needle and preparing students for ethical and inclusive engagement in a diverse democracy and global marketplace. To truly move the needle on Miami’s campus climate, the entire campus needs to engage in intergroup dialogue cohorts, starting at the top. Administrators need to model full support through their participation.

The American Association of Higher Education, the American College Personnel Association, and the National Association of Student Personnel cited IGD as an "Exemplary Practice" (1998). The Theodore M. Hesburgh Awards Program of TIAA-CREF awarded IGD a "Certificate of Excellence in Faculty Development (2000)".

Recommendation 2 Details

Accountable Party:

The Office of the President, The Office of Institutional Diversity, Academic Affairs, and Student Life shall be responsible for the engagement of the entire campus. Global Initiatives, through its CAWC, will spearhead the initiative in partnership with departments and offices to recruit participants, train dialogue facilitators, oversee assessment, and report progress.

  • Pathway:

    • Through a Diversity Dashboard or Scorecard created in collaboration with the various campus divisions, establish mandatory participation goals and metrics for each constituency across the Oxford and Regional campuses:

      • Administrators at dean level and above (N=82):

        • Year 1: 100% = 82 administrators.

        • Year 2+: Require IGD for all new hires within 1 year of employment.

      • Full-time faculty (N = 1,100) by seniority:

        • Year 1: 10% = 110 faculty (highest seniority).

        • Year 2: additional 15% = 165 faculty.

        • Year 3+: additional 20% = 220 faculty.

        • Year 1-3 cumulative total: 495 faculty (45% of all faculty).

        • Year 4+: Require IGD for all new hires within 1 year of employment.

      • Full-time unclassified staff (N = 1,250) by seniority:

        • Year 1: 10% = 125 staff (highest seniority).

        • Year 2: additional 15% = 180 staff.

        • Year 3+: additional 20% = 250 staff.

        • Year 1-3 cumulative total: 555 staff (44.4% of full-time unclassified staff).

        • Year 4: Require IGD for all new hires within 1 year of employment.

      • Full-time classified staff (N = 1,150) by seniority:

        • Year 1: 10% = 115 staff (highest seniority).

        • Year 2: additional 15% = 172 staff.

        • Year 3+: additional 20% = 230 staff.

        • Year 1-3 cumulative total: 517 staff (45% of full-time classified staff).

        • Year 4+: Require IGD for all new hires within 1 year of employment.

    • Global Initiatives, through the CAWC, will collaborate with appropriate departments and offices to:

      • Establish dialogue cohort configurations:

        • Segregated: faculty, administrators, unclassified staff, and CPAC are segregated.

        • Integrated: all cohorts as integrated as possible.

        • Hybrid: some combined cohorts, some segregated.

      • Credential peer dialogue facilitators through a train-the-trainer model. Require each trainee to commit to co-facilitate at least 2 peer dialogue cohorts within 3 years. Include, as the IGD capstone for each dialogue participant, the requirement that participants propose the application of IGD pedagogy/praxis within their sphere of influence (classroom, division, project, program, management, policies, procedures, student org advising, bias complaints, etc.)

      • Upon request, resource a department or office in establishing an IGD program to fit its unique needs.

Consequences:

The success of IGD depends on meaningful, engaged participation. If participation is mandatory, there will likely be pushback from many areas of the campus community. At the current moment, the model focuses on incentivizing and promoting the participation of campus community members. Based on the success of Miami’s intergroup dialogue program so far, we have reason to believe that more campus community members will want to participate in IGD as it becomes more well-known, accessible, and promoted. At other institutions, the increased involvement in IGD by students has provided incentive enough for faculty members to equip themselves similarly.

Timeline:

The initiative can be ramped up in four years. (See II.C.1 above.)

Assessment Mechanism:

Assessment tools are already available for intergroup dialogue among faculty and staff in higher education. The CAWC has piloted assessment of a cohort of Miami unclassified staff at the Center for Career Exploration and Success.

Recommendation 3: Make IGD mandatory for all undergraduate students.

Beginning with first-year students, by requiring incoming first-year students to take a 1-credit IGD course (equivalent to the CAWC’s Intro to Voices program) following UNV 101 (or similar discipline-designated courses; ie, CHM 147). Thereafter, provide other academic and co-curricular IGD opportunities for further development.

Rationale:

By requiring first-year students to engage meaningfully in an IGD experience, students will begin their tenure at Miami with the awareness, knowledge, mindsets, and skills needed to create a more welcoming campus environment for everyone. By providing students with opportunities for further development, students can better prepare themselves for a diverse democracy. By incorporating IGD into existing credentials, such as the Global Readiness Certificate and Wilks Leadership, students will be able to demonstrate to prospective employers their preparedness for a diverse marketplace.

In their final report, "The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America (2017)", the American Academy of Arts and Sciences makes a case for the importance of intergroup dialogues and lists the Program on Intergroup Relations as a “best practice” (see page 13). The report, a two-year national survey, thoroughly examines the current state of American undergraduate education and makes recommendations for strengthening all aspects of it.

Recommendation 3 Details

Accountable Party:

Various departments and offices would be charged with goals and metrics through a campus-wide Diversity Dashboard or Scorecard housed with the Office of Institutional Diversity.

  • Pathway:

    • Amend the GMP to require at least 1 credit of IGD.

    • Provide Summer Reading discussion facilitators with basic IGD facilitator training, so they can introduce dialogic pedagogy to participants.

    • Create a pipeline of student peer dialogue facilitators by creating a minor in IGD that requires, as the capstone, the facilitation of at least one IGD student cohort.

    • Offer IGD dialogues on Regional campuses.

    • Recruit international student participation through ISSS, and support them with international student peer co-facilitators.

    • Leadership Certificates (Wilks, KICKGLASS, Etc) will require IDS 253 which is a 3-credit course in IGD, designated “Intercultural” by the GMP.

    • Forge partnerships with diversity offices, departments, and programs, such as the Myaamia Center (which might benefit from intragroup dialogues) and the (recommended) Teach Away/Study Away program with HBCUs and HSIs (See Advocacy and Partnership Recommendation #2) to provide IDG opportunities.

    • Student Organizations:

      • Require leaders to complete IDS 253 (3-credit IGD course).

      • Prioritize leadership of those with IGD Minor.

      • Offer Red Brick Rewards to student members for IGD participation.

      • Host “hot IGD topic” town halls utilizing IGD pedagogy.

      • Offer RedBrick Rewards for certain training, events, etc.

    • Residence Life:

      • Require RAs to take IDS 253 as a prerequisite.

      • Require certain living/learning communities (LLCs) to take IDS 253.

      • Create a new LLC that offers certification in IGD, and thus, creating a pipeline of peer facilitators in Res Life.

Consequences:

IGD does help students develop the ability to advocate for themselves. By “requiring” participation, there will likely be pushback. Adding anything to the curriculum requires analysis and the weighing of costs and benefits.

Timeline:

Phase in over a 4-year period.

Assessment Mechanism:

There exists a nationally established assessment tool for students that has already been implemented by the CAWC in its Voices IGD initiative.

Recommendation 4: Offer IGD to graduate students.

Rationale:

Not all graduate students will have had an introduction to IGD. By offering IGD to foundations graduate courses, graduate students will begin their tenure at Miami with the awareness, knowledge, mindsets, and skills needed to create a more welcoming campus environment for everyone. As with undergraduates, by providing graduate students with opportunities for further development in dialogue and allyship, students can better prepare themselves for a diverse democracy and global marketplace.

Recommendation 4 Details

Accountable Party:

The Graduate School ensures IGD is embedded in the curriculum for new graduate programs and encourages current programs to include IGD opportunities in their courses. The CAWC will be responsible for helping to provide resources. Academic deans also have responsibility for the enactment of this recommendation.

  • Pathway:

    • Create a new graduate certificate in intergroup relations, utilizing a train-the-trainer model of IGD, and thereby, create a pipeline of graduate peer dialogue facilitators. Utilize existing faculty with dialogic pedagogies to offer courses for the certificate.

    • Offer an IGD program or 1-credit graduate-level IGD course that can be embedded into existing foundations courses or taken separately by individual students. The CAWC has already piloted a graduate-level version of Intro to Voices.

    • Offer opportunities for graduate students with IGD training to serve as dialogue facilitators for the Summer Reading Program.

    • Offer incentives for graduate student organizations leaders (i.e., GSA, GSCA, GSPA, etc.) to receive IGD facilitator training.

    • Embed IGD as an experiential learning lab into foundational courses in majors where appropriate (ex FSW 475).

    • Offer practicum placements for SAHE students who serve as dialogue facilitators for graduate or undergraduate peers.

Consequences:

Adding anything to the curriculum requires analysis and the weighing of costs and benefits.

Timeline:

Phased in over a 4-year period.

Assessment Mechanism:

As with undergraduates, there exists a nationally established assessment tool that has already been piloted with an IGD cohort of graduate students by the CAWC.

Recommendation 5: As an Ohio public university, Miami may serve the greater community by expanding IGD pedagogy and praxis to alums and the business community.

Rationale:

Miami continues to receive considerable support from its alums and is a land-grant institution with a responsibility for serving the greater community. This is a way to give back. In addition, a considerable income stream can be generated by offering IGD training to the business community.

President Clinton's Initiative on Race cited the "Program on Intergroup Dialogue" as one of fourteen "Promising Practices" that "successfully bridge racial divides in American communities." IGD was one of only two programs in higher education to receive this recognition.

Recommendation 5 Details

Accountable Party:

Miami’s Alumni Association and Office of Government and Community Relations would take on appropriate responsibility for expansion. The CAWC will be responsible for helping to provide resources.

  • Pathway:

    • Expand IGD to include alums in Year 4:

      • Establish a train-the-trainer peer facilitator training program for alums.

      • Organize dialogue cohorts by regions and/or other affinity groups.

      • Offer town hall meetings to engage participation in the creation and implementation of the program.

    • Expand IGD to business and community members in Year 5. Establish a fee-based, train-the-trainer model for employee-based peer dialogue facilitation.

Consequences:

There will likely be more demand initially than can be met. Gearing up capacity will require financial and human resources.

Timeline:

This phase might be possible in year 4.

Assessment Mechanism:

Assessment tools can be developed for new constituents based on existing tools.

Recommendation 6: Allyship training.

While IGD directly develops skills in both dialogue and allyship/accompliceship, provide additional training specifically around allyship/accompliceship of marginalized groups on campus (similar to Safe Zone training for LGBTQ+ and Green Zone training for veterans).

Rationale:

There will likely be demand for allyship training in addition to that received through the IGD initiative. Such training can be offered to individuals, groups, departments, and offices on request.

Recommendation 6 Details

Accountable Party:

CTE would offer training and be accountable for its content.

  • Pathway: CTE develops offerings in allyship/accomplice training.

Consequences:

Development of such offerings will require an initial investment of financial and human resources.

Timeline:

These offerings could be started at any time.

Assessment Mechanism:

CTE already has an established assessment protocol.

Recommendation 7: Dialogue, education, and marketing.

Create internal and external diversity marketing plans to promote literacy around intergroup dialogue and allyship across diverse social identities, with sensitivity to Miami as a predominantly white institution.

Rationale:

Although IGD was developed specifically for higher education, and researched over the last 30+ years, it is relatively new to most people. If IGD is going to be required, then the campus community needs to understand what it is and why it is important.

Recommendation 7 Details

Accountable Party:

The Office of Institutional Diversity, in collaboration with University Communications and Marketing, will develop goals and metrics as part of the Diversity Dashboard or Scorecard. The CAWC will be responsible for helping to provide resources.

  • Pathway:

    • University Communications and Marketing develops a campaign, similar to the one rolled out around the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Miami and the Myaamia Tribe.

    • Promote IGD as a Best Practice in moving the campus climate needle and as a pedagogy for preparing students for responsible citizenship in a diverse and global world.

    • Promote IGD opportunities to various constituents through peer lectures, speaker series, and town hall meetings, such as those offered through Miami’s Intercollegiate Athletics.

    • Build a web library of IGD resources to make IGD accessible. Offer a “Getting Started Toolkit”.

    • Stress the four stages of IGD in the marketing campaign: Educate around the four stages and six learning outcomes of IGD pedagogy:

        • Stage 1: Creating a shared meaning of dialogue

          • Learn about intergroup dialogue as a distinct form of communication and develop dialogue skills.

          • Learn about social group identity and multiple and intersectional identities.

        • Stage 2: Identity, social relations, and conflict

          • Understand the influence of social identity on intergroup relations.

          • Understand how these social identities relate to individual, institutional, structural, and cultural social inequalities, specifically to power, privilege, and oppression.

        • Stage 3: Conflict and hot topics

          • Critically analyze contemporary issues related to social identity conflict.

        • Stage 4: Allyship and other next steps

          • Learn about working productively in diverse groups, building coalitions, and utilizing knowledge about identities, structures of inequality, and dialogic communication for social change.

Consequences:

Any new initiative requires an investment in financial and human resources.

Timeline:

This recommendation can be rolled out over a 4-year period.

Assessment Mechanism:

Ultimately, Miami’s most recent campus climate survey provides a baseline from which to measure future campus climate changes.