MSU Dialogues

Video about MSU Dialogues


If you are interested in participating in MSU Dialogues in Fall 2019, please fill out the interest form here. Applications will be available in August, 2019, and we will send emails to everyone who has filled out an interest form as soon as applications are open. We will also open a link to applications on this website. We will honor applications on a first-come first-serve basis, so it will be important for you to get your application in as soon as you receive the link in August.

In Fall 2019, we will be running 6 RACE dialogues. See schedule below. (In Spring 2020, we will offer race and gender dialogues). Dialogues will start the week of September 30 and run through November 18th 2019.

Fall 2019 Dialogue Schedule:

Mondays, 6-7:30 (Graduate student race dialogues)

Tuesdays, 6-7:30 (Undergraduate race dialogues)

Wednesdays, 6-7:30 (Undergraduate race dialogues)

Thursdays, 6-7:30 (Undergraduate race dialogues)

Fridays, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Dialogues 2.0 for those who have already participated in race or gender dialogues)

Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. (Undergraduate race dialogues)




Donate to MSU Dialogues below

MSU Dialogues Spring 2019

Photo below: Spring 2019 Facilitator Group

  • Spring 2019 Facilitators
  • Photo below: MSU Dialogue participants and facilitators, Fall 2018.
  • MSU Fall 2018 Dialogue Participants

MSU Dialogues participants and facilitators, Spring 2018 closing ceremonySpring 2018 Dialogues Cohort

Read more about MSU Dialogues: New Educator Article
Read about Donna Rich Kaplowitz's new book: Race Dialogues: A Facilitator's Guide to Tackling the Elephant in the Classroom in   New Educator.

Why Do We Need Dialogues at MSU?

  • Our society is more divided now than in decades.  MSU Dialogues allow you to:
  • Learn how to talk to people who have different ideas than you do.
  • Develop diversity and inclusion skills that employers are looking for 
  • Develop the ability to listen generously, to challenge previously held assumptions, and to treat one another with dignity, especially when the topic is uncomfortable.

What are MSU Dialogues?

In MSU Dialogues you will:

  • Meet for 8 weeks, once per week for 90 minutes. (Spring Dialogues run from Feb 11-April 8th 2019, - no dialogue the week of spring break).
  • Dialogue with a group of about 10-16 peer participants and 2-3 trained peer facilitators
  • Engage in meaningful activities that help deepen your understanding of yourself and our community
  • Develop skills for leading in a diverse environment

Intergroup Dialogue is an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon both cognitive and affective ways of knowing to improve human relationships across different, and often oppositional identities.  It is a face-to-face learning experience that brings together people from different identity groups over a sustained period of time to:

  • Understand our commonalities and differences
  • Examine the nature and impact of societal inequalities
  • Explore ways of working together toward greater equity and justice
  • Prepare individuals to live, work and lead in a complex, diverse stratified society

Intergroup or Intercultural Dialogue has been employed over the past three decades in various forms for people ranging from college students in a classroom to families around kitchen tables to international conflicts. It is well-researched, has a proven track record, and has measurable outcomes. 

MSU Dialogues uses a dialogic methodology that moves participants to deeper and more meaningful levels of engagement. Participants in a dialogue benefit from being led through a series of exercises by trained facilitators in a brave space. Intercultural dialogue is designed to enhance participants’ capacities to work with people who are different than themselves. Through dialogue, we can build inclusive and collaborative communities. 

MSU Dialogues Project Outcomes 

2017-2018 Dialogue StudentsFall 2018 Facilitator Cohort

What do students learn from MSU Dialogues? Participant voices:

"I have gained communication skills that allow me to talk about hard topics and interrupt bias as I hear it."

"I realized how little interaction I really have with people who are different from me. At the same time, I learned a lot about people are different from me. I also feel I am better able to discuss systems of privilege and oppression now."

"This space provides a needed outlet for people of color and aspiring allies alike."

"This is a transformative, self-reflective experience that helped me develop a greater sensitivity to the oppression that others may face due to their social identities."

"I feel that -- after dialogue -- I will participate in more activities and groups that will introduce me to races other than my own."

 “As a person of color dialogue helped me learn how to be a better ally for others.  I honestly never thought about the work it takes to be a good ally.” - Camille Thomas

Why should students participate in MSU Dialogues? 

"Dialogue changes your perspective, increases your ability to shift perspective and increases empathy."

"MSU Dialogues has changed my life."

"I believe this will help a lot of  people to see different people's perspectives on social and economic issues that they may face in society." 

“Intercultural dialogue made me aware of huge gaps in my knowledge that I had as a result of growing up in a very segregated community.  It not only taught me so much about myself and where I fit into society but also what I can do to help change society for the better.” - Michael Kosuth

“For me, becoming a facilitator gave me a set of skills that help me in so many situations. I now feel comfortable leading discussions, talking about hot-button issues and expressing my opinion while still validating all other opinions.”  - Maris Reid

“In my experience as an African American woman, race is so often talked about that it gets tiring. However, being in a race dialogue is a special place. You get to know more about your own identity, and also learn about the identities of your peers.” - Camri Nelson

“Participating and learning about interracial dialogue have impacted me personally, professionally and socially.  I use the tools I have developed in interracial dialogues in my everyday interactions; I have become more aware of my actions and the interconnectedness of identity and human experience.”  - Elizabeth Beckett 

 Read the full Spring 2018 report 

Facilitator's Training 2018

Please support MSU Dialogues!

Donations will go directly to training facilitators, materials to run dialogues, stipends for facilitators, and awards for participants: DONATE TO MSU DIALOGUES

What your donation supports:

  • $10,000 - a faculty or staff dialogue for 20 people for a semester
  • $7,500 - an undergraduate or graduate student dialogue for a semester
  • $6,500 - a facilitated film series for a year
  • $5,000 - a facilitator training for one semester
  • $2,500 - a faculty facilitator for one semester
  • $1,000 - one facilitator's stipend
  • $ 500 - cost of one student to participate
  • $ 250 - training of one facilitator
  • $ 100 - materials for each facilitator
  • $ 25 - supplies for one participant for an entire dialogue semester


For more information, contact: MSU Dialogues - - 517-353-4563.

Dr. Donna Rich Kaplowitz
Faculty Associate
Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives
Olds Hall, Room 112

MSU Dialogue Team, 2018-2019, Authrene Ashton, Adrianna Crossing, Donna Rich Kaplowitz

(Above) MSU Dialogue Team, 2018-2019, Authrene Ashton, Adrianna Crossing, Donna Rich Kaplowitz

(Below) MSU Dialogues Final Celebration, April 2019

 Spring 2019 Final Celebration