US Race Relations
U.S. Race Relations Dialogues began as – and continue to be – the core of our work and mission. We as Americans live largely segregated lives. We rarely understand the differences between us, and we tend to think in ways that keep legacies of distrust alive. As a consequence, race has become taboo, a topic to be avoided. When race is discussed publicly, it is all too often with the oversight of simplistic attitudes about political correctness.
In our Race Relations dialogues, we provide an ideologically neutral space where participants are able to explore their thoughts, ideas, and questions about race, no matter what they are. We challenge people of all ancestries to examine the biases, the rumors, and the inherited scripts we all live with, and to listen to the stories of people who appear to be on the other side.
These conversations - which typically involve eight participants - are facilitated by two trained facilitators. The facilitators use their training to create a space where perspectives from the far left to the far right and everything in between are unearthed and discussed.
With growing concerns about university culture across America, our Gender dialogues have evolved to provide a space for Penn State students to discuss their experiences of and perspectives on gender. We explore the structural components of gender today by discussing what it is like to be a man or a woman, and what things influence our perception and actions. From alcohol and football to negotiating the sexual realm, these dialogues allow students to share personal stories and examine the role of gender in their personal lives as well as in the Penn State community.
These conversations, which typically involve eight participants, are facilitated by two trained facilitators. The facilitators use their training to create a space where all perspectives – from the far left to the far right – are unearthed and discussed.
West Meets Middle East
The West Meets Middle East initiative puts Middle Eastern students and students born and raised in the western world in a room together. In facilitating conversation between these two groups, we have the simple aim of exchanging viewpoints, discussing misconceptions, and sharing cultural differences. The result, frequently, is a heightened understanding of both cultures.
This video represents some reflections about those conversations by participants from this past year. If you’re interested in putting your voice into the mix, contact us.