Intergroup Dialogue Program

IGD 150 will not be offered in Fall 2019. But look for the class again in Spring 2020. 

What is Intergroup Dialogue (IGD)?

Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) is a social justice education pedogogy that takes seriously the presence of inequality and unfairness in the way our society is organized. The centerpiece of the program is the Intergroup Dialogue class: IGD 150. The class offers students tools to recognize and critique systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism. By teaching intergroup dialogue skills, IGD aims to develop students’ personal capacity to disrupt and help to overturn these systems. 

Dialogue is rare compared to the more typical ways people converse about social issues. For example, debate is focused on convincing the other party that your perspective or idea is correct. Discussion is focused on encouraging everyone to share and critique one another’s intellectual ideas. Both are valuable tools, but neither build the trust, shared understanding, and collaborative relationships possible with intergroup dialogue. IGD requires people to engage in active listening, share their own lived experiences, learn facts and complex theories on societal structures and development, and - perhaps most importantly - use conflict productively. Rather than avoiding conflict or disagreement, IGD teaches students how to use conflicts as important entry ways into deeper understandings of people and social issues.  

About the IGD 150 Course

IGD 150 is a half-credit course that, when taken twice, satisfies the IL requirement and one of the two DE requirements. It meets once per week for 9 weeks. A section of IGD 150 typically focuses on one social identity category such as race, gender, sexuality, or socio-economic status (though there is always acknowledgment that multiple identities work in tandem to shape a person’s perspectives). The course gives students a chance to listen and talk with one another about how they experience and think about the consequences of their membership in that category. Students are asked to read, watch, or listen to a variety of materials (e.g., chapters from history, psychology, or sociology books, essays by noted public intellectuals, artistic pieces expressing a lived experience). They are asked to write responses to prompts designed to encourage critical thinking and reflection about their own opinions or lived experience through the lens of the assigned material. During class, they engage in structured exercises and discussion designed to deepen their understanding of the material and each other. And, of course, they are asked to employ their new knowledge and interpersonal skills to practice intergroup dialogue. 

To learn more about the IGD 150 class, click here.

Questions?

Contact Brooke Vick, Associate Provost for Faculty and Diversity Initatives (brookevick@muhlenberg.edu)