At this time of deeply polarized political and personal tensions among the people in the United States, imagine a group of the leaders of tomorrow talking seriously with each other about their points of view and the life experiences that bring them to their conclusion. That’s the work of UC Davis Dialogue Seminars – participants learn not only how to tolerate different points of view but they also see and respect the human needs that underlie a disputing point of view.
In the Dialogue Seminars, first-year students engage with their peers in small groups of 15-19 participants to share experiences, listen deeply, and take others’ concerns into their own pictures. Participants do not give up their identities; instead, they recognize enough of the other’s valid human claims that they will act differently toward the other.
These dialogues are facilitated by trained Student Facilitators. Between dialogue sessions, seminar participants work with online materials to learn the conceptual principles, social science, and communication tools that are part of dialogue. These principles and skills apply to human interactions throughout courses of study and life. Learn more about becoming a student facilitator.