MSU Denver

What is Dialogue?

Conflict is a normal part of life. But it is not always a comfortable one. Lean into the discomfort and join us to dialogue about difficult topics in a meaningful way.

Dialogue is not debate or discussion. Rather, dialogue is a process where we invite inquiry, explore differences, and build shared understandings. In our campus community, the Dialogues Program brings together students, faculty, and staff to participate in small-group facilitated dialogues. Dialogue brings people together to deeply engage in listening, sharing our lived experiences, and challenges us to think about different perspectives other than our own. Above all, dialogue is about having a space to learn from each other despite differences and to create change by talking about action. Dialogue at MSU Denver is modeled after Intergroup Dialogue from the University of Michigan, which is a social justice approach bringing individuals together who share different identities and experiences together to dialogue.

You can download a Dialogues Program Overview document here: DialoguesProgramOverview (PDF).

The Dialogues Program is a joint partnership between the Department of Communication Studies and the Dean of Students Office. 

Responding to Environmental Justice: Meet the Panelists!

Damar Garcia, Groundwork Denver

Damar Garcia, Groundwork Denver

Damar is a youth organizer from Southwest Denver who centers her advocacy around food justice, urban agricultural practices, and youth empowerment/education. Working with Sheridan Rising Together for Equity and Groundwork Denver, Damar teaches youth about land stewardship and community organizing as tools for social change and strongly believes that food sovereignty, youth leadership, and community-cultivated decisions are vital practices to resolving environmental injustices in Denver.

Groundwork Denver
Shaina Oliver, Moms Clean Air Force & EcoMadres

Shaina Oliver, Moms Clean Air Force & EcoMadres

A tribal member of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, New Mexico, Shaina is an advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. In 2015, after the EPA’s toxic mine spill affecting the Animas and San Juan Rivers, which supply water to the Navajo Nation, Shaina became more aware that the environmental disasters that happen in Colorado—where she now lives with her husband and four boys—also impact her tribe’s well-being and future. Shaina began to feel her responsibility to do her part as a mother, aunt, sister, descendant, and survivor of genocide. Shaina is a Field Organizer for Mom's Clean Air Force and EcoMadres in Colorado. Shaina's advocacy has been featured in such outlets as ABC News, the Denver Post, and Colorado Public Radio, and she has testified at EPA hearings related to air quality.

Mom's Clean Air Force & EcoMadres
Ean Thomas Tafoya, GreenLatinos

Ean Thomas Tafoya, GreenLatinos

Ean is active in Denver Public Affairs, Colorado Public Policy, and Federal Environmental Policy. He has worked for three branches of local government, worked at three levels of American government, run for Denver City Council, and has directed many local and state political races. Currently, he serves as the Colorado State Director for GreenLatinos. Ean has received recognition for his work from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Denver Regional Air Quality Council, named a River Hero by the National River Network, and was recently elected the Co-Chair of the Colorado Environmental Justice Action Taskforce. He loves to dance whether it be at a concert or in politics! As Mr. Denver, a local music DJ and radio host, he uses the media to uplift locals in the community. Follow Ean @believeEan on all platforms. Ean is a water protector that holds a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in Native American Studies, a Water Studies Certificate, and Early Childhood Education Certificate from Metropolitan State University of Denver as well as a Horticultural Therapy Certificate for Colorado State University.

Green Latinos

More on Dialogues:

Dialogue Stories

*Check out the Dialogue @ MSU Denver Padlet for an interactive look at dialogue news, resources, and connections to other programs at MSU Denver!

*From the Summer 2020 Dialogue Series: How do we talk about race?

*Dialogues Program Begins by Training Facilitators, Sydney Ross, MET Media, (2019)


Want to know more about Dialogues?

Please feel free to reach out to us with questions:

Communication Studies: 

Katia Campbell, Associate Professor, Communication Studies & Faculty Senate President [email protected]

Dan Lair, Chair & Associate Professor, Communication Studies [email protected]

Dean of Students Office: 

Elise Krumholz, Coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services [email protected]

Thomas Ragland, Director of Student Accountability & Behavioral Intervention [email protected]

Dean of Students Office Phone Number: 303-615-0220