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Dialogues Program at MSU Denver

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.

Check out and RSVP for our dialogues below!

Tune in to the Dialouges Livestream Channel here

What is Dialogue?

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. 

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

Check out our Dialouge@MSUDenver Padlet to learn more about dialogue, get resources related to our dialogue sessions, and more! 

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

All dialogues are different. As a participant in dialogue, you may engage in facilitated discussion, self-reflection, small group discussions, and activities. Typically, a dialogue consists of about 15 people with 2 facilitators. The facilitators will have a plan for the flow of dialogue, but ultimately it is up to the participants on where it goes. 

You should expect dialogue to be uncomfortable. Dialogue bridges the gap of understanding by allowing for space where people bravely confront uncomfortable conversations with vulnerability, trust, and openness. By allowing people to voluntarily enter a situation where they know they will be sharing opinions that will be challenged, and listening to others' opinions and struggles, dialogue helps us understand each other in a deeper way. Engaging in dialogue is not easy and it can be difficult building trust in a room full of potential strangers or over virtual platforms.

The purpose of dialogue is to uphold each person's dignity, challenge each other's perspectives, and be respectful of each other's voice. The beginning of each dialogue will start with norms and community building to ensure that we are all on the same page. Facilitators guide the dialogue and help the group uphold the norms.

To learn more about what makes dialogue different than other communication methods, please click on Debate, Discussion, & Dialogue Handout (2008) (PDF). 

Norms are fluid and are often constructed by each group. Below are some common norms from Intergroup Dialogue:

We commit to confidentiality. What’s learned here leaves here, what’s shared here stays here. Help create a brave space where people can honestly engage and stay in this space.

Our primary commitment is to learn from each other. We will listen to each other and not talk at each other to prepare us to help raise our awareness and understanding of differences and similarities through this process.

Expect and accept a lack of closure. This is the start of a conversation. We will be challenging assumptions and pushing ourselves to think in ways we may not be used to, which may leave us with lingering questions and thoughts.

Monitor your airtime. Be mindful of taking up more space than others. On the same note, empower yourself to speak up when others are dominating the conversation.

We will work with awareness of status differences within this workshop. We recognize that there may be significant differences in position and power among participants. We understand that we learn when we are vulnerable and that we respect the limits people set for themselves on what they want to disclose.

When we challenge, we challenge the idea, not the person. We will not demean, devalue, or “put down” people for their experiences, lack of experiences or difference in interpretation of those experiences.

We will trust that people are always doing the best they can and we are all co-learners. We recognize that it is very likely that we have learned misinformation about our own group and members of other groups. We will hold ourselves and others responsible for repeating misinformation or offensive behavior after we have learned otherwise.



Dialogues are offered through a semester-based series, single opportunities, and can be tailored to fit the classroom, department meeting, student organization event, program discussion, in your community-based organization, and in other settings. We also can host and facilitate other events that encourage community building and understanding. 

If you are interested in bringing dialogue to you or partnering on a dialogue event, please contact Elise Krumholz at

We will collaborate with you to develop and facilitate a dialogue to help you address a complex or contentious issue. During the initial consultation, we will discuss what you would like to achieve, how to prepare your class/program/organization for dialogue, and what the facilitated dialogue will look like. 

Fall 2020 Dialogue Series on Cancel Culture & Social Justice

The Dialogues Program will be hosting a fall series for the campus community (students, faculty & staff welcome)

The Fall 2020 Dialogue Series is focusing on Cancel Culture & Social Justice.

The series kicked off with a Livestreamed Panel event on September 24th, which can now be viewed below. The panel discussed what cancel culture is, why it is popular, and if it is problematic. Our panelists included:

  • Thomas Ragland, moderator, director of student accountability & behavioral intervention 
  • Dr. Janine Davidson, president, msu denver
  • Dr. Liz Goodnick, associate professor, philosophy
  • Eunice Callejas, student, communication studies
  • Dr. Brendan Hughes, lecturer, communication studies 

The livestreamed panel will be followed by two dialogue sessions, which students, faculty and staff can participate in, that dive deeper into cancel culture. 


The RSVP links are now live! Smaller dialogue sessions may have limited capacity. Please RSVP or add your name to the waitlist by clicking on one of the events below that you want to register for. 

You can also find the events on the MSU Denver events calendar. We look forward to seeing you soon!  

Aerial View of students walking towards the Jordan Student Success Building

Tuesday, October 6 | 1 - 2:30pm | Dialogue: Identity, Allyship & Cancel Culture

RSVP to Dialogue Over Microsoft Teams

This dialogue will cover how identity plays into cancel culture and allyship. A criticism of cancel culture is that it is performative wokeness or sometimes done in the name of allyship. This dialogue will tackle how privilege and identity plays into the role of those cancelling others. particularly in the pursuit of racial justice.
Students Sitting in front of St. Cajetan's during fall

Thursday, October 22 | 2 - 3:30pm | Dialogue: Atonement, Repair & Cancel Culture

RSVP to Dialogue over Microsoft Teams

This dialogue will explore how cancel culture is tied to concepts of justice and will consider how individuals or companies who have been canceled repair or atone for their offenses. There have been instances where individuals or companies apologize, but they have not been well received. The dialogue will include questions like "What makes an meaningful apology?", "Can someone come back from being cancelled?", and "What types of justice is being achieved through cancel culture?"

Student Community Dialogues

We will also be hosting two Student Community Dialogues. The first event will be an intro to dialogue, and where we will focus on dialogue itself. There is a lot to take in right now, with the triple pandemics of racial injustice, covid-19 and the economy. While it is challenging to cover it all in one dialogue, we invite students to the space to discuss what it means to engage in dialogue right now for them. The second dialogue session will offer an opportunity to process the election, which may come with different emotions, concerns and hopes about the future. 

The RSVP links are now live! Smaller dialogue sessions may have limited capacity. Please RSVP or add your name to the waitlist by clicking on one of the events below that you want to register for. 

You can also find the events on the MSU Denver events calendar. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Students walking in opposite direction on campus

Wednesday, October 14 | 1 - 2:30pm | A Dialogue on Dialogue for Students

This event has been postponed. Please stay tuned for updates and RSVP for our other events!

This dialogue will be a time for students to engage in a conversation about dialogue at a time when we are experiencing covid-19, economic challenges, coming up on an election, and a reckoning on racial injustice. Some questions we'll consider include: What is it like to engage in dialogue with others right now? What are the limits of dialogue? What are the benefits?
Students sitting in the lobby of the Jordan Student Success Building

RESCHEDULED: Tuesday, November 17 | 2 - 3:30pm | A Dialogue for Students: So, Now What?

RSVP to Dialogue with others over Microsoft Teams

This dialogue for students will give space to discuss what moving forward looks like post-election. We will intentionally engage across difference about the the lessons learned from this past election cycle, covid-19, and the movement for racial justice.
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)

Questions? 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

Dan Lair, Chair & Associate Professor, Communication Studies


Dean of Students Office: 

Elise Krumholz, Coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services 

Thomas Ragland, Director of Student Accountability & Behavioral Intervention

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

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