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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.

Quick Guide to Dialogue Events: Spring 2021
Spring 2021 Dialogues Series: From Processing to Action 
  • Dialogue: Processing the Moment | Wednesday, March 17th, 10 - 11:30am 
  • Dialogue: Restoring Relationships | Tuesday, March 30th, 12:30 - 2pm
  • Dialogue: Building Bridges & A Call to Action | Wednesday, April 14th, 10:30am - 12pm 
Dialogues for Students: (Self)Advocacy 
  • Dine & Dialogue on (Self)Advocacy | Thursday, April 22nd, 2:30 - 4:30pm 
Check out the dialogue events & RSVP 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. 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: 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 Department of Communication Studies 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. 

Spring 2021 Dialogue Series: From Processing to Action

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

The Spring 2021 Dialogue Series: From Processing to Action, is designed to bring us from exploring our understanding of how recent events have impacted us and those we care for to how to translate our understanding to action in addressing relationships or goals we aspire to, to create change.

Dialogue sessions are co-facilitated by trained students, faculty and staff with a structured, but flexible flow. Each session includes up to 15 campus community members. 

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

Wednesday, March 17 | 10 - 11:30am | Dialogue: Processing the Moment

Click here to RSVP to virtually Dialogue over Microsoft Teams

This last year has put us in a mode of constant processing: covid-19 quarantine, movement for racial justice, economic hardships with loss of jobs, healthcare, & access to food, political polarization, January 6th insurrection, the election and inauguration of a new president, and a whole lot more. This dialogue will allow participants to process the moment of what has happened, is happening, or what we anticipate as we continue to live in a complex moment.
Students Sitting in front of St. Cajetan's during fall

Tuesday, March 30 | 12:30 - 2:00pm | Dialogue: Restoring Relationships

Click here to RSVP to virtually Dialogue over Microsoft Teams

A common and challenging effect of our current moment has been changes to our relationships with family, friends, coworkers and others. We have found ourselves at a larger distance from others when in quarantine. We have experienced fractures and have sometimes completely shut out some relationships in our lives due to differences that have occurred. This dialogue will explore what moving forward with those relationships may look like.
Students Walking in front of the Tivoli Student Union during winter with snow on the ground

Wednesday, April 14 | 10:30am - 12:00pm | Dialogue: Building Bridges & A Call to Action

Click here to RSVP for a virtual Dialogue over Microsoft Teams

How does processing translate into action? How can we move from talking to doing? What does change look like? To affect change, how do we work with others that we are in disagreement with? There is a drive for social justice and we are figuring out how to change our interactions, systems, and processes to create equity and justice. This dialogue will explore action beyond internal reflection, what we read and who we follow on social media.

Student Dialogue: (Self) Advocacy

This dialogue is created for and led by MSU Denver students.

Join us to Dine & Dialogue for the April 22nd Dialogue on (Self)Advocacy. Students who participate, will receive a grubhub gift certificate for dinner during the dialogue. 

With 2020 showing us a multitude of hardships we felt that now more than ever we, as a community, should gather and discuss advocacy and its close relative self-advocacy. Movement for racial justice, COVID-19, Economic Hardship, Online Schooling, Political Divides, etc. can make it difficult to engage in dialogue with others and feel your voice is being heard.

This dialogue will be led by fellow students Claire Wiley and Adrianna Newport and will engage students of all backgrounds. We will explore:

  • What is advocacy?
  • How do we use it in everyday life?
  • What feeling comes up when using this tool?
  • What potential new opportunities/obstacles arise when you begin to advocate?

While investigating these questions and many more as they organically manifest within our dialogues group, we will challenge our preconceived lens and look to expand our scope of understanding.

The RSVP link is live (below)! 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

Thursday, April 22 | 2:30 - 4:30 pm | Dine & Dialogue! on (Self)Advocacy

RSVP here for the student-facilitated dialogue for students

Thinking back to March of 2020 a lot has changed. Not only in the world, but within each of us as well. As we have found more space through quarantine to sit and think about what is important to us, we begin to ask what is the next step to bring change? We hope through this dialogue we may find more ways to seek out new perspectives, learn of different experiences, and come together to create a vision of how we can advocate to change our world.  RSVP here - Grubhub gift cards will be provided!
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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