Winter 2018 Intergroup Dialogue Project Session for Graduate and Professional Students & Postdoctoral Scholars

January 8, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Competencies: Communication Leadership and Management Personal Development
Contact Name: Natasha Steinhall
Contact email:


Do you ever find it challenging to connect with your students? With faculty? With colleagues? Have you ever encountered power dynamics in your field or at Cornell that you didn’t know how to address? Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something that made you uncomfortable and you didn’t know how to react? Do you ever want to talk about social identities like race, gender or sexual orientation, but you don’t know how? Do you want to connect with others who have the same questions?

The Intergroup Dialogue Project will be offering one 5-session course for Graduate and Professional Students and Postdoctoral Scholars that will be focusing on such questions on the following dates:

  • Monday, January 8th 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Friday, January 12th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, January 16th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Friday, January 19th 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Monday, January 22nd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm 

This offering is limited to graduate and professional degree students, and postdocs. Applicants must be able to fully attend all five sessions.

If you are interested, please submit an application by December 6th, 2017. We will notify applicants of their acceptance by December 11th, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact IDP Program Assistant, Natasha Steinhall at or IDP Director, Dr. Adi Grabiner-Keinan at

About the Intergroup Dialogue Project The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) seeks to transform the campus climate at Cornell though courses for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. The courses we offer blend theory with experiential learning, and they are designed to facilitate communication across social, cultural, and power differences in a critical and meaningful way. Focusing on social identities such as race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, ability/disability, nationality, and gender, the main goals of IDP are to promote the development of consciousness about social identity, oppression, and privilege; to build relationships across differences and conflicts; and to strengthen individual and collective capacities to promote social justice and equity. Intergroup Dialogue found its way to Cornell in the Fall of 2012, where it was first offered in the form of EDUC 2610: Intergroup Dialogue, a course for undergraduates. There were two topics offered to the 30 students who were enrolled: race and gender. Today the course has grown to 13 sections per semester to accommodate approximately 200 students. Our topic offerings have expanded to include: race, gender, religion, ability/disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and nationality. The success of EDUC 2610 inspired the Intergroup Dialogue Project to expand in order to provide offerings for graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff.

Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate Students and Postdocs Graduate students and post-doctoral scholars are required to communicate and work across cultural, social, and power differences on a daily basis. They interact with mentors, colleagues, undergraduate students, and professors in a variety of academic settings, and need to navigate different spaces, ways of thought, and academic practice. Throughout their long and complex training, many of them are also occupied with questions and thoughts about the scholars and professionals they want to become, and how different aspects of their identity might influence their “professional persona." This course provides a space for a group to come together for two weeks to connect in a deep and personal way across differences through activities designed to stimulate critical reflection of social identities and power dynamics in society. Through this process, our participants gain the skills and confidence to engage in difficult conversations in an empathetic way that allows for authentic dialogue.

The Intergroup Dialogue Projectthe Graduate School, and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, have been working together to create a meaningful process for graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to explore their social identities, to practice communication across difference, and to think together about authentic diversity in academia. This peer-led course enables participants to reflect on their personal experiences related to such issues, but to also explore ways through which they can promote equity and inclusion in their academic spaces and circles. 

This program offering for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars has been made possible through funding support from the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement, CU-CIRTL, the Graduate School’s ETS/CGS Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education, and the National Science Foundation-funded Cornell AGEP Program under Grant No. 1647094.

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