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As an institutional collaboration between the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Diversity, the UIC Dialogue Initiative places equity, inclusion, collaboration and engaged learning at the heart of our dialogue-based curricular and co-curricular educational programs in order to promote the creation of an inclusive, accessible, and equitable campus climate for all members of the community.

Mission, Goals, and Values Heading link

Mission:  To foster the co-creation of knowledge in pursuit of more just and equitable relationships, communities, and institutions through dialogue.

Program Goals:  Adapted from the theoretical framework of the University of Michigan Intergroup Relations (IGR) program, the UIC Dialogue Initiative pursues 4 interconnected goals:

  • to raise critical consciousness
  • to build relationships across differences and conflicts
  • to strengthen individual and collective capacities to promote social justice, and
  • to support young people’s transitions to University life


  • We believe in the equitable sharing of power and collective decision-making. Each dialogue group differs in membership, participation, and experiences, and we understand inclusion and equity as ongoing shifts in and critical reflection on our practices. We encourage participants to take ownership over the group’s learning and to establish and apply (in)formal rules promoting authentic and vulnerable engagement through dialogue.
  • Trauma-informed: We believe many people – and particularly those in historically marginalized and minoritized groups – have been exposed to individual, institutional, and/or cultural harm and myriad forms of trauma. We strive to create a learning environment where the impacts of trauma are recognized, and where opportunities for re-traumatization are understood and resisted.
  • We believe that all bodies are valid: that regardless of race, gender identity and expression, size, ability, and sexuality, how are bodies are valued by others can be positive and negative. Dialogue necessitates self-determination, authenticity, and visibility.
  • Anti-oppression: We acknowledge and resist the presence and legacies of interlocking forms of privilege and oppression in individuals, institutions, and culture, and the differential experiences and access to resources they influence.
  • We believe in non-punitive approaches to addressing harm. Shame and punishment are parts of dominant culture. When individual or collective harm is present, we use dialogue to promote inquiry, listening, and learning to create opportunities for reconnection and healing.