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In 2009, a delegation of campus leaders attended the National Institute on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan. This institute focused on the practice of intergroup dialogue as an educational approach to promote engagement between people from different social identity groups. Upon returning to campus, administrative leadership from Student Affairs and Academic affairs collaborated to create the UIC Dialogue Initiative.

 The Dialogue Initiative is especially grateful for the leadership of Dr. Charu Thakral and Dr. Philip Vasquez who played a central role in bringing the program to UIC.