February 09, 2023

Community Dialogues Update

Dear LC Community,

In December, President Holmes-Sullivan announced the kick-off of her Community Dialogues presidential initiative. Now I’d like to provide an update on the events of this initiative that will be taking place in March, April, and beyond.

As the President said in December, the ultimate goal of this initiative is for our community to learn and practice dialogue in both formal and informal settings to build our capacity to listen, speak, and learn with each other about topics central to our collective well-being, even when those topics are contentious.

In January, 22 students, staff, and faculty from across campus learned to become facilitators for Community Dialogues. These dialogues are structured, facilitated discussions that invite small groups of participants to speak to and about their core beliefs, understandings, and experiences, to listen deeply, and to engage in curious inquiry with each other around topics important to them. These dialogues are not debates or spaces for argument. Still, they thrive on different viewpoints and foster deep listening and reflection as a way to build trust.

The Community Dialogues team is planning events to take place in March, April and beyond that include:

  • Belonging: Community Dialogue opportunities for faculty and staff in late spring, focused on belonging, following up on events with this theme during the 2022-23 academic year.

  • Mascot: We will offer opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to engage in Community Dialogues about what values we hold for the college and how the “Pioneer” mascot relates to them.

  • Post Gender Symposium: In collaboration with Director of Gender Studies Symposium, Director of Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies, Associate Professor with Term of Humanities Kim Brodkin, we plan to offer Community Dialogue opportunities in late spring that focus on themes from this year’s Gender Symposium.

  • Words and Numbers class: Community Dialogue events are being planned in collaboration with Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies Kundai Chirindo for some students in Words and Numbers this spring.

Detailed information on how to register for and participate in these events will be provided on in the coming weeks. Please direct any questions to Janet Bixby and the Community Dialogues team.

We look forward to the conversations to come!


Janet Bixby, PhD

Director of Community Dialogues
Associate Dean of the Graduate School