Program enhances grad student and postdoc dialogue skills

Intergroup Dialogue Project participants

Graduate students participate in the 2016 Intergroup Dialogue Project

August 2, 2016

A group of emerging scholars at Cornell learned new skills for effective dialogue, relationship-building and managing conflict in academic environments in a new program this summer, facilitated by the Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP).

Tailored for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, the program is peer-led and collegial. Meeting for six three-hour sessions at 6-2-6, the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, participants learned from one another by sharing issues and perspectives related to their social identities, and how these might influence them as students and future scholars.

“Graduate students are required to communicate and work across cultural, social and power differences on a daily basis,” said IDP Director Adi Grabiner-Keinan, M.A. ‘11, Ph.D. ’16. “They need to navigate different spaces, ways of thought and academic practices. They are also occupied with questions and thoughts about the scholars and professionals they want to become.”

A goal of the program is to “create academic spaces that allow individuals and groups to work together as equals, and to challenge oppression and discrimination,” she said. “The idea of diversity here is you bring your unique personality to the table. Many people feel they have to hide, or can’t expose, their full identity.”

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