At Elon we recognize that building community and developing the skills to thoughtfully and critically engage within and across difference is easier with practice. We also recognize that ways of engaging in meaningful and productive dialogue takes different forms for different people. For this reason, there are many dialogue initiatives that take place at Elon that each have their own structure, focus, and time commitment. The below initiatives highlight specific opportunities for faculty and staff.
The Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and Council on Civic Engagement host a campus Deliberative Dialogue on a different topic each semester. A Deliberative Dialogue is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to gather and discuss a public policy issue. These dialogues offer citizens the opportunity to join together to deliberate, to make choices with others about ways to approach difficult issues, and to work toward creating reasoned public judgment. Topics can involve issues such as health care, immigration, Social Security, or ethnic and racial tensions. Deliberative Dialogues provide a way for people of diverse views and experiences to seek a shared understanding of the issue and to search for common ground for action. This model has been established by the National Issues Forum, a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public policy issues.
Race-nicity Lunch Series
Several times throughout the year, the CREDE hosts events for faculty and staff to come together and discuss a particular book or article over lunch. This is an opportunity for the campus community to engage in open dialogue about race and ethnicity. More information can be found here.
Summer Race Conversations
Since the June 2015 fatal shootings of nine black people by a white man at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, the CREDE staff has facilitated faculty and staff discussions on race and racism in our communities. These discussions are held several times during the month of July during an extended lunch and learn professional development opportunity co-sponsored by the Office of Leadership and Professional Development. Participants engage in discussions about race-related prompts, questions, and videos that create a shared basis for exploring this socially constructed concept. More information can be found here.