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Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University
  • $4,950 RAISED OF $5,000 GOAL


  • Catherine Galitzine $40
  • Day of Giving Matched Dollars $1,780
  • Beth Herbel-Eisenmann $50
  • Laurie Becchofer $50
  • Donna Kaplowitz $100
  • Sierra Willnus $30
  • Geraldine Zeldes $30
  • Anonymous $100
  • Rachel Smeenge $5
  • Marjorie Rich $50
  • Angela Manjichi $20
  • janet welch $100
  • Anonymous $100
  • Anonymous $100
  • Muhmaed Mukhtar $20
  • Sally Long $50
  • Larry Kirchoff $50
  • Marsha Bristor $20
  • Christopher Smith $100
  • Thasin Sardar $50
  • Amanda West $30
  • Barbara Thibault $20
  • Melanie Morrison $50
  • Cathy Knight $100
  • Olga Traub $50
  • Kath Edsall $250
  • Margo Cook $500
  • Anonymous $300
  • Anonymous $100
  • Diane Sams $250
  • Elizabeth Vanis $50
  • Elias Garratt $20
  • Claire Battafarano $20
  • Kendra Kanaboshi $100
  • Gene Burns $35
  • Kyla Boyse $30
  • Kathleen Herrick $100
  • Donna Kaplowitz $100

MSU Dialogues

We know that our university, state and country are becoming more polarized than ever. The need for dialogue across difference is an essential life skill that is useful for navigating everything from the Thanksgiving dinner table to international conflict. We know that:

  • Employers seek individuals who can work across difference
  • The best outcomes in public and private spheres emerge when individuals have developed the ability to listen generously, to challenge previously held assumptions, and to commit to active listening and dialogue especially when the dialogue is uncomfortable.
  • Genuine human interactions help to nurture understanding and dissipate fear.

People from different backgrounds tend to have difficulty talking to and listening to one another, but meaningful conversations can help people understand and engage across difference.

The MSU Dialogues program positions us to be local and national leaders in using a dialogic approach to strengthen our civil society and academic community. We can directly benefit from, as well as model for others, the power of engaging people from different backgrounds, perspectives, identities and world views for the common good.

Read more about MSU Dialogues in a recent story from MSU’s New Educator Magazine.

Your Support Will Make a Big Difference

We currently run our project on a shoe-string budget, but the demand for participation far outweighs our ability to provide dialogue opportunities to all interested participants. Your donation will help us increase the number of trained facilitators on campus to engage in dialogic understanding and increase the number of individuals able to participate in our program.

Our project engages students, staff and faculty in difficult dialogues across racial and gender differences. Intergroup Dialogue is an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon both cognitive and affective ways of knowing to improve human relationships across different, and often oppositional identities. MSU Dialogues are a face-to-face learning experience that brings together people from different identity groups over a sustained period of time to:

  • Understand their commonalities and differences
  • Examine the nature and impact of societal inequalities
  • Explore ways of working together toward greater equality and justice
  • Prepare individuals to live, work and lead in a complex, diverse and stratified society

MSU Dialogues uses techniques called intergroup dialogue, intergroup relations, intercultural dialogue or sustained dialogue. These techniques have been employed over the past three decades in various forms for constituencies ranging from college students in a classroom to families around kitchen tables to international conflicts. It is well researched, has a proven track record, and has measurable outcomes. Developing and instituting a sustainable dialogue program unique to MSU has significant positive impacts in many domains.

MSU Dialogues use a dialogic methodology that moves participants to deeper and more meaningful levels of engagement. Participants in a dialogue benefit from being led through a series of exercises by trained facilitators in a brave space. Intercultural dialogue is designed to enhance participants’ capacities to work with people who are different than themselves. If people know how to dialogue with others who are different from them, they can build inclusive and collaborative communities. 

Project Budget

Funds will be used to: help with facilitator training, facilitator stipends, program materials and dialogue awards.

  • $10,000 covers a faculty or staff dialogue for 20 people for a semester
  • $7,500 covers an undergraduate or graduate student dialogue for a semester
  • $6,500 covers a facilitated film series for a year.
  • $5,000 covers a facilitator training for one semester.
  • $2,500 covers a faculty facilitator for one semester
  • $1,000 covers one dialogue session for 18 people
  • $500 helps pay for one student to participate
  • $250 pays for training of one facilitator
  • $100 provides materials for each facilitator
  • $25 provides supplies for one participant for an entire dialogue semester

Who We Are

MSU Dialogues Leadership Team: Authrene Ashton, Adrianna Crossing, Donna Rich KaplowitzMSU Dialogues is run by Dr. Donna Rich Kaplowitz, Faculty Associate MSU Dialogues Program, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education.

Adrianna Crossing serves as the half-time graduate assistant for the project. She is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of School Psychology, College of Education, Michigan State University. Authrene Ashton is a practicum student with our project. She is a second-year master’s degree student in the HALE (Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education) Department, College of Education, Michigan State University.

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 19OOPCF1DIALOGS” in the note section.