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Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University
  • $550 RAISED OF $5,000 GOAL


  • Donna Kaplowitz $100
  • Cameron Fuentes $25
  • Melissa Fore $10
  • Phillip Deaton $100
  • Tung Hoang $10
  • Jennifer Deaton $100
  • Cindy Heymann $100
  • Anonymous $5
  • Jacqueline Heymann $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 on our webpage here. 

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. They are well researched, have a proven track record, and have 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
  • $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
  • $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 is coordinated by the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives’ Educational Program Coordinator, Jackie Heymann, M.A. 

The most integral members of the MSU Dialogues team are our facilitators. Each semester, the program employs 18 student facilitators and four faculty/staff facilitators. The impact this program has on the MSU Dialogues community is largely the result of the wisdom, dedication,and passion offered by each facilitator. You can see the majority of our fantastic group below!

Members of the MSU Dialogue Facilitators

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 20OOPCF1DIALOGS” in the note section.

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