• ALL TESTIMONIALS •

• CAMPUS TESTIMONIALS •

• INTERNATIONAL TESTIMONIALS •

• WORKPLACE TESTIMONIALS •

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“I believe that implementation of SD enabled members of my campus to come together as a close-knit family, instead of strangers. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that embodies such diversity, acceptance, and honesty. This is how to make large-scale societal change in the ways we interact.”

 

“SDI was wonderful to work with from start to finish. They took the prep time to fully understand our Fellows and the training participants. The training was comprehensive, interesting and in tune with the needs of our Fellows. We very much look forward to continuing to build the capacity of Atlas Corps with our Fellows through their well-executed trainings.”

“I use the skills I learned through SD constantly when communicating with clients and colleagues. Being able to check biases & assumptions and open our hearts to the point where we truly empathize and understand where others are coming from is the deeply enriching gift of SD.  It is also necessary for the health of our communities and society as a whole.”

“My involvement leading SD was inspiring. I learned the importance of individuals’ experience in shaping their worldview, the value of listening, the necessity of being open to personal change, and the need to respect the complex intersections of people’s identities. SD has been instrumental in shaping my commitment to issues of social equality.”

“Sustained Dialogue has uplifted me … it gave me that empowerment. My GPA boosted dramatically my junior year. I owe it to Sustained Dialogue.”

 

“I was trained for Sustained Dialogue at NU in 2013. I recently used the SD model to lead a workshop where the group challenged social norms of masculinity with an audience of majority men. One participant at the end of the workshop asked how I came up with my questions and, honestly, all I could say was SD and everything it taught me. Thank you for the amazing training 2 years ago that I still use.”

“Turning the Page worked with SDI on “Building Authentic Relationships Across Difference” to equip us with skills and language to engage effectively with our partner schools and communities. We have used the practices in our community workshops and leadership activities to maintain that space between parents and teachers and school leaders. We enjoyed the training so much for our new AmeriCorps members.”

“Sustained Dialogue changed how I see the world.”

“Sustained Dialogue is an eye-opening, perspective-shattering experience for anyone who is willing to listen to others, and has had an enormous impact on the way I think around the world and my place in it. I want everyone I know to experience what SD has given me.”

“In all my time here I’ve never felt like a member of the campus community, except for the times I’ve been with Sustained Dialogue.”

“Dialogues are a critical part of Bridgespan’s strategy for inclusion, retention, engagement, and innovation.”

“The skills, perspectives, and experiences SD leaders gain are what we value in the corporate world. Listening is the most life-changing skill our executives practice daily. And, the ability to work in diverse teams to solve problems is critical.”

“We can’t do our work unless folks like you have the skills and commitments to [create inclusive environments]. You are exactly what we are looking for at Teach for America.”

“I can testify to the remarkable energy, ability, creativity, and determination of individuals in meeting the challenges of human progress our world faces. This groundbreaking political paradigm deserves our most serious attention.”

“It was as if we were holding up gigantic mirrors in which we could see exactly how others saw us. And, while I cannot claim that our meetings hold the key to understanding the end of the cold war or explain why neither side resorted to the use of nuclear weapons, it is nevertheless my belief that Dartmouth made a profound difference in the relationships between the two superpowers.”

“But the crucial mission for these meetings was to establish areas of concurring interests and to attempt to outline mutually acceptable solutions to the most acute problems: nuclear weapons reduction, international conflict resolution, and facilitating conditions conducive to economic interaction… The Dartmouth Conference was also valuable in that it contributed to the growing human affinity and the forging of friendships, so difficult at that time.”

“Their discourse can be relevant, helpful, even significant. For nothing in the world – spaceships not excluded – can be more exciting or constructive than a worthwhile human encounter.”

Previous

Next

quotes

“I believe that implementation of SD enabled members of my campus to come together as a close-knit family, instead of strangers. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that embodies such diversity, acceptance, and honesty. This is how to make large-scale societal change in the ways we interact.”

“I use the skills I learned through SD constantly when communicating with clients and colleagues. Being able to check biases & assumptions and open our hearts to the point where we truly empathize and understand where others are coming from is the deeply enriching gift of SD.  It is also necessary for the health of our communities and society as a whole.”

“My involvement leading SD was inspiring. I learned the importance of individuals’ experience in shaping their worldview, the value of listening, the necessity of being open to personal change, and the need to respect the complex intersections of people’s identities. SD has been instrumental in shaping my commitment to issues of social equality.”

“Sustained Dialogue has uplifted me … it gave me that empowerment. My GPA boosted dramatically my junior year. I owe it to Sustained Dialogue.”

 

“I was trained for Sustained Dialogue at NU in 2013. I recently used the SD model to lead a workshop where the group challenged social norms of masculinity with an audience of majority men. One participant at the end of the workshop asked how I came up with my questions and, honestly, all I could say was SD and everything it taught me. Thank you for the amazing training 2 years ago that I still use.”

“Sustained Dialogue changed how I see the world.”

“Sustained Dialogue is an eye-opening, perspective-shattering experience for anyone who is willing to listen to others, and has had an enormous impact on the way I think around the world and my place in it. I want everyone I know to experience what SD has given me.”

“In all my time here I’ve never felt like a member of the campus community, except for the times I’ve been with Sustained Dialogue.”

Previous

Next

quotes

“I can testify to the remarkable energy, ability, creativity, and determination of individuals in meeting the challenges of human progress our world faces. This groundbreaking political paradigm deserves our most serious attention.”

“It was as if we were holding up gigantic mirrors in which we could see exactly how others saw us. And, while I cannot claim that our meetings hold the key to understanding the end of the cold war or explain why neither side resorted to the use of nuclear weapons, it is nevertheless my belief that Dartmouth made a profound difference in the relationships between the two superpowers.”

“But the crucial mission for these meetings was to establish areas of concurring interests and to attempt to outline mutually acceptable solutions to the most acute problems: nuclear weapons reduction, international conflict resolution, and facilitating conditions conducive to economic interaction… The Dartmouth Conference was also valuable in that it contributed to the growing human affinity and the forging of friendships, so difficult at that time.”

“Their discourse can be relevant, helpful, even significant. For nothing in the world – spaceships not excluded – can be more exciting or constructive than a worthwhile human encounter.”

Previous

Next

quotes

 

“SDI was wonderful to work with from start to finish. They took the prep time to fully understand our Fellows and the training participants. The training was comprehensive, interesting and in tune with the needs of our Fellows. We very much look forward to continuing to build the capacity of Atlas Corps with our Fellows through their well-executed trainings.”

“I use the skills I learned through SD constantly when communicating with clients and colleagues. Being able to check biases & assumptions and open our hearts to the point where we truly empathize and understand where others are coming from is the deeply enriching gift of SD.  It is also necessary for the health of our communities and society as a whole.”

“Turning the Page worked with SDI on “Building Authentic Relationships Across Difference” to equip us with skills and language to engage effectively with our partner schools and communities. We have used the practices in our community workshops and leadership activities to maintain that space between parents and teachers and school leaders. We enjoyed the training so much for our new AmeriCorps members.”

“Dialogues are a critical part of Bridgespan’s strategy for inclusion, retention, engagement, and innovation.”

“The skills, perspectives, and experiences SD leaders gain are what we value in the corporate world. Listening is the most life-changing skill our executives practice daily. And, the ability to work in diverse teams to solve problems is critical.”

“We can’t do our work unless folks like you have the skills and commitments to [create inclusive environments]. You are exactly what we are looking for at Teach for America.”

 
 
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Our programs lead to increased understanding, greater commitment to social justice and concrete community action. To see specifics, take a look at the drop-down options below.

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Campus

What impact should campuses using SD expect?

Through Sustained Dialogue high impact experiences, participants develop a diverse set of leadership skills, including strong personal identity awareness, knowledge of social justice, empathy, facilitation and conflict resolution skills, and more.

Sustained Dialogue is featured in two published academic studies.

Sustained Dialogue’s Impact After Graduation

This study, conducted in 2008, interviewed college graduates who had participated in Sustained Dialogue programs in college. Previous research had demonstrated the positive impacts of dialogue during college, but this study asked “How do recent college graduates understand the influence of their college dialogue experience on their post-graduate civic life?”

Their participation impacted them in five different ways:

  1. Cognitions: Academic pursuits, critical thinking, new ways of thinking about diversity, etc.
  2. Behaviors: Involvement in diversity initiatives at work or in graduate school, engaged in politics, major life decisions, etc.
  3. Attitudes: Motivation and interest in diversity issues, more empathetic, more open with others, changed values about social issues, etc.
  4. Skills: For relating to others, and for reflecting about themselves.
  5. Hopes and Plans for the Future: Plans to attend graduate school or live abroad, engagement in local community, plans to use dialogue in the workplace.

Participants stated that SD impacted many of their major life decisions and how they want to raise their own children. This study found that participants developed civic skills that they used at work and in graduate school, and that these skills permeated their personal lives as well. One participant says: “It’s just a part of me and it changes how I look at things.”

* Diaz, Ande and Rachael Perrault. “Sustained Dialogue and Civic Life: Post-College Impacts” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. (Fall 2010). Available at: http://www.sdcampusnetwork.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/11205

Impact internationally:

In a randomized field trial* conducted comparing two-term SD participants at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia with students who did not participate, the study found statistically significant attitudinal change:

  • A decrease in mistrust
  • An increase in trust between people of different ethnic origin
  • An increased sense of ethnic identity
  • An increased perception of being ethnically discriminated
  • An increase in accommodative feelings towards students of other ethnicities leading to resulting positive relationships

* Svensson, Isak and Karen Brounéus. “Dialogue and interethnic trust: A randomized field trial of ‘sustained dialogue’ in Ethiopia.” Journal of Peace Research (August 20, 2013): 1-13. Available at: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/19/0022343313492989

SDCN also conducts pre- and post- dialogue surveys for student participants based on key measures from questions similar to The National Survey on Student Engagement, NSSE, and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, COFHE. These surveys demonstrate:

Participants saw strong increases in some of their personal skills and/or actions because of their time in dialogue, including, but not limited to:

  • Meeting new people (75% to 93%)
  • Developing, understanding, and expressing their personal beliefs (82% to 87%)
  • Explaining the college climate toward diversity, issues that may arise between students, and why issues persist (70% to 81%)
  • Thinking critically about the experiences of others and how they might be improved (86% to 90%)
  • Talking about their experiences in front of a group of their peers (81% to 84%)
  • Having serious conversations with people who are very different from them in terms of race and ethnicity (72% to 76%), gender and sexual orientation (63% to 68%), and religious beliefs, political opinions, and personal values (69% to 73%)
  • Taking steps if a friend, roommate, classmate, or professor makes a biased or hurtful comment (76% to 79%; 58% to 67%)
  • Talking about diversity-related issues with friends (84% to 88%)
  • Using inclusive language (80% to 87%)

Before and After SD: How much do you agree with the statement:

odometer

Compared with NSSE statistics, total percentages of participants who responded “Very often” or “Often” to the following questions were as such:

NSSE

Other helpful SD resources:

Sustained Dialogue: Background and Uses for Campuses (Spanish Language Version: Contexto y Aplicaciones de la SDCN)

International Work

International

The Tajikistan Peace-Building InitiativeThe Inter-Tajik Dialogue (ITD) was initiated in March 1993 as an unofficial dialogue intervention to deal with the ongoing Tajik civil war. ITD involved a core of ten to fourteen influential citizens of Tajikistan divided among the different political factions. A third-party team of 3 Americans and 3 Russians moderated the discussions.

ITD played a significant part in the different phases of the peace-making process in Tajikistan:

  • First, in paving the way for negotiations (1993-1994). This period ended in April 1994 with the launching of the official UN-mediated negotiations to which three ITD members were delegates
  • Second, in providing a parallel venue to the official negotiations where ITD members focused on the elements of a political process of national reconciliation (1994-1997). A peace agreement was concluded and signed in 1997.
  • Third, in a transitional period for establishing a process of national reconciliation (1997-2000): Four ITD members became members of the Commission on National Reconciliation (CNR) which was entrusted with overseeing the implementation of the peace accords.

The Arab-American-European Dialogue (AAE) This initiative creates a space where influential and thoughtful citizens from Europe, the United States, and the Arab region gather to discuss the sources of the confrontation between the Arab world and the West and explore the terms of a new relationship between these three parts of the world. The AAE dialogue was launched in March 2004 and is now in its third year of operation. It has tackled a variety of important topics including among others: reforms in the Arab region, electoral processes in Arab countries, the relationship between state, religion and society in the West and Arab region, and an issue cluster dealing with terrorism, violence and occupation. A dialogue executive committee was formed in February 2004 and is now responsible for designing the dialogue meetings and outreach activities. Small delegations of Arab dialogue members have met with parliamentarians in Britain and Italy and with Muslim European groups in Britain. We will be organizing a series of meetings for a similar dialogue group to visit France and the EU headquarters in Brussels.

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Workplaces

SD was used in a corporate setting to address employee engagement. After 10 weeks of dialogue, the number of employees who felt they could bring their full selves to the workplace doubled from 40% to 80%.

Community Icon

Community

Constructive relationships are the keys to peaceful democratic, social, economic, and political development. Some things only governments can do – provide security, make and enforce law, and fund major programs. But only citizens can transform conflictual human relationships, modify human behavior and change political culture.

Columbus, Indiana:

The Columbus Indiana Community Area Sustained Dialogue, of which Phil Stewart is a co-chairman, now completing two full years of monthly sessions, focuses its work on identifying and addressing obstacles to and creating opportunities for economically challenged citizens to achieve self-sufficiency – economically, socially and emotionally. The dialogue has created a safe space that regularly attracts Columbus area residents from all sectors of the community. Outcomes include a shifting from the concept of “client” to “citizen,” from humiliation to dignity for those who struggle, as well as concrete actions such as the development of a comprehensive program to ensure those ready to work have reliable transportation. More broadly, participants note that their dialogue continues to have a transformative impact on the local political climate, moving from confrontation to listening, and from listening to dialogue.

 

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA, Tampa, FL

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How is one of SDCN’s newest campuses working to integrate Sustained Dialogue into their campus culture? The University of Tampa is using retreats, academic credit for yearlong SD participation, and integrating SD into courses in various departments to help create impact for students across campus. Each January, a group of students will gather for a 3-day Sustained Dialogue retreat experience, and will meet all spring semester go through the five stages of dialogue. Other students will experience moderated dialogue in their sociology, criminology, and religion courses. The team at Tampa is based in the Wellness Center and has close connections with Student Affairs and the Dean of Students.

 

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, Evanston, IL

Northwestern Picture

Imagine every journalist being trained in how to create dialogue about deep difference? Northwestern’s campus is making that dream a reality. When the group began in 2012, the SD team set their sights on creating an experience that could scale to compliment the curriculum. Now, with several years of student-led dialogue as experience, Northwestern’s campus is experimenting with a co-curricular Sustained Dialogue requirement for future students in the Medill School of Journalism and other majors. The campus has trained over 150 student moderators and run over 35 dialogue groups.

 

CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, Cleveland, OH

CWRU

How does a campus engage students, activists, staff, senior administrators, and graduate students in conversations about inclusivity that lead to change? CWRU has a multi-pronged approach to improving campus life. Students participate in ongoing dialogue groups and an SD retreat that forges connections for life. Faculty and staff participate in ongoing dialogue and trainings to make recommendations that improve policies in real ways for those employed by Case Western. The Office of Multicultural Affairs works collaboratively with Residence Life and other offices in ways that ensure that bias incidents are reported, and that Sustained Dialogue’s definition of dialogue is used campus wide, with hopes to spread to the Medical School!

 
 

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