(Sustained Dialogue Campus Network)
The weekend of March 6-8th, 2015, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) will host its Annual National Summit at the University of Alabama. Over 150 students, administrators, and alumni will gather for the event, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Bridge Crossing.
Held at a different university each year, the Sustained Dialogue National Summit brings people together from across the country to share best practices for building more cohesive, diverse, engaged campus communities through dialogue. Princeton Sustained Dialogue co-founder David Tukey (Princeton ’02) remarks, “The SDCN Summit is an important opportunity for young leaders from across the country to connect with peers who share a vision of changing the world through the experiential learning that Sustained Dialogue provides. Our mission is to help these students recognize that difference can be a strength.” Over a dozen SD alumni will be in attendance to reflect on their involvement in SD and on how it has impacted their work over the years.
Founded by Tukey and fellow Princeton alum Teddy Nemeroff (Princeton ’01) in 1999, Sustained Dialogue (SD) brings students together across lines of difference to build relationships and develop strategies to address campus divisions. The initiative uses conflict resolution methodology developed by retired Middle East diplomat Hal Saunders (Princeton ’52), who is best known for his involvement in the Middle East peace process in the 1970s, as well as for his role as a facilitator of citizen dialogues in Russia, Tajikistan, Armenia, and Iraq, among other locations. He is also the author of many books on the dialogue process, including A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts (1999).
In 2003, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network was formed as a project of Saunders’ International Institute for Sustained Dialogue to help SD spread to more campuses.
UA serves as a model for campus Sustained Dialogue programs, since the organization has grown to include extra-curricular and co-curricular elements and has spawned several initiatives on the campus, focusing on building community around race, class, gender, sexual orientation, politics, and religion. SDCN is excited to partner with UA, and to be so close to locations deeply representing the Civil Rights Movement. For more information, visit http://sdcampusnetwork.org/crossingbridges.