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Faculty and Staff

Preparing Our Students


65% of U.S. adults say polarization in the country will increase over the next 25 years, not decrease.

Preparing Our Students

Social Disintegration

45% of U.S. adults say they have stopped talking with someone about politics and current events as a result of something the other person said.

${ statue of William Chaminade near Kennedy Union }

Partnerships with Faculty & Staff

Students need skills and strategies for connecting with others in an increasingly divided world. Working with the Dialogue Zone, faculty and staff can gain skills, knowledge, and experience with dialogue that can help them in the work they do with students on campus and in the community. They can also partner with us to bring dialogue into their workspaces and classrooms.


Every semester, the Dialogue Zone hosts a number of conversations on particular topics.  In these conversations, participants explore challenging topics relevant to contemporary society with the help of one or more trained facilitators.  The goal of these conversations is to build understanding among people, given their diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge, and viewpoints.  Greater understanding is an end in itself, though it can serve as a foundation for further problem-solving, decision-making, and collective action.  Many of these conversations take place over a single morning or afternoon; however, some extend over multiple sessions, allowing the participants to build trust, explore their experiences in greater depth, and get to know each other more personally.  These conversations are one way faculty and staff can build their understanding of critical issues in society, which can inform their work with students.


The Dialogue Zone also offers a number of workshops that faculty and staff can take to build specific skills for engaging in dialogue.  Past topics include listening, asking effective questions, managing conflict when it arises, and exploring the stories that people tell.  Some workshops focus on creating dialogue in specific contexts, such as engaging others in political conversations, overcoming racism, or using dialogue as a means of organizational learning. Short workshops address single skills or techniques and take place generally over one or two hours.  Longer workshops allow a more in-depth exploration of multiple interrelated skills and can last a morning, afternoon, or over multiple sessions.  Dialogue Zone workshops are a way for faculty and staff to build their capacity to engage in challenging conversations, especially in the work they do with students in the classroom, on campus, and in the community.

Dialogue in the Classroom

The Dialogue Zone can work with instructors to bring dialogue into their classes.  The Dialogue Zone has worked with instructors to engage students in conversations on critical issues and train them in dialogue principles and practices since its founding.  Dialogue Zone staff can explore with the instructor the instructor’s educational goals and the needs of the students and then design a program unique to the class.  The involvement of the Dialogue Zone in a class can involve a single visit or can span multiple sessions over the semester.  

Facilitated Conversations

The Dialogue Zone can work with department chairs, supervisors, or other organizational leaders who are looking for assistance in facilitating difficult conversations with and among their staff.  There are many challenging topics that colleagues who work together need to address for them to advance in their work and/or their relationships.  The Dialogue Zone can help with planning such conversations, preparing the staff and faculty who will be engaging in them, and reflecting on what developed from the conversation, so that next steps can be identified.  If more direct involvement is desired, Dialogue Zone staff also can facilitate these conversations.  Supervisors can schedule an initial meeting with Dialogue Zone staff to explore possibilities and discuss needs by emailing us.

Faculty and Staff Facilitator Program

Every year, the Dialogue Zone organizes a cohort of faculty and staff who go through a year-long program of training and accompaniment in facilitating dialogue.  The program spans two years.  During the first year, participants undergo training in various principles and practices for dialogue.  They participate in multiple dialogues on campus and eventually step into the realm of practice by facilitating dialogues alongside others.  During the second year, faculty and staff continue to facilitate conversations for the Dialogue Zone, including two that they develop on topics that they wish to address with others on campus.  They also assist with the training and accompaniment of the new cohort of first-year facilitators.  Once participants graduate from the program, they are invited to continue their association with the Dialogue Zone by participating in any conversations, workshops, or other professional development opportunities in which they wish to participate.

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If the world of the future is to be more peaceful than the 20th century was, all must learn how to appreciate cultural differences and how to work with people very unlike ourselves.

Characteristics of Marianist Education


Dialogue Zone

Roesch Library, Room 107
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1360
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