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Dialogue Zone

Our Mission

The Dialogue Zone is a curricular and co-curricular initiative that builds capacity among students, staff, and faculty to learn and practice facilitated dialogue in order to address difficult issues that arise as we interact together in community. By creating space for multiple perspectives, cultivating listening skills, and promoting critical understanding, we foster a culture of dialogue. The Dialogue Zone reimagines conflict and challenging conversations as opportunities for learning and reflection that contribute to the common good.

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What is Dialogue?

As we define it, dialogue is a communicative process in which people with different perspectives seek mutual understanding.  It differs from debate and discussion.  Participants in a dialogue need not agree with each other, nor must they convince each other that their views are correct or right.  They also do not need to resolve any problems under consideration, even though the understanding they build can lead to collaborative action.  If participants understand their own views, each other's views, and the topics they are exploring with greater depth and clarity, they have had a successful dialogue.  The Dialogue Zone meeting space, Roesch Library Room 107, is a primary location where we facilitate such conversations.  We also facilitate dialogue in other spaces, such as in classrooms and on Zoom.

What Do We Offer?

The Dialogue Zone offers many services to students, faculty, and staff.

  • Programs for engaging in dialogue with others on critical issues facing our campus and society
  • Workshops for building skills for engaging others in dialogue and facilitating challenging conversations
  • Mini-courses on dialogue and facilitation that people can take for academic credit
  • Presentations for classes, groups, offices, departments, and organizations on dialogue and related topics
  • Reservation of our meeting space (RL 107) for dialogue-related programs and events organized by faculty, staff, and students
  • Facilitation of challenging conversations within classrooms, offices, departments, groups, and organizations by trained Dialogue Zone facilitators
  • Consultative support regarding efforts to foster dialogue within offices, departments, and organizations at the University

To explore these services, email us at dialoguezone@udayton.edu or call the Coordinator, Dr. Jason Combs, at 937-229-2038.

Some Recent Efforts

Our blog highlights some of our efforts to facilitate dialogue and build mutual understanding on campus, as well as what we have learned along the way.  

Campus and Community 10.01.21
The Dialogue Zone Launches New Cohort of Facilitators

The Dialogue Zone has big things on the horizon! This year we are blessed to be able to interact with our campus community through the implementation of the 2021-2022 Facilitator Cohort.

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Campus and Community 03.09.20
Seven Tips for Political Dialogue

How can we resist this urge to avoid political topics with others, the exploration of which is so important to the well-functioning of our democratic society?  Here are seven tips for exploring these topics through dialogue rather than partisan debate.

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Campus and Community 02.20.20
Dialogue in the Classroom

Dialogue can function as a powerful pedagogical mechanism in a classroom.  Dialogue invites students into the educational process as active protagonists who are learning how to engage the world in which they live in ways meaningful to them rather than passive recipients of the information that someone else provides. The Dialogue Zone welcomes collaboration with instructors in thinking about how they might incorporate dialogue into their classrooms.

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Diversity and Inclusion 01.28.20
Our First Dialogue Series: A Take on Equity

Our first series of conversations in the Dialogue Zone began as a sequel to an Inclusive Excellence Academy workshop held during the fall of 2019. The staff at the Dialogue Zone thought that creating a space for folks to reflect further on the issue would be a useful strategy to apply this concept to other areas of the life of the University. The idea was to inquire freely into the topic through a dialogical framework in which participants could revise and share their own ideas, experiences, and perspectives. Although in dialogue a path to action is not necessary, what we found with this series is that action might come as a seamless and natural subsequent step.

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Campus and Community 11.01.19
Dialogue as a Mechanism of Organizational Learning

Dialogue can be a valuable part of a larger process of collective action.  Through dialogue, participants can build mutual understanding before, during, or after specific steps are taken.  In such cases, dialogue can infuse a line of action on the part of a group or organization with the potential for individual and collective learning.  Organizational units at UD might look to the Dialogue Zone to serve as a partner as they think about their plans for action and improvement. Facilitators can assist in developing regular spaces for collective reflection, separate from decision-making and implementation but fundamentally tied to these as elements of a larger process of strategic action.

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CONTACT

Dialogue Zone

Roesch Library, Room 107
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1360
Email
Today's Hours

2pm to 12am


Full List of Hours