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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.


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 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 10.06.22

Dialogue involves risk.  In this post, we offer some suggestions based on our experience in the Dialogue Zone about creating an environment in which participants feel capable of disclosing their authentic and genuine selves and maintaining it once it has been established.

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Campus and Community 09.06.22

This month, the Dialogue Zone welcomed a new cohort of faculty, staff, and students as part of its annual facilitator training program.

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Campus and Community 03.09.20

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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Dialogue Zone

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