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Sustained Dialogue

Sustained Dialogue at Dickinson College:

“A process of genuine interaction through which human beings listen to each other deeply enough to be changed by what they learn. Each makes a serious effort to take other’s concerns into their own picture, even when disagreement persists. No participant gives up their identity, but each recognizes enough of the other’s valid human claims so that each will act differently toward the other,” Dr. Harold Saunders (1930-2016).

  • Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1975-78)
  • Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1978-81)
  • Founder, Sustained Dialogue Institute


Dickinson College strongly values a culture of dialogue as a way to build community and voice campus concerns productively. Dickinson has affiliated with the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) since 2001, making it one of the first colleges in the country to adapt the Sustained Dialogue model.

Basic overview:
  • Sustained dialogue is a peace process applied after the Camp David Accords in situations where people in bitter conflict needed change.
  • In 1999, a group of Princeton students began the Sustained Dialogue experiment to improve campus culture.
  • Dickinson College was one of the first members of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, joining in fall 2001.
SD group 1 SD group2

Recent History

In recent years Dickinson has employed its membership in SDCN to address the campus’s needs in a variety of ways including providing training opportunities for community members, inviting the campus community to participate in dialogues, and hosting semester long dialogue groups. Below are SDCN activities that have occurred since fall 2015 when the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity became the campus’s coordinating body for Dickinson’s Sustained Dialogue chapter. Future dialogue trainings, events, and groups will be announced through various forms of media and archived on this page.

SD_OctCaf SD Sept group
  • September 12-13, 2015: Sustained Dialogue moderator training (facilitated by Rhonda Fitzgerald) (Althouse 110)
  • September 28, 2015: Dialogue to Action campus dialogue (Allison Hall)
  • October 21, 2015: Dialogue to Action: The Remix (Dining Hall)
  • December 7, 2015: Dialogue to Action: The Remix 2.0 (Dining Hall)
  • April 6, 2016: Chipotle & Chat (Davidson-Wilson)
  • April 14, 2016: Redd’s & Reflections (Drayer Hall)
SD Remix poster SD Reshall poster SD revised poster
  • October 4, 2016: Free speech: Pushing boundaries or crossing lines? (Social Hall)
  • November 28, 2016: Facilitator & moderator training (facilitated by Rhonda Fitzgerald) (HUB Siderooms 201-202)
  • November 29, 2016: Facilitator & moderator training (facilitated by Rhonda Fitzgerald) (HUB Siderooms 201-202)
  • February-April 2017: Masculinities at Dickinson dialogue group (co-moderated by Peter Leavitt, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology, and Vincent L. Stephens, Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity)
  • February-April 2017: Campus comfort and safety dialogue group (co-moderated by Linda Brindeau, Assistant Professor, French & Francophone Studies, and Ariel Le, ’19)
SD Oct Free Speech SD FAS poster



  • September 25, 2017: A Campus Divided? and Belonging, Exploring Politics at Dickinson, (Facilitated by Sustained Dialogue, PSC, and Student Life) (Social Hall).
  • November 14, 2017: Residence Life Staff Sustained Dialogue. (Facilitated by Sustained Dialogue, PSC, and Residence Life) (Dana 110).
  • November 16, 2017: National Dialogue Awards. (Attended by Student Life, Sustained Dialogue and PSC) (The National Press Club, Washington DC).
  • November 27, 2017: Facilitation Workshop. (Facilitated by Sustained Dialogue & PSC) (Althouse 206).
  • November 28, 2017: Intercultural Sustained Dialogue Group dinner & discussion. (Facilitated by Sustained Dialogue, PSC, & CGSE) (Althouse 207).
  • November 27, 28, & 29, 2017: Race, Power and American Sports - A movie screening with a faciliated discussion to follow the film. (Sustained Dialogue, PSC, Athletics, VP for Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusivity) (Multiple locations).
SD discussion1 DialogueAwards1
SDgroup2 SDDiscussion2
campus divided poster Race Power & American Sports poster



  • October 15 & 18, 2018: Share & Shape: An opportunity for communal dialogue and action (Sustained Dialogue, Student Life, Landis Collective, Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusivity, SLCE, and Residence Life & Housing) (Allison Hall)
S&S Poster S&S 10.15 1
S&S 10.15 2 S&S 10.18

March 23, 2019: Values & Visions faculty conversation (HUB siderooms 204-05)

Popal Shaw Center Values & Visions 2Popal Shaw Center Values & Visions 1



A two-part dialogue which provides an opportunity for faculty and staff participants to share their campus experiences in relation to Dickinson’s values in an intimate setting focused on listening and empathy, and to reflect on their role responding to campus flashpoints on issues related to diversity and inclusion.

March 27, 2019: Values & Visions staff conversation (Stern Great Room)