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Anti-Racism Dialogues

The following message was sent to students, staff, and faculty on September 30, 2020

Students and colleagues,

As I mentioned at Campus Assembly yesterday, I am pleased to announce we are beginning a yearlong Anti-Racism Dialogue Series next week. This series will help our campus work to meet this historical moment of social change regarding racial injustices, identities, power, and privilege.

For this series, we are collaborating with Antiracism Study Dialogue Circles (ASDIC) Metamorphosis, a national organization based in Montevideo. ASDIC Metamorphosis will provide curricula and lead conversations and workshops for students, faculty, and staff in October 2020 and February 2021.

Events will take place via Zoom or in person. The initial session, open to faculty and staff, will feature an introduction to and overview of Antiracism Dialogue Circles. This session will launch virtually on Tuesday, October 6, during Community Hour (11:40 a.m.). There will be encore presentations during Community Hour on Thursday, October 8, and Thursday, October 15. The full schedule is below. Please note there are 10 events scheduled over the next two weeks. 

Sessions for the Campus Community (Students, Faculty, and Staff)

Open Conversation: The Problematics of Allyship
Wednesday, October 7, 12–1 p.m.
Modality: Virtual

Open Conversation: Perception, Stereotypes, & Bias
Wednesday, October 14, 12–1 p.m.
Modality: Virtual

Open Conversation: Basic Principles of Non-Violent Communication
Wednesday, February 10, 12–1 p.m.
Modality: Virtual

Sessions for Faculty and Staff

Intro to Anti-Racism Dialogue Circles and Program Overview
Tuesday, October 6, 11:40 a.m.–12:40 p.m. (Community Hour)
Thursday, October 8, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. (Community Hour) *Encore Presentation*
Thursday, October 15, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. (Community Hour) *Encore Presentation*
Modality: Virtual

Open Conversation: Perception, Stereotypes, & Bias
Tuesday, October 13, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. (Community Hour)
Modality: Virtual

Open Conversation: Basic Principles of Non-Violent Communication
Tuesday, February 9, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. (Community Hour)
Modality: Virtual

Sessions for Students

Workshop: Crossing Cultural Boundaries
Wednesday, October 7, 7–8:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 8, 7–8:30 p.m. *Encore Virtual Presentation*
Modality: In person with encore virtual presentation (30 students max)

This workshop invites participants to raise awareness of the ways our socialization and social location (race, class, gender, culture, sexuality, locality, belief convictions) influence our perceptions, interpretations, feelings, and behaviors. Participants will also practice the cross-cultural communication skills of perceiving and responding.


Workshop: Discerning Whiteness
Wednesday, October 14, 7–8:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 15, 7–8:30 p.m. *Encore Virtual Presentation*
Modality: In person with virtual encore presentation (30 students max)

This workshop allows participants to explore the ways racial dynamics play out in and about us every day, in both personal and institutional spaces. Facilitators will provide a safe space for risk-taking and relationship-building toward strengthening community bonds in our common struggle against racism.


Workshop: Sleight of Mouth
Wednesday, February 10, 7–8:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 11, 7–8:30 p.m. *Encore Virtual Presentation*
Modality: In person with encore virtual presentation (30 students max)

Facilitators will challenge participants to consider antiracist perspectives and help them understand and practice Sleight of Mouth techniques as a tool for unbinding racial certainty, deflecting and re-channeling hostile or defensive speech, and deepening reflective, critical thinking.


I ask that you please RSVP in advance of the dialogues to receive Zoom login information or to reserve an in-person spot. For disability accommodations or questions, please contact 320-589-6095 or ummedi@morris.umn.edu.

My thanks to liz thomson, Becca Gercken, and Chip Beal for their assistance in arranging this program. And my thanks to all of you for your efforts to seek justice and understanding and to build equitable communities. I look forward to continuing this critical work with you. 

Michelle