Providence College

Difficult Dialogues Initiative

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Upon completing the 2014 Campus Climate Study, it was recommended by our consultants that Providence College implement a strategy to foster quality diverse interactions between students, staff, and faculty.


Utilizing the 2014 Campus Climate Study as a springboard, the Office of Institutional Diversity launched the Difficult Dialogues Initiative: a multifaceted project that aims to equip members of the

Providence College community with the skills to engage and facilitate deep and productive dialogue around various critical issues within and beyond the classroom. We have hosted professional development workshops and courses for students, convened dialogues on several critical topics on campus, and have constructed a model for collaborative and dialogical problem-solving around critical issues within our campus community.

67 students, staff, and faculty have been trained as dialogue facilitators. 18 students have taken part in dialogue-based seminar courses in Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. 324 students, staff, and faculty have attended campus dialogues related to race, class, abortion, political ideology, conflict management, and inclusion. Within that, 117 students, staff, and faculty engaged in the Dialogue Series on Community and Justice, which was developed to help participants explore the issues that led to a series of campus protests and ways they themselves could foster a deeper sense of community and justice on campus.


Rafael Zapata: [email protected] 

Providence College strives to reflect the diversity of the human family as it preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a new generation of students in word and deed. As a Catholic and Dominican institution, diversity is a key component of our collective pursuit of truth, promoting rigorous exploration of diverse ideas and theories, critical engagement with the world, cross-cultural understanding, innovation in problem-solving, and collaboration across differences within and beyond the classroom. To achieve this, the College is committed to cultivating policies, practices, and structures that assure an equitable and hospitable community for all students, staff, and faculty.

President, Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P.

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