Sustained Dialogue

Janetta Hammock head shot

Janetta Hammock
OIDEO Program Manager

John Killings head shot

John Killings
Associate Director of Multicultural Leadership & Programming
Multicultural Affairs

Image of Edwin Mayes, Director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Edwin Mayes
Director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Find Out More

For more information about the national program and to view videos from student participants from other college campuses, visit

For more information about the CWRU pilot program or to apply to the program, visit Students Sustained Dialogue, or contact committee co-chairs above.

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Be Part of the Conversation!
Join a Sustained Dialogue Group

The CWRU Sustained Dialogue program brings together individuals from various backgrounds to discuss campus, local and national issues of concern, including diversity and inclusion matters.

Groups meet weekly to share their experiences and perspectives and work collectively to suggest ways to make the campus more welcoming & inclusive for all. Be part of the conversation and help make a positive impact on campus!

Dialogue Groups begin meeting in September.

To join a dialogue group or for more information, contact:, or


Join Us for Fall 2019
Sustained Dialogue Moderator Training

Plan to attend our training session:

Saturday, September 21 or Sunday, September 22

Sessions will be held fin the Thwing Center, Room 101. Lunch is provided.

The training is free but registration is required.

To register, click the date of the session above you will attend.

Alternatively, you can send contact information & the date of the session that you will attend to

  • Moderator training is mandatory for anyone wishing to serve as a Sustained Dialogue moderator.
  • The training session also will benefit those wishing to learn more about Sustained Dialogue, learn skills to facilitate critical conversations in the classroom, office or within organizations and those interested in practicing the art of dialogue.

Sponsored by the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, First Year Experience and Family Programs and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


Benefits of Sustained Dialogue:

  • Meet individuals from across the campus
  • Develop new friendships
  • Enhance your communication & listening skills
  • Learn how to effectively engage in critical conversations
  • Gain tools for engaging with individuals from various backgrounds
  • Develop proposals for positive change at CWRU


Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a Sustained Dialogue group?
Groups meet to discuss diversity and inclusion issues and to talk about campus, local and national issues. During the first few meetings, group members engage in a number of exercises to allow members to get to know one another and feel comfortable talking openly within the group. Group members then begin to talk about their campus experiences and ways in which the campus environment can be improved.

At the end of the academic year, groups present a proposal or series of proposals that they believe will help improve the campus environment. Proposals are presented to President Barbara R. Snyder and CWRU vice presidents at the Sustained Dialogue Closing reception.

Who can join the Sustained Dialogue program?
The program is open to all CWRU staff, faculty and students. Everyone is invited to participate and make their voices heard!

How do I join? 
Those interested in participating in a dialogue group must complete and submit an application. Soon after the application is received, you will get notification about the status of your application. Once accepted into the program, you will be assigned to a dialogue group and notified of your dialogue group moderators.

What is the time commitment to participate in the program?
Dialogue groups meet weekly for an hour. Group members collectively decide on a meeting time. In the past, some groups have met over the lunch hour, while others met at the beginning of the work day and at other times throughout the day. Groups work hard to find a time that is convenient for all participants.

Must I attend every dialogue group meeting? 
Members are urged to attend all meetings. Regular attendance is necessary and enables individuals to bond with one another and stay abreast of issues discussed. Dialogue group members are only allowed to miss 2 meetings per semester. Individuals missing more than 2 meetings will be asked to withdraw from the group and join the program later when their schedules will allow for regular attendance.

Will my group meet for the entire academic year?
Members of the groups will decide on the duration of their group. Most dialogue groups meet for the entire academic year. However, individuals who are unable to participate for the entire year can participate for a semester only.

 What are the benefits of joining the Sustained Dialogue Program?
Past participants most often say the program allowed them to meet new people, hear different perspectives and learn about others’ experiences, cultures and beliefs. The program provides a safe space where people can openly and honestly talk about their on-campus as well as off-campus experiences. In addition, participants like having the opportunity to discuss and develop proposals and initiatives that could positively impact the campus. Other benefits include, the opportunity to: enhance one’s communication and listening skills; engage in critical conversations; and develop skills for interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

How does Sustained Dialogue benefit CWRU?
The program is helping to make the campus more inclusive by engaging people from various backgrounds in critical conversations. It helps to increase and improve relationships among the campus community and this leads to increased satisfaction and engagement among staff, faculty and students. In addition, the program helps promote a sense of community at CWRU.

To apply to the program, complete an application and send to: or

Sponsored by:

The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity and the Division of Student Affairs.