Intergroup Dialogue Program (IGD)


What is IGD? 

IGD is composed of classes that engage students across identities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and class to explore topics of identity and social justice through dialogue and dialogue facilitation training.

Dialogue is a form of communication that encourages people who have different lived experiences to build mutually-beneficial relationships through mindful conversations. Intergroup dialogue uses dialogic principles to focus on topics of social issues of unequally distributed power, privilege and resources, and it encourages collaborative action for change. Unlike Debate and Discussion, Dialogue does not seek to defeat others or gain answers through conversation, instead, have a mindful conversation and respect each other’s perspectives which comes from individuals with different identities.

Why now?

In a multicultural society, dialogues about issues of conflict and community are needed to facilitate understanding between social/cultural groups. However, many people aren’t sure where to start the conversation, or how to navigate the conversation with others. Intergroup Dialogue helps people transcend these struggles by creating a setting in which people engage in open and constructive dialogue, learning, and exploration concerning issues of intergroup relations, conflict, and community. 

Why is IGD important at Geneseo?

Geneseo actively encourages students, faculty, staff and the college itself to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and to embrace a multicultural society. Among Geneseo’s core values are Belonging and Civic Engagement. IGD provides all students an opportunity to learn more about social identities, celebrate different identities and cultures, and encourage oneself to actively participate in conversation grounded in self-reflection and empathy, and perspective-taking. 

Intergroup Dialogue Program - Course Information

XLRN 150: Foundations in Social Identity

Not Offered this Spring
Course Description: In a diverse and pluralistic society, it is important to recognize and respect diverse identities, beliefs, and backgrounds. This requires engagement with subjects such as race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, religion, (dis)ability, and the intersections between these different identities.  This course has been created as an opportunity to explore, write about, and discuss issues of identity.  Students will be able to define “identity” within a theoretical structure,  apply their knowledge of diversity to a community action project, situate their own identities within historical contexts, global systems, and power relations, and articulate how they have developed their own understandings of “identity” and trace the effect of this course on their individual growth.

XLRN 250: Intergroup Dialogue

Fall 2023: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Apply Here
Course Description: Intergroup Dialogue engages students across identities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and class to explore core readings on topics of identity and social justice through a dialectical pedagogical approach. “IGD” follows the University of Michigan model of intergroup dialogue and technique. Curated sections ensure a balance of identities among students; this is reflected, as well, in the section facilitators.  Weekly classes require preparation of course readings with substantial journal reflections.  During facilitated, guided dialogues, the roles of “student” and “educator” blur, emphasizing learning across roles and empowering those outside of dominant cultural groups.   During the course, participants will examine various types of evidence and engage with personal narratives and reflections; exercises will include participation in intensive group discussions and weekly journals.

XLRN 350/PSYC 390: Dialogue Facilitation Training

Fall 2023: TR 12:30-1:45pm
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Course Description: The course was designed to help you develop knowledge and skills important for potential facilitators of intergroup dialogues, Diversity and Inclusion Community Educators (DICE) workshops, and other social justice dialogues. The course will focus on a grounded understanding of intergroup dialogue and dialogic processes; increased understanding of social justice principles such as social identity, privilege and oppression, power and conflict; facilitation skills and competencies; and explorations of the roles of social justice education and advocacy.

Who Can Enroll?

The courses in this program are designed and offered for students of all years & all majors. There are no official prerequisites for the courses in this program, yet we do have recommendations. Students who are newer to exploring concepts of social identity are encouraged to take XLRN 150 first to gain a foundation. All students interested in XLRN 350 are encouraged to take XLRN 250 beforehand to deepen their grasp of intergroup dialogue pedagogy.

Benefits of IGD

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop a rich and deep understanding of diversity in identity, belief, and background, and use this to work with others who differ from themselves to engage with their broader communities.

Students will be able to skillfully negotiate a shared understanding when communicating with diverse communities and organizations; and they will be able to articulate how an awareness of cultural differences (e.g., in verbal and nonverbal communication) facilitates this.

Students will be able to show how awareness of their own beliefs and actions affect interactions with members of diverse groups, and use such awareness to inform decisions about how to interact successfully with others.

Students will be able to situate their understanding of identity in a global context.

Voices of Past Students

Dialogue has made me realize how much more effective this style of conversation is when approaching harder or more difficult topics.

I really enjoyed being a facilitator and I hope to continue in dialogic work both at SUNY Geneseo and beyond. Dialogues are so useful and reflective and learning about them in this way has given me new skills as a communicator. I address difficult conversations from a whole new perspective now and I am really grateful for all of the opportunities to actively participate and Facilitate.

Because of the intergroup dialogue experience here, in the future I commit not just competing to get positions but using my position to get more people of my color into my position.

Because of the intergroup dialogue experience here, in the future I commit to be an effective ally, not just a bystander.

I want to be able to know more than just what I experienced. No matter where I will be at in my facilitation journey there will always be room for growth, so I am excited to see myself grow more and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between XLRN 250 & 350?

XLRN 250 is an introductory course of IGD, and XLRN 350 is the advanced study of IGD with the goal of training future facilitators. (It is highly recommended to take XLRN 250 prior to XLRN 350). In XLRN 250, students will learn about concepts and application of intergroup dialogue through participation in dialogue about one particular social identity category. In XLRN 350, students will deepen their understanding of IGD and learn how to actually facilitate dialogues of this nature. It requires deeper self-reflection of their own social identity and social conflicts, and skills to build mutually-beneficial relationships with others in order to navigate dialogue about difficult topics.

Do we need to take XLRN 150 prior to 250 & 350?

XLRN 150 is not a prerequisite in these courses, but it is recommended for students newer to the concept of social identity. XLRN 150 class is designed as a foundation of social identity learning and intended to allow students to touch broader social identities in order to test their interests before they dive into intergroup dialogue.

Can we take XLRN 350 before XLRN 150 & XLRN 250?

It is highly recommended to take XLRN 250 prior to XLRN 350, however, depends on an individual’s past experiences, it is possible to take XLRN 350 prior to 250. Please reach out to for more details. 

Who should I reach out to for more information, concerns, and questions regarding the program?

If you have any questions or concerns related to this course, please reach out to

How will the credit be counted on my Degree Works?

Each class will be counted as 3 credits on your Degree Works. Consult your academic advisor for more information about if/how these courses might support the completion of major/minor requirements.

Do these courses count towards a microcredential?

Yes! This course can count towards the Integrative Curricular Microcredential in Intergroup Dialogue and Social Change. Please check the link below for detailed information

I’m not sure about social identity or IGD yet, can I still take a class?

Yes! We highly recommend you to take XLRN 150 as a good place to start.