September 29, 2010
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I invite you to join Smith colleagues in an important Five College initiative beginning October 18, 2010.
Last year, the Five Colleges held a Day of Dialogue on all of our campuses. Due to the active participation on each campus and the expressed interest of participants to continue these discussions, this summer the Five College Training and Development Collaborative, working with the Diversity Directors and the Social Justice Program of the UMASS School of Education, trained another group of sixty employees from each of the five campuses as Intergroup Dialogue facilitators.
These faculty and staff facilitators will lead another series of discussion groups during the Days of Dialogue beginning October 18th. At our Smith campus you can choose from any of 10 sessions offered each day October 18th through 22nd. I encourage you to view the offerings at www.smith.edu/hr/hrdev_catalog.php. You can also obtain information about Days of Dialogue at an information table hosted by HR Learning & Development and Staff Council on Wednesday, September 29th, 11:30 to 1:30, outside the Campus Center Café.
The Days of Dialogue will be an avenue for continuing conversations about important and challenging issues on our campuses. It is essential that we create and sustain campus environments that are welcoming and encourage open and honest conversations. One proven way of achieving this goal is to provide intentional opportunities for dialogue. I and the other presidents of the five colleges hope that these sessions will help all of us to become more effective at talking about difficult issues and finding common ground in building more successful campus communities.
Based on the result of these dialogues, we will be able to design additional opportunities to continue this effort.
I encourage each of you to make appropriate plans with others in your department so that you can participate in this important initiative.
Carol T. Christ