Dear Smith faculty and staff members,
You may know from past years that Days of Dialogue programming is quickly approaching. This year, there will be sessions on Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Class Rank during the week of October 17th.
Days of Dialogue is a Five College initiative with sessions held during the same week on each campus. The Five College Training and Development Collaborative, working with the Diversity Directors and the Social Justice Program of the UMass School of Education, trained staff and faculty members during the summers of 2009 and 2010 in Intergroup Dialogue facilitation. The sessions being offered between October 17 and October 21 at Smith will be co-facilitated by staff members who completed that training.
Days of Dialogue is an avenue for continuing conversations about important and challenging issues on our campuses. It is essential that we create and sustain environments that are inclusive, 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 discussing difficult issues and finding common ground in building more successful campus communities.
I recognize that time constraints and scheduling conflicts will always present challenges, and I encourage each of you to coordinate with members of your department so that many of you will be able to take advantage of this valuable initiative. I invite you to view the 2011 Days of Dialogue offerings at www.smith.edu/hr/hrdev_catalog.php and register to join your colleagues in dialogue about Race/Ethnicity, Gender, or Class/Rank.
Carol T. Christ