Campus News

May 3, 2010

Take Note

New home for Community Dialogues

The Community Dialogues program of Transforming Community Project is moving into the University’s Equal Opportunity Programs office.

Jyotsna Vanapalli, program associate for the TCP, says the Office of Community and Diversity wants to continue the Community Dialogues as a synthesis of EOP and TCP when TCP closes Aug. 31 at the end of its five-year funding. Recognizing this is a “huge statement by the University to institutionalize what was a five-year experiment,” Vanapalli says.

Vanapalli notes the dialogues have moved beyond race and into diversity. “Diversity is more than just black and white,” she says.

The new home will give the dialogues an opportunity for a more localized format. Currently, there are eight two-hour sessions to a dialogue topic and this model does not always fit would-be participants’ schedules, she says.

Vanapalli says TCP is currently working with Campus Services to tailor a dialogue format that addresses their needs.  “During the summer, we will meet with the different local units [across campus] on what works with them,” she says.

Although August marks an end for TCP, the initiative has a conference planned for February 2011 on how the Community Dialogues might work in other organizations and situations. The conference is being funded by the Ford Foundation.

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