The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is calling on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community to lend their voices by volunteering for this year’s Husker Dialogues as conversation guides.
In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, Huskers Dialogues is going virtual this year. The sessions will be held Sept. 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to help host multiple nights.
Husker Dialogues introduces incoming first-year students to the tools they need to engage in meaningful conversations and create an inclusive Husker community. Through Husker Dialogues, Huskers empower other Huskers to use their voices. The goal of the program is to create an environment to have tough, but important discussions on campus and foster inclusive excellence.
“Students will hear their peers tell their stories and have the opportunity to sit in groups to practice conversations about the different life experiences that people have,” said Charlie Foster, assistant vice chancellor for inclusive student excellence and chair of the Husker Dialogues event. “This practice is important as many people struggle to understand others and to show respect for them. As Huskers we expect respect and kindness.”
The conversation guides are a fundamental part of the Husker Dialogues experience. These volunteers help lead small discussion groups of first-year students during the event. Faculty, staff and non first-year students can serve as guides. Training for conversation guides will be conducted online via Canvas and Zoom beginning Aug. 11. There are multiple training dates through Sept. 3. Those interested in becoming guides can sign up on the Husker Dialogues website by Aug. 18.
“Faculty and staff, who participate as guides, gain training about leading and facilitating hard discussions. They are better able to manage such discussions in their classrooms, work environments and personal lives,” Foster said.
Earlier this summer, Chancellor Ronnie Green said “now must be different.” The Office of Diversity and Inclusion wants to inspire the campus community to be vulnerable and brave by participating in these conversations, especially during this time in our nation.
“Courageous conversations are important in culture now more than ever as we struggle to deal with the problem of systemic racism that shows up in work and social environments,” Foster said. “We have to be ready to show the world that our university values diversity and inclusion and strives to be a leader in changing systems towards a better end. As the Chancellor has said clearly, we are seeking to make steps as a community on an antiracist journey.”
Ready to join the conversation? More information and registration to be conversation guide can be found on the Husker Dialogues website.