The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is seeking students, faculty and staff to lend their voices by volunteering for this year’s Husker Dialogues as conversation guides.
Registration, available here, is due by Aug. 25. Husker Dialogues events will be Sept. 6 and 13.
Husker Dialogues is an annual program, which introduces incoming first-year students to tools to engage in tough, but necessary conversations centered on diversity and inclusion to build campus community and inspire change. It is hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
“Husker Dialogues is one of the initial experiences our first year students will have that pushes them to improve their communication skills,” said Charlie Foster, special assistant to the vice chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion. “We want simply to help our students to be ready for the many valuable lessons that they will learn in college. Among those lessons is the importance of respectful dialogue. Husker Dialogues exposes them to the great stories of our student speakers and then allows them to practice respectful dialogue with our conversation guides.”
Conversation guides are a vital part of the Husker Dialogues experience for students, helping facilitate discussion among participants. Engagement from the guides help power the experience. Volunteers model how incoming Huskers can lead.
“We hope that our students will walk away from the experience curious about how they can be better leaders as they work to create community on our campus,” Foster said. “UNL is a wonderful campus with great values about honoring everyone’s story and ensuring that every interaction matters. At Husker Dialogues, we simply want to give them what could be their first opportunity for a positive inclusive interaction.”
Conversation guides will:
Direct flow of the conversation so that all participants feel heard, respected, and included.
Ask open ended questions that encourage participants to think beyond their perspective.
Boost students’ confidence to engage with peers from different backgrounds and encourage students to create a community at UNL.
Provide participants with a safe space to have difficult conversations.
Conversation guides are required to complete a training, which is 1 hour and 15 minutes, by Aug. 31. Returning guides who have volunteered within the last two years can opt-in or opt-out of the training.
The Husker Dialogues events include an in-person experience 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 6, and a virtual offering 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 13. Volunteers should check in at 6:30 p.m., and will stay for a debrief meeting after each event. Conversation guides are only expected to serve one night but can assist with multiple sessions.
Register to participate here.