TRACKS Intergroup Dialogue Program is rooted in the tenets of the evidence-based Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) model of prejudice reduction from the University of Michigan, and the work of Gordon Allport (1954), which supports that intergroup prejudice and violence is often based on perception of differences rather than actual differences (Robinson, Keltner, Ward, and Ross 1995).
The model follows 4 stages:
- Creating a Shared Meaning of Dialogue,
- Inviting participants to explore Identity, Social Relations and Conflict,
- Exploring and Dialoguing about Issues of Social Justice pertinent to the group,
- Inviting participants to consider ways in which to apply the lessons learned.
IGD is an effective strategy to help community members engage in peaceable, focused, and organized dialogue about social justice issues Occurring through a highly systematized process and over a series of several sessions, IGD nurtures and empowers by offering a voice and a direction forward to marginalized populations and communities through thoughtful engagement and relationship building. Unfolding over time in a confidential setting, IGD is a process designed to facilitate multicultural and social justice exploration, creating a shared experience exploring social relations and conflict as well as application of lessons learned to promote community, healing, unity, and harmony. IGD outcomes are fairly well researched and documented. Facilitated by trained and skilled group leaders, IGD aims to:
- engage participants with issues of social identity development and social standing, (
- provide group members with an opportunity to learn about each other as members of difference social identity groups,
- increase participant understanding of driving forces behinds difference and dominance,
- help group members develop the ability to analyze issues from various perspectives, (5) help participants develop useful skills to work with cultural variations and conflicts,
- support groups members in developing empowered approaches to building alliances and networking collaboratively across differences in culture and power.