Advanced Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator Training

Last Offered: July 13-15, 2016
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Transformational Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation for Advanced Practitioners is a three-day intensive learning experience focused on deepening the capacity of professionals who want to become more proficient in teaching, leading, and managing diverse groups. Transformational Intergroup Dialogue is a social justice education approach which promotes intergroup cooperation and understanding through dialogue.


Each participant must register online and pay online through PayPal below. The registration fee includes all training materials on both days, excluding meals. We will not be providing hotel accommodations or transportation.  Please go to the following website for hotel and travel information: Transportation Link. For information about Philadelphia area hotels, please link to the Philadelphia Visitor's Guide here.

In order to participate in the workshop, advanced registration is required. There are only 20 spots available for this workshop so register as soon as possible.The registration deadline is July 1. We have a sliding registration fee to accommodate varying income and organizational budgets. Below are the rates for those paying for the training through an organization and those paying for the training as an individual (without organizational financial support).
  • Individuals - Income Below $50,000: $275
  • Individuals - Income Above $50,000: $345
  • Organizations - Operating Budget Below $500,000: $475
  • Organizations - Operating Budget Above $500,000: $595
  • (Group rates are available - E-mail
In order to register, please complete the Registration Form by clicking here. After you register, you will be directed to the Registration Payment Page to process your registration payment. No refunds offered, once payment is made unless the program is cancelled. 

The training will take place on Wednesday, July 13, Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 between 9:30am and 4:30pm on each day. The location for the training is the center city campus of Temple University, located at 1515 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. The exact meeting room will be distributed to registered participants.


Transformational Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation for Advanced Practitioners is geared towards professionals interested in improving their skills in facilitating intergroup dialoguewithin their classrooms, organizations, and communities. The training will support practitioners in exploring, understanding and overcoming their obstacles to intergroup dialogue facilitation within their professional and personal lives. This training is only recommended for individuals who have either facilitated intergroup dialogues or participated in numerous intergroup dialogues.  
Many professionals who are proficient in teaching and leading groups related to diversity and social justice have not been sufficiently prepared to manage classrooms, boardrooms or communities where there is significant resistance, enormous doubts and expressed mistrust. Concomitantly, many diversity and social justice leaders and advocates struggle to create inclusive spaces for the unenlightened, inactive, and especially those considered their oppressors.
This training is designed to help practitioners create effective spaces for learning and relationships across differences based on race, gender, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation without compromising their commitment to eradicating oppression. This training will help participants to better understand how they can both improve their capacity to facilitate growth in individuals and groups with historical conflicts and to offer opportunities for those individual and groups (the racists, sexists, and homophobes, etc.) to choose to transform.
Transformational Intergroup Dialogue recognizes the significance of each individual teacher, leader, manager and group member to the advancement of social justice. The success of the movement depends on the ability of the members to support the learning, growth, and transformation of each person who enters our schools, organizations and communities. This training is an opportunity for participants to explore the ways that they facilitate or limit the growth of others.
Some key issues being explored in the training:
  • What do you do to invite people to dialogue with you, your people, and others?
  • Which groups are more challenging for you to understand, facilitate, teach and lead?
  • Where do you need to grow as a teacher, leader and manager to facilitate intergroup dialogue and engagement?
  • What fears do you need to overcome to be effective in intergroup relations?
  • What do you do to engender trust from those who do not share your social identities?
  • What spaces do you create in classrooms, organizations and communities for people to share their biases, prejudices and suffering?
  • How well do you manage diversity conflicts?
  • How well do you treat people you consider to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and classist?How do you support their development and transformation?
  • How do you support your own development and transformation in the area of intergroup relations?

Participants will explore their personal and interpersonal capacities for intergroup dialogue facilitation, including emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-confidence, empathy, trustworthiness, relationship building); multicultural awareness (seeing differences as assets; willingness to examine one’s own cultural assumptions, values, biases, and worldview); and awareness of power dynamics in groups and institutions. 

The goal is for participants to be able to:
  • Learn an approach for gaining the trust and respect of individuals who are culturally different from themselves
  • Develop an awareness of one’s own obstacles to facilitating dialogue with diverse groups
  • Understand the most challenging aspects of intergroup dialogue facilitation as a teacher, leader, manager or group member
  • Recognize their facilitation assets and liabilities
  • Explore the dimensions of themselves that they would like to change, improve or transform as a facilitator, leader, manager or group member when working with diverse groups
  • Minimize their fears during intergroup interactions as a participant or in a position of leadership
Participants will engage in activities relevant to emotional intelligence, group membership and diversity and to the practice of facilitating intergroup dialogues and leading, teaching or 
managing diverse groups. Developing these capacities requires first, the facilitator’s self-awareness about his/her own positionality and attitudes regarding diversity; and second, the capacity to develop trust and shared motivations among diverse group members. Included in self-awareness is awareness of (a) any biases one may hold and how one may overcome them; (b) the roles one enacts in different contexts; and (c) the ways one participates in collaborative situations. The development of collaboration in a diverse group involves participants’ awareness of the masks we all wear, and creating relationships and an environment in which participants feel free to drop their masks and speak relatively freely about difficult topics.

The training will deepen participants’ understanding of how to work with diverse groups in professional and community settings.  Participants will review their personal and professional masks, and the ways their fears influence attitudes and behaviors related to social group identity.
TRAINING METHODOLOGY: IGD+TST=Transformational Intergroup Dialogue
Transformational Intergroup Dialogue draws from two well-known and successful models for promoting democratic dialogue, action and civic engagement in the context of diversity: (a) the Michigan Intergroup Relations Model (,  a process used by the University of Michigan and universities throughout the United States to promote intergroup dialogue and engagement in higher education and community settings; and (b) Transformational Social Therapy (TST), a process used internationally to promote knowledge sharing and collaborative action involving diverse parties in municipalities, civil society, educational settings, and other public arenas. Both models are informed by the theory and practice of multicultural citizenship and theory and research on learning and equitable social change in the context of diversity. TST’s grounding in depth psychology and critical social theory complements the Michigan Model by contributing a more robust understanding of the ways human needs and social structures interact and influence intergroup behavior.
Intergroup Dialogue
An intergroup dialogue is a facilitated learning approach that engages participants in exploring issues of identity, inequality and change through continuous, face-to-face meetings between people from two or more social identity groups that have a history of conflict or potential conflict. Intergroup dialogue is an innovative strategy to enhance participant’s awareness, knowledge and skills in relating to people who are different from them. Dialogues assist participants in enhancing their skills in the area of multicultural competency development, cross-cultural communications, problem solving, teamwork and collaboration.
There are a number of universities that conduct annual intergroup dialogues following the model of the University of Michigan, including the University of Maryland College Park, University of Washington, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Occidental College, Arizona State, Villanova University and Skidmore College. Under this model, the aim is for participants to construct new meanings together, build alliances, and move to action. Two trained facilitators from varying identity groups facilitate the dialogue. The facilitators are trained in the following areas: self-awareness, including awareness of their own social identity in the context of systems of domination/privilege and of oppression/exclusion; knowledge of the groups involved in the dialogue; group process; and community building.
Transformational Social Therapy
Charles Rojzman, a renowned French social psychologist, author, and international consultant, invented Transformational Social Therapy twenty years ago as a method for transforming institutions by helping people address the hatred and violence that separate them and prevent them from working together. The Charles Rojzman Institute ( has done extensive work in resolving intergroup violence and conflicts in France, Rwanda, Chechnya, and Israel. Transformational Social Therapy was formally taught through Temple University’s Graduate Certificate in Diversity Leadership between 2009 and 2013.  

The main goal of TST, which begins with group dialogues and leads to transformative action, is to foster the practice and theory of healthy multicultural democracies by building relationships between individuals and groups. TST is oriented to community problem-solving, particularly where groups are divided and problems appear intractable. The TST group building process allows participants to express their emotions, feel sufficiently safe to come into non-violent conflict, share information, and engage in transformative action on problems that affect them.
The transformation of violence into conflict is a key aspect of TST. Violence, defined as the denial of the humanity of the other, is a pathological accommodation to fears that arise from a confluence of societal, institutional, and personal factors. This kind of violence prevents people from living, working, and problem solving together and provides support for fear-based authoritarian and extremist perspectives. The group process enables participants to move from blaming others to taking collective responsibility for the problems they face.  The ability to come into conflict, without the usual “masks”, enables participants to take collective responsibility for the problems they face and put on the table what they know about particular issues or problems.
Since 2010 a group of professionals in the Philadelphia region have implemented TID through a program called Real Talk: Engaging Diversity through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue. Real Talk has helped participants better understand the impact of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and class on individuals and groups through face-to-face, interactive exchanges focused on the reality of who people are rather than the fear that has been taught through group and cultural norms. 
Several Real Talk facilitators have provided professional development programs, workshops and dialogues to promote intergroup collaboration and learning around diversity issues for higher education faculty and administrators, as well as for community leaders and entrepreneurs. For four years at Temple University, Tchet Dereic Dorman (as the former Director of the Center for Social Justice and Multicultural Education) and Pamela Barnett (as the former Associate Provost/Director of the Teaching and Learning Center)  partnered to offer a monthly workshop series for faculty teaching race courses called ​ Can We Talk?: Teaching About Race and Diversity (​)​. The series provided an opportunity for over 200 faculty members to improve their ability to teach diversity courses by developing inclusive curricular and pedagogical strategies. 
Can We Talk? Teaching About Race and Diversity has been offered as a training workshop for faculty and administrators throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Can We Talk? assists faculty and teachers in discovering their individual obstacles to effectively teaching diverse groups, learn approaches to encourage the discussion of diversity topics among students, and explore pedagogical strategies that will enable them to develop trust   among diverse group members.   Participants also learn how to encourage students to express their emotions, feel sufficiently safe to come into non­violent conflict, share information, and engage in transformative action on problems that affect them, their peers and institutions.
For references on the Real Talk Dialogues from recent participants, please go to the following website:  
Tchet Dereic Dorman and Hillary Blecker have facilitated hundreds of dialogues, taught scores of classes, and led hundreds of workshops over the past 20 years collectively. Some of the trainings they have facilitated include, Can We Talk? Teaching About Race and Diversity at Albright College, Westmoreland Community College, Cabrini College, and Wilkes University; Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator Training at Harrisburg Area Community College, Anne Arundel Community College; Bloomsburg University, Saint Joseph’s University, Juniata College, Western Carolina University, Bowdoin College and the University of Wisconsin at Platteville; Leading and Teaching without Fear: Embracing Diversity through Constructive Conflict at the 22nd Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education;  Empowering Educators to Engage Diversity: Promoting Academic Excellence for All Students at Friends’ Central School; ​ Real Talk: Engaging Gender and Race through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue at the 17th Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Chapter of NAME at Keystone College; and Walking Our Talk: Professional Development for Facilitating Dialogue on Race and Diversity at the Network for Academic Renewal Conference of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Tchet and Hillary offered the first Introduction to Transformational Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation Symposium at Temple in 2014. They have also collaborated to offer a race and class dialogue at the Tree House Bookstore and for the Philly Fellows. They co-facilitated a two-part Black-Jewish Dialogue and provided student leadership training at the Pennsylvania College of Technology called Real Talk: Engaging Diversity through Dialogue. Tchet and Hillary have also facilitated a workshop, Real Talk: Engaging Race through Transformational Intergroup Dialogue, at the 18th Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Chapter of NAME at West Chester University.

Additional Biographical Information:
Tchet Dereic Dorman is the Owner of Pyramid Consulting Services, a non-profit company providing diversity education, training, evaluation, and assessment services to educational institutions, private companies and community-based organizations. He formerly served as the Director of the Center for Social Justice and Multicultural Education in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership at Temple University. He is the founder of Temple's Transformational Intergroup Dialogue program and managed the Graduate Certificate in Diversity Leadership. Additionally, he has also taught the following relevant courses: Emotions, Diversity, and Democratic Leadership; African American History; African Literature; Introduction to African American StudiesGender Studies; Class, Gender and Race in the Global Village; Social ConflictIntroduction to Sociology; Cultural Anthropology and Multiculturalism and the American Identity.  The National Association for Multicultural Education named him the Educator of the Year in 2007. Tchet received a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, and received a Master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University where he is an advanced doctoral candidate completing a dissertation on race dialogues.

Hillary Blecker has a decade of experience designing and facilitating participatory trainings on
workplace and community issues from developing advocacy skills to creating safer workplaces. She has worked with unions, day labor worker centers, and health clinics. Three years ago, Hillary co-founded the Philadelphia Trainers’ Collaborative, which brings educators, organizers, and trainers together to share techniques and improve their ability to use education for transformation. Hillary is a founding partner of The Blue Door Group. TBDG provides high quality, customized training, facilitation and consulting services to various educational and civic organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Hillary earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, and a graduate certificate in diversity leadership from Temple University. She formerly worked as the Training Coordinator at the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health.