Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Sustained Dialogue workshop discusses leadership

The University of Alabama Crossroads Community Center and Sustained Dialogue Network will host a workshop this Saturday addressing leadership across culture. The workshop will be held in the Anderson Room at the Ferguson Center from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The mission of the Sustained Dialogue Network is to get University students to speak up about prominent and controversial issues. This Saturday’s workshop is designed to provide insight into effective intercultural communication to campus leaders.

Students from various cultural organizations across campus were invited to attend, and Beverly Hawk, director of the University’s Crossroads Community Center, said she expects a good turnout.

“This workshop offers training in strategies for effective intercultural communication,” Hawk said. “The knowledge serves as a foundation for leadership in campus organizations and workplace communities, and a preparation for lifelong learning in intercultural understanding.”

Hawk said that the Sustained Dialogue Network not only offers training strategies but also an opportunity to engage in conversation in an atmosphere of respect and community.

“It leaves each participant with a deeper appreciation of individual complexity and a meaningful connection to the members of the dialogue group,” Hawk said.

James Woodham, the president of the University’s Sustained Dialogue Network, said he’s looking forward to this Saturday’s workshop.

“I’ve seen Sustained Dialogue grow exponentially in the short time that I’ve been involved, and each semester we have more and more students expressing an interest in joining us,” Woodham said. “We hosted our first workshop open to the campus community at the beginning of this year, and maxed out our enrollment within the first week or two of its announcement.”

Woodham said that the Sustained Dialogue team hopes to continue in that success this weekend.

“This weekend, participants will learn about the importance of intercultural dialogue, and how to engage with others who may share a different cultural background than themselves,” Woodham said. “We’ll also discuss the best way to lead an intercultural dialogue, and provide the participants with a greater understanding of working with people on an intercultural basis.”

Isabela Morales, the vice president of Sustained Dialogue, said she enjoys the openness of Sustained Dialogue.

“There are so many taboos on conversation in the general culture,” Morales said. “I can’t count how many times I’ve been reminded that politics and religion are not appropriate conversation for the dinner table.  But when are we allowed to talk about controversial issues?”

Morales said that the goal of Sustained Dialogue is to get students to speak up.

“You don’t have to be an orator or a political science major to have a valid opinion on supposedly taboo topics,” Morales said.  “We don’t want academic discussions or ideological rants in Sustained Dialogue: we want participants to open up, share their personal experiences and learn from each other.”

This workshop is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen intercultural discussion skills among students on the University’s campus. It is one of the Sustained Dialogue Network’s signature events. All members of the campus community are welcome, and the workshop is free.

More to Discover