The Power of Dialogue

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Power of Dialogue: Deconstructing the Rural-Urban Divide (POD) is a 5-week immersive dialogue experience that brings together students from Georgetown University, Radford University, Columbia University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania to 1) build dialogue skills needed for navigating contentious issues, and 2) develop the cultural dexterity students need to serve as a bridge between rural and urban communities. Through weekly evening dialogue sessions, interactive exercises, 1-on-1 conversations, and videos, students will increase their self-awareness and ability to manage differences in a range of settings.

Program Overview

Week 1 (Sep 23): How divided are we?

Exercise: Participation styles
Interactive discussion: What is the rural-urban divide and why does it matter?
Prep for week 2: Living the Rural-Urban Divide video

Week 2 (Sep 30): What is getting in the way?

Exercise: Cognitive biases and countering stereotyping
Interactive discussion: Individual vs. communal responsibility
Prep for week 3: Urban Complexities video

Week 3 (Oct 7): What are they thinking?

Exercise: Advanced listening exercise
Interactive discussion: The distribution of resources, power and opportunity between racial groups
Prep for week 4: America, We Need to Talk video

Week 4 (Oct 14): What do I have to contribute?

Exercise: Dialogue skills for challenging conversations
Interactive discussion: Climate and the rural/urban economies
Prep for week 5: Many Appalachias: Myths and Realities video

Week 5 (Oct 21): Where do we go from here?

Interactive discussion: How do we add value?
Exercise: Next steps 

Important Details

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What is the schedule?

The program will meet weekly from 9/23 through 10/21. Each of the five Zoom sessions will take place on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 PM ET.

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What happens between sessions?

Between sessions, participants will watch a short video. Georgetown students will have additional assignments.

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Who will participate in the program?

Undergraduates from Georgetown University, Radford University, Columbia University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Questions? Email us at