Critical Dialogues

University of California, Berkeley is a campus community where all of its members feel valued, respected, and appreciated for their distinct qualities, beliefs, and talents.

Critical Dialogue Across Differences (CDAD) provides a space for dialogue around issues of difference and identity in social and cultural groups. Through community where all of its members feel valued, respected, and appreciated for their distinct qualities, beliefs, and talents.  Our mission is to create a culturally-competent UC Berkeley student community that is poised for leadership in a global society.  To that end, our Critical Dialogues program will focus on social cognitive and democracy outcomes such as: comfort with conflict, awareness of multiple identities (both personal and social), taking action, and identifying self-interest vs. public good in order to achieve this vision (Hurtado, 2000).

Course Discription
CDAD is designed to assist in creating a campus and community through dialogue. In a culturally and socially diverse society, discussion of differences is needed to facilitate understanding and build relationships among people. Through this course, students will explore their own narrative and those of others in various social and institutional contexts, all the while learning from each others' perspectives and from the practice of dialogue. Dialogue is not debate.  Dialogue requires learning to listen, asking questions of others and of oneself, and committing to understanding other perspectives, even those with which we may not agree. Students will also explore ways of taking action to create change and bridge differences at the interpersonal and social/community levels. In-class learning will be enhanced through readings, films, weekly journal-writing and a final reflection paper.More information about Critical Dialogues Across Differences is available on the website: 

Learning Outcomes
Through participation in Critical Dialogues Across Difference, students will:

  • Learn to see the world from the perspective of another and reflect  upon their own experience
  • Practice dialogic communication skills (e.g. speaking, listening, suspending judgement and exploring assumptions)
  • Participate in activities that build positive community through understanding and collaboration 

Program Sponsors
Co-Sponsored by Campus Life & Leadership and the Office of Student Development at University of California, Berkeley