Speaking Out While Speaking In

Transforming Intergroup Dialogues With Mindfulness-Based Anti-Racist Practices


  • Jersey Cosantino Syracuse University


Mindfulness, Intergroup Dialogue, Insight Dialogue, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, Dialogic Pedagogy, Social Justice, Higher Education


As a co-facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue Program’s (IGD) course, Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity, at a private, East Coast, predominantly and historically white institution, my role is to help undergraduate students grapple with the complex emotions that King (2018) describes as a manifestation of participating in conversations on race, oppression, and identity. Within the IGD classroom, we implement a research-based curriculum designed to promote “consciousness raising, build relationships across differences and conflicts, and strengthen individual and collective capacities to promote social justice” (Zúñiga, Nagda, Chesler, & Cytron-Walker, 2007, p. 9). Understanding one’s situatedness within powerful historical systems and recognizing one’s peers’ contributions to upholding and/or dismantling institutional forces is foundational to the coalition-building necessary for collective societal liberation. Through an integration of IGD with intentionally crafted mindful dialogic scaffolds that further extend such transformative external dialogues into the personal realm, it becomes possible to guide participants into dialogues with their own selves. By infusing the Intergroup Dialogue model with an anti-racist, mindfulness-based framework rooted in a problematizing and anti-oppression reimagining of Kramer’s (2003) Insight Dialogue guidelines, I hope we can meet the objectives of critical dialogic pedagogy and simultaneously seek a coalition-based liberation that acknowledges that, for many, the “way out” has always been “in” (Hanh, 2001).


Author Biography

Jersey Cosantino, Syracuse University

Cultural Foundations of Education doctoral student.


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