Opportunities for Dialogue

3 January 2024

Welcome back! I hope that you had a good holiday break, and enjoyed spending time with family or friends. 

As we launch into winter term, we are all continuing to process world events and their impact on the nation and our campus. The last few weeks have demonstrated, among other things, that colleges and universities can themselves become contested sites of public discourse, and get swept up in broader narratives about geopolitics, diversity efforts, and campus culture. 

Here at Carleton, we will continue to focus our attention on opportunities for conversation and dialogue on campus, particularly in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. As one example, later this month the Inclusion, Equity and Community office will present two virtual panels with representatives from the Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF), an organization established in 1995 by a joint Israeli-Palestinian group. PCFF members who have lost loved ones to the ongoing cycle of violence share their stories in the hope of promoting mutual understanding and progress towards peaceful solutions. Following the first panel, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement and the Chaplain’s Office will facilitate opportunities for students to engage in dialogue and reflect on the panel discussion. More information will be forthcoming shortly. 

This week also kicks off the Winter Term Dialogue series, in which students, faculty, and staff who have signed up to participate attend convocation in weeks 1, 3, and 5, and engage in informal discussion groups following each presentation. The goal of the program is not only to enhance understanding of the substance of each of the convo presentations, but to practice skills of conversation, listening, and debate. This Friday’s convo with Anthony Abraham Jack, noted sociologist and expert on the experiences of low-income and first-generation college students, is a great place to begin the discussion.

I hope that you are able to take part in these or other opportunities for conversation and exchange, which are fundamental to our sense of community and to the shared educational experience that brings us to Carleton.

Featured in Carleton Today, January 4, 2024