DIVERSITY IN DIALOGUE (DID)
In Nashville, Diversity in Dialogue (DID) began under the leadership of the Nashville Coalition Against Racism (NCAR) in 1996. In 1998, NCAR partnered with Scarritt-Bennett Center for the purpose of bringing community-wide dialogue groups to Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Today, DID is a program of the Scarritt-Bennett Center, an organization with a strong commitment to the eradication of racism and to the celebration of diversity. In Nashville, the program focuses primarily on race relations, diversity and faith traditions and practices, but can be used to address a variety of issues such as police and community relations, immigration, schools, unemployment, youth, and neighborhoods. To date, over 2,500 people in Nashville have gone through DID and have participated in “honest conversations” about sensitive issues.
WHAT ARE DID GROUPS?
Dialogue groups are made up of 8-12 diverse individuals. Led by trained facilitators, they provide a forum for people to share their feelings, opinions and thoughts in a non-defensive, non-critical environment. The objective is to help participants understand their own and other’s views on racism, diversity and immigration, and faith traditions and practices to create long-term change.
Scarritt-Bennett hosts DID groups throughout the year that are open to the general community. In addition, the program is available to businesses, groups and organizations.
How can DID Groups benefit your group, company or organization?
Through facilitated conversation, DID groups increase awareness and understanding of different perspectives. The dialogue experience can ultimately increase efficiency and productivity of the group by eliminating barriers established by cultural, economic, and social
DID is an experience that has been used successfully in workplaces to improve how employees relate to one another, reduce tension that may be related to diversity or race issues, and foster an atmosphere of respect.
Previous DID groups in the Nashville Area:
- Metropolitan Nashville Government Employees (Metro Human Relations Commission)
- Emerging Leaders of Nashville
- Belmont University
- Metropolitan Nashville Department Directors
- Police and Hispanic Community Relations in the Woodbine Area
- Tennessee Center for Child Welfare
- Numerous Nashville communities and faith-based organizations
- Williamson County
There is a fee for having a DID group, which varies according to length and needs of the dialogue group. Please call DID office for more information.
The success of this program depends on community individuals who become trained in implementing the dialogue groups. If you are interested in becoming a facilitator, please contact the DID office.
INTERESTED IN HOSTING A DID GROUP?
Please contact the DID office. We will tailor the group to your specific needs.
Diversity in Dialogue (DID) Office at Scarritt-Bennett Center
1008 19th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
DID is a program that creates long-term change in the way people treat one another by placing a strong emphasis on group dialogue about issues surrounding race. It encourages participants to examine how our experiences help shape our beliefs, thoughts, and actions toward others.
The goal of DID is not to convince people to "change", but the program does foster an environment in which people can listen to one another's perspectives about racism. In this respect, participants usually do experience a personal transformation.
The next DID on Racism begins on April 2, 2014 and is a 5 week series.
FROM OUR PARTICIPANTS:
"This experience has been one of enlightenment and enjoyment. It forces you to be introspective and to take action. Beginning the conversation is the first step, and Diversity in Dialogue is a great way to get started."
"Invaluable opportunity to learn, practice and model tolerance and diversity. I loved this experience."
"DID helped me to personally identify strengths and weaknesses in how I view my co-workers, neighbors and others. I learned that I may not have been as forward thinking as I perceived I was. This was a great personal journey for me."
"The DID sessions offer a great opportunity for personal reflection and growth."
Dialogues on Faith provide a respectful environment in which opinions and issues about different faiths can be shared, explored and discussed, without pressure to convert to other faiths. The interfaith dialogues will focus on increasing mutual understanding of different faiths, developing interfaith relationships, and community healing.