What is Wildcat Dialogues?
Wildcat Dialogues is one of K-State's signature intercultural learning events for all new students.
During Wildcat Dialogues, students gather to:
1) Learn the importance of engaging in meaningful dialogues
2) Learn tools to engage in dialogue about our cultural similarities and differences
3) Strategize and act to create a community of belonging at K-State
Students will engage in a small group of around 10, led by a student, faculty or staff facilitator.
What will take place at Wildcat Dialogues?
The fall 2020 event will be held virtually, rather than in person, due to the health and safety guidelines around COVID-19. Registered students will be emailed by their facilitator the weekend before the event with information about how to join their Zoom session.
Students will be guided through an experience that follows the theme of “My Story - Your Story - Our Story,” as we seek to create a community of belonging for all at K-State.
- My Story: Recognize the ways in which your cultural and social identities make an impact on how you see and experience the world.
- Your Story: Recognize the ways in which others’ cultural and social identities differ from your own and how they see and experience the world differently, like you.
- Our Story: Demonstrate authentic curiosity and empathy when engaging in meaningful dialogues across difference.
- Our Story: Identify tangible action steps you can take to create a community of belonging for all at K-State.
Why does the university host Wildcat Dialogues?
We know that every human has a culture - we each have social and cultural identities, including other constructs such as race, class, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and more - that shape how we see and experience the world. As individuals come to K-State with varied identities, it takes intentional effort to come together as a K-State community and create a community of belonging for all. Wildcat Dialogues is a space to begin intentional building of cross-cultural relationships through vital and meaningful dialogues. We do this to develop, empower, and equip leaders who can navigate a global society with authentic curiosity, empathy and confidence.
Students’ participation in this event during the first semester sets the expectation for all Wildcats to be part of a respectful campus community that recognizes diverse perspectives and identities. This event is an opportunity to bring K-State’s Principles of Community into practice. Cultural competence is rated as one of the top 5 skills employers are looking for in new graduates. Cultural competence and civility help us engage as a community of global citizens.
Do I have to RSVP?
Yes, students need to complete an RSVP by Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The Wildcat Dialogues committee members will build out small groups and communicate with facilitators and students about the event.
What if I am a new transfer student or new graduate student?
All new students are encouraged to participate! Please RSVP by Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
How long will the event last?
Wildcat Dialogues will last from 7-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. You will be actively participating during this time.
Who will lead the small groups?
Trained faculty, staff and upper-class student volunteers will serve as dialogue guides to lead your group through dialogue. Dialogue guides should help create a welcoming space for all students to engage in dialogue and sharing about their lived experiences. Sign up to be a facilitator here.
What do you mean by "dialogue?"
Wildcat Dialogues seeks to create both a “safe space” - where you can feel comfortable sharing your story, and a “brave space” - where you acknowledge that a level of discomfort is required for growth.
Wildcat Dialogues operate from shared principles of dialogue, such as being respectful, staying open and curious, listening and learning from others’ perspectives, and acknowledging discomfort. Because people will be sharing stories from their personal contexts and values, we seek to create the conditions for empathetic listening and mutual respect.
What do you mean by "community of belonging?"
We engage in dialogue in order to create communities of belonging for all at K-State.
- Belonging, being acknowledged for who you are.
- Fitting in, being accepted for being like everyone else.
- “If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.” -Brown, B., Braving the Wilderness, p. 160
How can we create communities, at K-State, in which everyone feels a sense of belonging rather than merely fitting in?
What do you mean by intercultural learning?"
Learning about our own cultures tends to be a self-reflective and intentional process. Learning about our own, then about one another’s cultures leads us toward intercultural learning. As we begin to share experiences with one another, we learn to suspend judgment of the difference we observe so that we can build on what we have in common. Building relationships begins with meeting one another where we are on life’s journeys. We build community together to move us toward a global society.
I can't make it to Wildcat Dialogues – how else can I get involved in Intercultural Development?
- Watch for announcements about Wildcat “Mini-Dialogues” for more opportunities to expand your experiences.
- If you live in If you live in a Residence Hall, talk to your RA about on-going conversations and learning opportunities. For more information, visit their website.
- If you want to volunteer to expand your intercultural experiences, do not hesitate to connect with Tamara Bauer, email@example.com or Debra Bolton, firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved.
- Attend one of UPC’s many Multi-cultural Events and Programs. For more details, visit their website.
- Visit Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs to learn about workshops, events, and multicultural student organizations. Also, check out events from K-State First Book.