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Sustained Dialogue in HCDE

Autumn 2021

Sustained Dialogue on allyship and advocacy 

This 9-week dialogue group welcomes HCDE students to come together in conversation about how to be an ally and an advocate for others who hold different identities than your own. Through an ongoing series of dialogue, participants will learn from one another as they share unique experiences related to identity. 

Who: Open to all HCDE students; 15 participants max.
Facilitators: HCDE PhD student Sourojit Ghosh (G) and HCDE Professor Jennifer Turns
When: Weekly in autumn quarter, timing based on responses of applicants
Format: May be in-person or remote, based on applicant preferences
Application:The application for this dialogue group is now closed.


Sustained Dialogue is a dialogue-to-action process used to help groups build relationships and take action together around shared community concerns. The HCDE Sustained Dialogue program aims to support students, faculty, and staff to build upon their knowledge of identity development, cultural self-awareness, and humility. This process is an intentional, multi-meeting, opt-in process that includes willing members of all groups affected by or contributing to community problems. 

Sustained Dialogue facilitates dialogue around “The Big 10" social identities: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, citizenship/origin, religion, political affiliation, and age.

The Sustained Dialogue program adds value to the lives of participants by providing the following opportunities:

  • Transforms relationships by generating trust 
  • Cultivates authentic leadership  
  • Supercharges conversations and supports conflict resolution 
  • Enhances diversity and inclusion 
  • Uncovers root causes to community issues 
  • Ends dysfunctional patterns 

Since transforming relationships requires an ongoing effort, Sustained Dialogue gradually develops over a five-stage process. Weekly sessions are led by peer moderators who have undergone training on the theory and practice of sustained dialogue. Learn more about HCDE moderator training here.

The Sustained Dialogue program in HCDE was launched in 2020 with support from a grant from UW Resilience Lab. To date, 25 members of the HCDE community have participated in the program by becoming trained in moderator facilitation skills.

How to participate

The HCDE SD Leadership Team will share opportunities about upcoming dialogue groups via the student listservs. If you would like to get involved with the Leadership Team and help implement sustained dialogue groups, please email Leah Pistorius at

Leadership team

The HCDE Sustained Dialogue Leadership Team that helps create the structure for HCDE's program. The following HCDE community members make up the current leadership team:

  • Advisor: Leah Pistorius
  • Outreach Manager: Jay Cunningham 
  • Moderator Manager: Sourojit Ghosh
  • Finance Manager: Kathleen Rascon
  • Institutionalizer: Kenya Mejia
  • Team members: Melissa Ewing, Jennifer Turns, Abigale Stangl, Mark Tas

If you are interested in learning more, or joining the HCDE Leadership Team, email Leah Pistorius at

Dialogue moderators

HCDE moderators who have undergone training with the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network develop, guide, and support the dialogue groups. The first HCDE moderator training workshop was in Winter 2021. To be eligible for moderator training, individuals must have completed at least one 10-week dialogue group. When future moderator trainings are needed, information will be shared with previous participants of HCDE’s dialogue groups.