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Sustained Dialogue in HCDE


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:

  • Leah Pistorius (program advisor), HCDE staff
  • Sourojit Ghosh, PhD student
  • Alex Llapitan, HCDE staff
  • Mina Zavary, undergraduate student

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.

Past Sustained Dialogue Groups