Dialogues on IDEA

A Five-Part Series on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

We often hear the call for “shared language.” But this search for handy definitions is escapist and unrealistic. Our varying cultures, upbringing, and lived experiences shape our understanding of words such as “equity” and “diversity.”

Dialogues on IDEA helps people unpack these contested words and introduces a simple tool for moving toward action.


A series of 5, 90-minute discussions (via Zoom) designed to help participants:

  • Reflect on and explore differing viewpoints, values, and lived experiences related to the contested words of “diversity,” “equity,” “power,” among others.
  • Develop a personal practice of listening to understand as a precursor to strengthening listening skills within the organization.
  • Build civic “muscles” for conversations about race in other settings.
  • Introduce the framework for “Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization,” (Created by the Cuyahoga Arts Council (©Crossroads Ministry, Chicago, IL: Adapted from original concept by Bailey Jackson and Rita Hardiman, and further developed by Andrea Avazian and Ronice Branding; further adapted by Melia LaCour, PSESD).
  • A presentation; this is a dialogue and everyone is expected to actively participate.
  • A training program; this is about listening and opening to new perspectives, not creating solutions or implementation strategies. Participants may leave with more questions than answers. These questions can inform both personal and collective journeys.
  • Values-centered dialogue reveals nuanced perceptions and multiple realities. This is baseline work for IDEA development as you deepen institutional reflection and move toward systemic change.
  • ALL change begins with dialogue. If we are to build a more equitable and racially just future, we must develop the necessary skills for these dialogues and bring those skills to hard conversations in our schools, companies, civic organizations, congregations, and families.
  • The historical and contemporary impacts of race and racism are difficult topics in American discourse. Our collective inability to talk with each other about what it means, and how it affects our daily lives, is one of the most urgent issues in American life.

The series is valuable for all types of institutions: nonprofit, business, civic, cultural, philanthropic, faith-based, educational, as well as health and human service organizations.

  • Each session is  led by experienced facilitators who are trained in a race-focused version of the Civic Reflection Dialogue (CRD) method. Pioneered by the Center for Civic Reflection (Salisbury University), CRD is proven to enhance the ability to understand diverse perspectives, develop stronger civic commitments, and more.
  • Each dialogue is rooted in a shared source material (image, poem, historic text, video, song, etc.). Spirit & Place has used CRD with outstanding success in two public series, Powerful Conversations on Race and The Corona Dialogues, and we have been invited to present on these at statewide, national, and international arts and humanities conferences.
  • Typical Session Outline: (1) Why are we doing this (host organization); (2) overview of purpose and methodology, (3) common agreements (how we agree to be with each other respectfully), (4) collective exploration of a curated source material (poem, artwork, video, text); (5) small group dialogue guided by questions of clarification (what’s going on), interpretation (what does it mean to me?), and implication (what does it mean for our work and life together in the world?); (6) full group debrief; (7) closing question/activity.
  • Cost: Variable, depending on the size of the group and the number of facilitators needed.


Pam Blevins Hinkle


Pam Blevins Hinkle–arts administrator, song leader, composer, officiant, tree-lover, and kazoo fanatic–has devoted her life to projects that blend creativity, community-building, and spirituality. She has served as director of Spirit & Place since 2006, and is a certified trainer ...

Spirit & Place
Indiana University – Indianapolis
425 University Blvd., CA 003B
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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