Montana State University

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Public Dialogue: Fear, Safety, and Belonging

Tuesday, November 5, 2013, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Strand Union Building, Ballroom A

On November 5th, Sustained Dialogue at MSU invite students, community members and MSU faculty and staff to join them in discussing fear, safety and belonging. Dr. Leah Schmalzbauer will open the dialogue by addressing the following question: What do the Trayvon Martin case, the Boston Bombings, and the pay equity debate illuminate about fear, safely, and belonging in our society? MSU Sustained Dialogue hopes to explore how the social issues behind these high profile events may exist in our own communities and experiences.

"Dialogue is a great platform to explore complex issues like identity", said Kiah Abbey, MSU Sustained Dialogue facilitator and student program coordinator. "It gives people the rare opportunity to talk about experiences and thoughts that are often seen as taboo."

The MSU chapter of Sustained Dialogue was started in 2011 in response to hateful statements said in passing to Middle Eastern students on campus. Since then they have hosted multiple facilitation trainings for the MSU community as well as two public dialogues about the role of agriculture in shaping identity in Montana. Founded by Dr. Hal Saunders, the Sustained Dialogue model betters participants' understandings of diversity and personal identity through the sharing of personal experience.  The model is in place on more than two dozen campuses across the nation via the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network.

Fear, Safety, and Belonging: A Public Dialogue is free and open to all; however, the conversation may not be appropriate for those under the age of 12. The dialogue will take place in SUB Ballroom A on November 5th from 6-8pm. For more information please call the Diversity Awareness Office at 406-994-5801 or visit

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