Established in Fall 2018 as a priority of the Office of Civic Engagement, the Dialogue Across Difference Program seeks to build the capacity of students, faculty, and staff to engage in understanding across differences through dialogue and civil discourse.

Signature Programs

Dialogue Ambassadors program

The Dialogue Ambassadors program was established in 2019 where students, faculty, and staff work together in a learning community to design and implement dialogue programs across campus.

Dinner and Dialogue

As a signature event of Dialogue Across Difference Programs in the Office of Civic Engagement, the Dinner & Dialogue project sets out to bring together students and colleagues from across the university for a meal and structured conversation in an informal, fun setting. 

Public Conversations & Programming

We convene facilitated dialogues and public programming for the campus and greater Sewanee community. Our work is collaborative and provides opportunities to practice and promote dialogue in diverse contexts. 

Workshops and Trainings

Dialogue Across Difference Programs provides training and workshops that strengthens the capacity of students, faculty, and staff to incorporate dialogue into spheres inside and outside the classroom.

Democratic Engagement Initiative

The Democratic Engagement Initiative has been relaunched under the umbrella of the Dialogue program which promotes students to be engaged citizens in the political process in a nonpartisan approach.

Meet the Director

Lydia Reinig | Director of Dialogue Across Difference Programs

Lydia Reinig has joined the Office of Civic Engagement as Director of Dialogue Across Difference Programs. 

Holding a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Communication, her research focused on public deliberation on local environmental policies. Her dissertation, “Participating in Boulder’s Energy Future,” won the 2020 Dissertation of the Year Award from the National Communication Association’s Language and Social Interaction Division.

Before moving to Sewanee, Lydia was a Postdoctoral Research & Teaching Associate at the University of New Hampshire’s Civil Discourse Lab. There she developed an undergraduate curriculum in civil discourse, public dialogue and deliberation and conducted research on ways of sustaining dialogue in the face of polarization.