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In Conclusion...

Engaging in dialogue on race is just one way for an individual to begin to address the inequities that the racial divide causes in our society. The truth is that many changes need to take place in many areas in our societyfrom our personal attitudes and social interactions, to our public policies and the way our institutions function, and dialogue is only a part of the solution.

Dialogue, however, can be used as a means to address problems in any of these areas. Community-wide race dialogue efforts which utilize the nine strategies addressed on this site can effect change not only in an area's race-related problems, but can work toward solving problems across the board. A well-run dialogue program strengthens a community's ability to solve all kinds of problems by:

- encouraging new leaders to emerge in the community
- revitalizing stagnant institutions
- creating new connections among individuals and groups, and
- instilling a new sense of hope in community members.

But a dialogue effort need not be community-wide to make some of these changes. Single dialogue groups can instill such powerful results within their members, too.

Racism is a systemic form of oppression which was created and enforced over many generations. No matter how hard we try, it will not be eradicated in a day by any groupregardless of size. But every race dialogue program can be a positive, powerful step in the right direction.

Some recommendations for further research:

Many questions came up during Heierbacher's research which should be explored within the dialogue field. The Strategies outlined on this site work for U.S. dialogue efforts, but which of these strategies also work in other countries? Are there any universal strategies for integrating talk with action?

An important topic to explore is how the dialogue movement can become more cohesive, enabling groups in different parts of the country to learn readily from each others successes and failures. In what ways could email and the Internet be utilized to bring dialogue efforts together?

Also important to examine is what kinds of training help dialogue participants, facilitators and organizers take more effective action. What is the best way to implement this training, and when is it not appropriate?

The Dialogue to Action Initiative and www.Thataway.org are ?2001 by Sandy Heierbacher and Andy Fluke. ?
Last changes added on Saturday, December 29, 2001 5:48 PM ?
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