Janetta Hammock, Edwin Mayes, Naomi Sigg and John Killings pose for photo

CWRU Sustained Dialogue program receives national award

The ethos of sustained dialogue has had a positive and powerful effect on the Case Western Reserve University campus since 2013, when the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network was formed. The program aims to engage members of the CWRU community in dialogues that cultivate strong, trusting relationships and foster respect for each individual and their ability to contribute to positive change.

The success of the program on campus has led the Sustained Dialogue Advising Team to be chosen as a recipient of this year’s National Dialogue Award, presented by the Sustained Dialogue Institute. This award recognizes the influence of integrating Sustained Dialogue into active groups on campus and the pivotal role this work has had in campus responses to challenging moments.

The Case Western Reserve University team is composed of:

  • Janetta Hammock, diversity program manager;
  • John Killings, associate director of multicultural leadership and programming;
  • Edwin Mayes, director of first-year experience and family programs; and
  • Naomi Sigg, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The team will travel to Washington, D.C., Nov. 16 to receive the award.

Other award winners this year include former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

An independent advisory board selected the recipients of the awards. Sustained Dialogue Institute President Mark Farr said: “We’re proud of them. The winners from the Campus Network have each shown the promise of a life marked by dialogue. We hope the award encourages our awardees to promote Sustained Dialogue between those of difference for decades to come.”

Since Sustained Dialogue Campus Network began, the university has benefited from many successful initiatives and programs directly related to the Sustained Dialogue program. Sustained Dialogue is a part of Diversity 360 training curriculum delivered to all first-year students during orientation as well as many faculty, staff and graduate students. Sustained Dialogue also was added formally to the Employee Wellness Program in spring 2016 to build the community and facilitate opportunities for positive change on campus.

CWRU hosted the What You Do Matters Leadership Symposium in 2015 in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. Brittany Chung (CWR ’16) received the National Student Sustained Dialogue Award in 2015. A student Sustained Dialogue group led to the creation of You Are Not Alone (YANA), a student organization that brings awareness of mental health to communities of color. Several community-wide Days of Dialogue were created to address national, regional and local social justice issues.

For more information about the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network at Case Western Reserve, visit students.case.edu/diversity/groups/dialogue/.