Campus & Culture

Top Reasons to Participate in the Second Annual Day of Dialogue

by Erin O'Boyle

Day of Dialogue artwork of four faces in black and red.

Artwork by Saint Joseph's student Gabriela Lorenzo

Keys to the Article
  • The University will host its second annual Day of Dialogue on Feb. 25, and all classes before 7:30 p.m. are cancelled to allow members of the community to participate.
  • Different sessions with diverse focuses will be held throughout the day, from anti-racism discussions, to professional development sessions, to workshops on how to be a better ally.
  • Speakers include current St. Joe’s students, faculty and outside guests from the Philadelphia community, and sessions will be available in person and online.

On Thursday, Feb.25, Saint Joseph’s will host its second annual Day of Dialogue, a day when the University community comes together to participate in conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion through practical, participatory and action-oriented sessions. Classes prior to 7:30 p.m. are canceled to allow as many as possible to participate in a mix of in-person and online sessions.

We’ve compiled a list of the top reasons why you should participate in this year’s Day of Dialogue:

  1. Choose from a wide range of topics: From anti-racism and social justice, to gender and LGBTQIA+ identities, to professional development and inclusion, these sessions will span a wide range of subjects to help participants become more informed. Learn from experts, listen to your peers share their experiences, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  2. Students will be among the presenters this year: Several sessions will be run by current St. Joe’s students, including the Be Civil Identity Workshop, “I’m Not Racist”: A Workshop on Performative Activism, and Undocumented Limbo. 
  3. Listen to guest speakers from the community: Keynote speakers Jonathan Lovitz of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Sharmain Matlock-Turner of the Urban Affairs Coalition will open and close the day’s presentations. Also joining are Philadelphia City Councilmembers Kendra Brooks and Helen Gym, two of many guest speakers. They will discuss what taking action around injustice looks like.
  4. Can’t make it to campus? Online sessions will be available: Based on last year’s large attendance, and to comply with physical distancing guidelines, nearly half of the programs offered this year will be held completely online via Zoom.
  5. Both online and in-person sessions will still be interactive and action-oriented: Come to these programs ready to participate, engage and take notes. Dialogue and discussions are encouraged, and many sessions – including those online – are interactive. Programs such as Exploring Gender with SJU Pride, and Love Radically? are just a few that encourage attendee participation. Other creative activities will include a printmaking station, a post-it note wall and a coloring and reflection space.
  6. Sign up to participate in Safe Zone training: The Day of Dialogue will offer another opportunity for attendees to participate in Safe Zone training, which helps build inclusive spaces, and provides resources and information to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Learn about the spectrum of gender identities, and how to be an ally instead of a bystander to injustice. 
  7. Sessions are available for faculty and staff: The Day of Dialogue is not just for students; faculty and staff are also encouraged to attend and participate. Programs such as Gender and Syllabus Design, Teaching Anti-Racism for First Year Students, and Examples and Implications of the Matilda Effect are geared specifically for a faculty and staff audience.
  8. The committee listened to your feedback from last year: Many people remarked that the Day of Dialogue should be an event that everyone at St. Joe’s can attend, and the planning committee heard you! No classes will be held before 7:30 p.m. that day. The University also brought back some session favorites, such as LINES (Leaning Into New Experiences and Situations) and Danger of a Single Story. 

Register now to get a spot in your favorite session. Registration opens on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and closes Feb. 19. Spots are limited, so sign up for your preferred programs now, and follow #SJUDialogue to see more of the day's events!