Conversations That Matter is Northeastern’s premier campus dialogues initiative. Our aim is to provide necessary training for Northeastern community members, including students, faculty, and staff, to learn the skills of structured dialogue across difference and to incorporate it into their daily lives, in and out of the classroom. We also create opportunities for Northeastern community to engage in dialogue on pressing matters in the world that directly impact our relationships and lives. (Below is a list of some dialogue topics from the 2015-2016 academic year). Our hope is to bring multiple perspectives to the table and provide an opportunity for people to hear one another deeply across differences.

Currently, the dialogue model we primarily use is the model of structured reflective dialogue as practiced by the the organization Essential Partners (previously named Public Conversations Project).  This approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world – but its principles are widely applicable for everyday conversation. An intentional communication process can help students, staff, faculty, and communities build trust, enhance resilience for addressing future challenging issues, and have constructive conversations. These trainings are offered by CSDS to the campus community at least once every semester.

Training Objectives:

 Achieve shared, clear, and mutually understood purpose in a conversation.

 Design a framework for a constructive conversation that will encourage people to participate fully, listen actively, and enhance empathy.

 Stimulate self-discovery and curiosity about the “other” through questions that promote connection, curiosity and caring.

To train as a Dialogue Facilitator, please email

We also have a student dialogue group called Open Narratives. For more information, email


Northeastern Community Dialogues


  •         Black Lives Matter
  •         White People, White Privilege
  •         ISNU and IV- Race and Faith
  •         Title IX by We Care and OIDI
  •         Training for ResLife Staff
  •         LGBTQA Students of Color
  •         Islamophobia
  •         South Asian and East Asian students
  •         PanHellenic Conversation on Drug Culture
  •         Dialogue with the Deans
  •         Jewish Muslim Dialogue
  •         Sunni Shia Dialogue
  •         Israeli- Palestinian Dialogue
  •         Guns
  •         Dialogue in partnership with Northeastern Crossing about university-community relations
  •         Dialogues in conjunction with College of Social Science and Humanities faculty
  •         Masculinity
  •         Immigration and Belonging