Intergroup Relations (IGR)

Intergroup Relations (IGR) is an educational experience about issues of social justice.

The focus of IGR is on creating understanding relationships among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups. Communication skills related to careful listening and meaningful dialogue are also discussed and developed for all who participate.

Courses Are Offered Fall & Spring Semesters for Students

One credit IGR courses are designed to prepare students to create dialogues in situations where understanding and listening are needed.


Dialogue, as opposed to discussion or debate, is focused on broadening perspectives, looking for shared meaning, and building relationships. Topics include:
Race  ▪  Gender  ▪  Socioeconomic Status/Class  ▪  Religion/Faith  ▪  Sexual Orientation

IGR@VU--INTERGROUP DIALOGUE—1-credit courses—COM 5300

Intergroup Dialogue is a collaborative program of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Communication. Specially trained faculty and staff members facilitate each small class, limited to 12 students, and the cultural identities of participants are carefully balanced. 

Each course begins with attention to the dialogic process of interaction. Readings, in class dialogue, written papers, and interactive exercises are used to guide self-exploration, highlight similarities and differences among class members, and increase understanding of how social structures and institutions function to allocate privilege and sustain societal inequities. 

Classes meet for 2 hours once a week for 7 weeks. Advanced classes have an alternate class meeting schedule.

Note: Three one-credit courses can be bundled to meet the Diversity 1 requirement for CLAS students. Courses do not have to be taken in the same semester. Contact Brighid Dwyer for more information.



Gender: In this course, students explore the topic of gender identity and how gender discrimination is often invisible in our daily lives. Topics include masculinity and femininity, the related pressures men and women experience, images of women in the media, gendered language, and the expectations that the construct of gender asserts broadly in U.S. society and on campus. The ways in which sexual orientation intersects with gender are also introduced.

Socioeconomic Status (SES): In this course, students explore what it means to be a member of their own socioeconomic status. They also engage in dialogue with peers about their differing experiences and identities related class/SES. Class/SES are explored as fluid identities that change during one’s lifetime.  What it means to experience privilege and discrimination because of one’s class identity is also explored.

Religion/Faith: This course engages students in dialogue about their faith identities and faith journeys. In collaboration with peers and facilitators, students discuss what is beautiful and challenging about being a member of one’s own religion/faith group, or not having membership to such a group. Particular attention is paid to students’ experiences of faith within our Catholic University context. 

Race: This course covers the topic of racial identity and racism. Students engage with peers and facilitators about the areas in which they experience privilege and discrimination because of their racial identity. Personal experiences and lack of experience with racism are discussed, as well as what this means for being an ally.

Racial Identity: : This course engages dialogue around race and identity. Students participate in conversation with peers and facilitators about the areas in which they experience privilege and discrimination because of their racial identities.  

Sexual OrientationIn this course, students engage in dialogue about the topic of sexual orientation and the spectrum on which one’s identity can fall. We will be discussing issues surrounding gender and sexual identity including, heteronormativity, transphobia, cis-sexism, bi-phobia, and moving beyond the binary.

Advanced Race: A prerequisite to this class is the successful completion of IGR on Race or White Racial Identity and recommendation of the instructor. This course builds on the topics of oppression and discrimination covered in the Race and White Racial identity courses, and moves students into a performative place where they embody the communication styles associated with actual and perceived notions of racial identity.

Advanced Race and Gender: A prerequisite to this class is the successful completion of IGR on Race, Racial Identity, Gender, or Sexual Orientation and recommendation of the instructor. This course looks at the intersections of race and gender and builds on the topics of discrimination and oppression based on the 

IGR logo - Inter Group Relations


Brown Bag Logo

Brown Bag Lunch Series

Monthly opportunities for faculty, staff and students to engage in dialogue about current events related to equity and justice on campus and in society.

Apply Now

To apply for one of our IGR classes use our Online Application Form. For questions or additional information email:

IGR Class Schedule

Want More?

If you are interested in these topics, visit the website for the Association for Change and Transformation (ACT) to learn about more ways to get involved in social justice at Villanova.