Intergroup Relations (IGR) is an educational experience about issues of social justice. Introduced at Villanova in 2010, this innovative program teaches students, faculty and staff to create meaningful relationships and dialogue among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups.
IGR is developed on the core belief that it is only through a process of sustained and meaningful dialogue that people will understand one another better through cultural misunderstandings and personal differences. Topics examined as part of IGR programming include gender, socioeconomic status, religion/faith, race, sexual orientation and ability.
Through self-reflection, identity exploration and other experiential educational tools, participants learn how our everyday language, social rituals and casual conversations can lead to such problematic behaviors as stereotyping, cross-cultural mistrust and misunderstanding. Participants also learn how social structures such as schools, neighborhoods, media representation and social institutions play a role in allocating privilege and sustaining societal inequities.