A questioning hand in the air, photo by Andy Manis, 2016 Diversity Forum

Building Relationships, Building Community

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is LCICE?

LCICE is a unit within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) that strives to build our collective capacities to practice social justice principles toward creating a campus community where all voices are heard, heeded, and valued. This is accomplished by engaging student, staff, faculty, and Madison community members in Learning Communities – academic-year and semester-long weekly dialog groups, since 1998.

What is the vision of LCICE?

Our Vision is to use inclusive dialogue and critical self-reflection to create spaces for ongoing practice and capacity building for transformative individual, institutional and community-based change. Through examining power, privilege and one’s own spheres of influence, participants bring back the learning to help build a campus and community climate that allows for access and success for all, living the Wisconsin Idea.

What are the Outcome Goals?

Unlike workshop models, which provide short doses and introduce new ideas, LCICE provides opportunities for sustained learning and practice to:

  • Develop an understanding of systems of power, privilege, oppression; and one’s own social conditioning within these systems;
  • Effectively interact and communicate across all human differences;
  • Acquire tools and skills to build inclusive working, teaching, and living environments;
  • Learn and practice ways of engaging effectively with conflict;
  • Transform the campus for all its members and community environments as a result of relationship building, individual learning and application.

How do we engage?

Through guided conversations Learning Community participants consider the impact of power and privilege on the lived experiences of individuals across social identities. Using personal stories, readings, videos, and vignettes, the conversations follow four key dialogue processes: engaging self, learning about others, critical reflection of self and other, and relationship building.

Why is knowing "self" important?

Meeting on a weekly basis over 6-9 month allows participants to take risks, be vulnerable, and engage in a process of self-discovery of who one is, how one impact others. Participants are encouraged to engage in a dialogue, to ask difficult questions and listen to others’ life experiences, however different from one’s own. In this way, participants come to better know themselves through engagement with others.

What happens in weekly meetings that help participants learn about power and privilege?

Participants begin their individual process of learning in community by first mapping and then sharing their privileged and disadvantaged social identities with each other – and, learning how to provide and receive feedback without passing judgment. This raises awareness about how power and privilege results in differential impact of one’s behavior. Participants become familiar with language to engage respectfully and sensitively across all differences. They take their awareness and knowledge into all contexts of their lives and model more effective personal, interpersonal, and institutional leadership practices.

LCICE Participant/Co-Facilitator Model

The hybrid participant-as-facilitator model places the role of the co-facilitators as both facilitator and participant and not as “at-a-distance” content and process experts. This structure removes the hierarchy of the expert and passive participants who receive knowledge fostering co-learning for all participants, including facilitators.