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DATE: Thursday, October 17, 2019

TIME: 12 pm - 1 pm: Lunch and registration

             1 pm - 5pm: Workshop

LOCATION: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, OH

Registration for the pre-conference is capped at 70 participants.

Register Now!


$85 ALAO/MiALA Members    

$115 Non ALAO Members

$0 Invited Guests, code required

The pre-conference for the 2019 conference will be a half-day workshop:

Integrating Intergroup Dialogue Principles & Skills into Academic Libraries


One of the biggest challenges we are facing as a society is engaging one another across our differences in meaningful ways that can lead to positive social change. Especially in this era of divisive rhetoric, superficial one-way monologues (Facebook comment threads, Twitter posts and replies, anonymous comments), and a 24-hour news cycle that provides a barrage of information—often biased—with little depth or context, how do we come together to engage in authentic and meaningful conversation? How do our multiple social identities impact the ways in which we communicate with one another around challenging topics? How can we develop the skills to move away from monologue or debate to authentic dialogue?

Through this half-day workshop, participants will develop a better understanding of their own social identities as well as the complex identities, backgrounds and experiences that library users bring with them when they enter our spaces. Participants will be introduced to Intergroup Dialogue (IGD), a framework adapted at the University of Dayton that encourages people to engage in dialogue across their differences, and hopefully gain a better understanding of diverse life experiences. Through personal reflection and small group activities, we will explore the ways in which our identities intersect and interact with one another, and how we can tackle tough conversation topics through the use of dialogic skills and concepts. 


Ione Damasco

Ione Damasco, M.L.I.S., is a Professor and Coordinator of Cataloging at the University of Dayton. She earned her M.L.I.S. from Kent State University. Her primary work involves cataloging, metadata and digitization projects,as well as collection development and liaison work for several subject areas. She is the Chair of the University Libraries Diversity & Inclusion Team, which advances the mission of the Libraries by providing leadership, offering support, and serving as a resource around diversity, equity, and inclusion endeavors across all areas and for every unit of the Libraries, including but not limited to: collections, professional development, programming, services, spaces, and overall climate. Along with several faculty and staff from around campus, she is part of a working group that is leveraging the current library renovation to create an innovative new space within the library building called the Dialogue Zone, which will be dedicated to programming and other initiatives around different forms of dialogue. Her most recent research has centered on race and diversity issues in librarianship, and potential uses of intergroup dialogue as a form of experiential learning focused on social justice outcomes in libraries.

Mérida Allen

Providing students with support, resources and strategies for college and career success is the dream role for Mérida Allen. Prior to her current appointment as the Director of Multicultural Education and Student Leadership at the University of Dayton’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, she served as Associate Director for both TOLEDO EXCEL, a scholarship-incentive program, and for the Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success at The University of Toledo. fShe earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Higher Education Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Communication Studies from The University of Toledo. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Dayton in the Educational Leadership Program, concentrating on Higher Education, and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Sigma Omega Chapter.

Mérida has provided leadership on campus around dialogue, coordinating facilitator trainings, workshops, and programs, and in particular, developing the UD Diversity Peer Educators Program. She has extensive experience with intergroup dialogue, having attended The University of Michigan National Intergroup Dialogue Institute and The Intergroup Dialogue and Diversity Education Institute at Hope College. She has facilitated workshops for students, faculty and staff utilizing dialogue to increase understanding across difference, promote identity development, explore concepts of power,  privilege, and leadership, and provide useful tools for strengthened communication.

Chanel P. Wright

Chanel P. Wright is a Higher Education Professional who believes in the power of listening to each other’s experiences, and being an expert in only our own story. As a proud first-generation college graduate, she values lifelong learning, and strives to encourage others to continue on their own journey of learning. An alumna of Nazareth College in Rochester, NY and Miami University of Ohio, Chanel has spent 10 years working in the area of diversity education, international and intercultural development, civic and community engagement, residential programs, and strategic development. Focusing on areas of race, culture, ethnicity, class, gender, among others, Chanel utilizes dialogic principles in her work everyday. Currently, Chanel is the Assistant Director of Campus Engagement for the Center of International Programs at the University of Dayton. Her work encompasses initiatives on campus related to intercultural development, engagement and learning. Chanel’s most prized role is being an Aunt to several nieces and nephews, and sharing her love of summer and outdoor concerts with others.

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