Round Table Conversations on Oppression, Racism, and Religious Oppression Evaluating Degree of Meaning

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Dr. Joyous C. Bethel
Dr. Leonora E. Foels
Dr. Ling Dinse


Keywords: civil dialogue, round tables, structured conversations, oppression


This study empirically examines the experience of 196 undergraduate students from two universities, one a secular state institution and the other a Christian college, enrolled in courses on human diversity. The students engaged in structured conversations as a vehicle for increasing the students’ understanding of the lived experiences of others. Conversation topics included understandings of racial and religious oppression. The goal of the study was for students to intentionally engage in structured conversations about contentious topics (oppression, race, and religious oppression) to develop an understanding of the lived experiences of others. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed, and the findings are presented. The conversation experiences were universally found by students at both institutions of higher education to be overwhelmingly meaningful.




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