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In today’s environment of social networking, instant messaging and tweeting, what may be unexpected is that the art of bringing people together to one place at one time still works. Furthermore, students are generally more willing to step out of their comfort zones and engage in a discussion with students of different cultural backgrounds if there is a safe, structured opportunity to do so. This is the premise of a Unity Summit.


The diversity Summit has been successful with using two lead facilitators and several “stealth” facilitators. The lead facilitators should be charismatic, energetic and comfortable with motivating the group. They should have knowledge about the theme and an understanding of the process of encouraging dialogue. They can be students, faculty or staff, depending on the participants, and should have previous group facilitation experience. we recommend selecting the lead facilitators from the planning committee and having at least two so they can support each other during the event, help clarify instructions and alternate announcing the questions for discussion. They kick-off the activities, provide directions and maintain the program’s flow. It is best that they spend time together prior to the event reviewing the format and becoming familiar with each other. Stealth facilitators are typically students. we refer to them as “stealth” because they are not to expose their role so participants feel comfortable sharing their experiences with them. The number needed is based on the anticipated audience number. one stealth facilitator is necessary at every table with a group of participants. These facilitators have been selected prior to the event and have been trained to keep the dialogue flowing around the table, by preventing one person from dominating the dialogue, and ensuring everyone answers the questions and that the ground rules are followed.

Diversity Summit Format once the preparation is done, it is time to focus on implementation. having clear goals and well-trained facilitators is only part of this program’s success. following a structure and watching the time are important, too. Room Set-Up

The space should be large enough to accommodate the anticipated crowd seated at round tables for eight individuals, each. A registration area, where all participants are asked to check in, should be separate from the seating area. As participants arrive, give each one a number corresponding with a table. This will break up groups of friends. It also assures diversity at each table and promotes lively discussions. Each table should be supplied with paper and writing utensils. The lead facilitators will need newsprint and markers to compile notes during debriefing sessions. Introductions (Five Minutes)

The two lead facilitators introduce themselves and provide a brief overview of the summit. Ground rules are set for the aernoon based on input from all the participants. It is recommended that the facilitators begin this process with one or two suggestions and then ask participants to contribute. Ideas become ground rules using a group consensus model of March 2012 Campus Activities ProgrammingTM 17

Campus Activities Programming™ - March 2012  
Campus Activities Programming™ - March 2012  

March 2012 issue of Campus Activities Programming™ Magazine