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“We are very fortunate to have a community on campus that is richly diverse in backgrounds and perspectives. Every one of us benefits from the opportunity to engage students, faculty, and staff who come from different parts of the country and the world, who bring different experiences and values to our learning, teaching, and our work on campus. We know that within such a diverse community, we often differ strongly in opinion. At times that can mean conversations that are difficult and contentious. Along with many others, I believe we must do better to support every member of the extraordinary community we are creating here.” President Hill, message to campus on July 17, 2014, announcing the “Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences” grant program

This website serves as a clearinghouse for information on the special proposals chosen for funding by the “Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences” program projects and events at the college that speak to this theme.

2016-17 Events

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2017

“Islamophobia: Headlines, Hate, and Hope." Jerusha T. Lamptey. (April 3)

Monday, April 3, 2017
Main Building, Villard

Muslima theologian, scholar, and public educator Jerusha T. Lamptey will explore Islamophobia in her talk, “Islamophobia: Headlines, Hate, and Hope,” on Monday, April 3, 6:00pm, in the Villard Room of Main Building. This event is free and open to the public.

More information about this event


"(Re)defining Women of Color: Raising our Voices, Sharing our Stories." Kimberlé Crenshaw. (March 3)

Friday, March 3, 2017
Students’ Building, second floor

Kimberlé Crenshaw will give the opening keynote lecture for the Consortium on High Achievement and Success Women of Color Conference, "(Re)defining Women of Color: Raising our Voices, Sharing our Stories." Crenshaw is a Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School. She is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, race, racism and the law. Her work has been foundational in two fields of study that have come to be known by terms that she coined: Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Crenshaw’s articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. Sponsored by the ALANA Center, the Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences Initiative, the VSA Social Consciousness Fund, and numerous others.

More from Kimberlé Crenshaw's keynote


An Evening with Kimberly Foster, founder of ForHarriet (February 23)

Thursday, February 23, 2017
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Villard Room, Main Building

Kimberly Foster, the founder of ForHarriet, will give a lecture to students, faculty, staff, and guests of Vassar College on Thursday, February 23rd. Please join us in the Villard Room for this special event that will center and celebrate the fullness of Black womanhood.

This event is brought to you by the Women's Center, the President's Dialogue Across Differences Fund, VSA Committee on Equity and Inclusion, and the Black Students' Union.


Fall 2016

Breaking Barriers: Trans Inclusion in Sports (November 14-15)

Schedule and details to be announced.

Navigating spaces on campus can be extremely difficult for students who identify as trans or gender non-binary. Chris Mosier, a trans athlete, has experienced many challenges in athletics and outside of athletics, and can discuss how he confronted these challenges and has been successful. Through highlighting both his struggles as well as what has helped in be successful, and through working with administrators, faculty, and student leaders, we hope to increase awareness of issues facing LGBTQ+ students, and more specifically, trans and gender non-binary students, to create a campus environment that allows these students to have a voice and thrive.


Conversation between Middle East scholar Steven Cook and foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens (September 20)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Main Building, Villard Room

Middle East scholar Steven Cook from the Council on Foreign Relations will interview foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens from the Wall Street Journal on the topic “Why I Support Israel and Why You Should Too.”

More information about this event


Faith, Race, Power, and Privilege: Developing and Maintaining Multiracial, Multicultural & Multi-faith Alliances toward Equity and Justice on College Campuses (September 15)

An evening with Yavilah McCoy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Villard Room, Main Building (2nd Floor)
Vassar College

About the talk:

In these times where harmful practices around race and racism are increasing the need for action, how can faith communities support the awareness needed to develop meaningful relationships toward equity and justice? What tools can faith communities utilize in engaging political narratives across cultural differences? How can the experiences within our faith communities prepare us to model racial equity in broader environments?

Join Yavilah McCoy for an exploration of wisdom, skill building, and best practices for navigating multi-faith, multiracial and multicultural differences in 2016.

View more information about this event.


See also, Archive of Projects and Events.