Racial Equity Resource Guide

Guides & Workshops

Sustained Dialogue

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The distinguishing feature of Sustained Dialogue is precisely that it is sustained. Over extended periods of time, the same group of people join in consecutive meetings. The underlying assumption behind this is that, in order to address difficult issues, we need to not just look at the concrete problem to be solved, but at the underlying relationships that get in the way. Sustained Dialogue was developed primarily by Dr. Harold Saunders and emerged from Dr. Saunders’ long experience as a diplomat in international affairs and peace processes. The five stages of Sustained Dialogue are:

  • Deciding to Engage;
  • Mapping Relationships and Naming Problems;
  • Probing Problems and Relationships;
  • Scenario Building; and
  • Acting Together.

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