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Session Title

1115: Navigating triggering events: Critical competencies for facilitating difficult dialogues

Session Times

Tuesday, May 28: 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.


Facilitating authentic, constructive dialogue is a critical core competency for creating inclusive, socially just campus communities. Meetings, workshops, and conversations about how to achieve inclusive excellence and student success can become "difficult" when participants feel "triggered" and experience intense, unexpected emotional reactions to the comments and actions of others. 

If well-managed, difficult triggering situations can result in greater understanding, communication, and team work. If mismanaged, however, our reactions may shut down the conversation and result in significant misunderstanding, damaged relationships, and long lasting unresolved conflict.

Effectively navigating difficult situations and triggering moments is a critical multicultural competency for creating sustainable campus change. In this very interactive session, participants will identify their common triggers and less effective reactions during discussions about creating inclusive campuses, practice tools to navigate their own triggered reactions so they can respond most effectively, and explore strategies to use triggering events as teachable moments to advance learning outcomes and equity on campus. This session should particularly benefit participants who are interested in strategies to facilitate meaningful dialogue among campus constituencies as well as increasing their capacity to respond effectively when they feel triggered, including: faculty, Senior Diversity Officers, members of Diversity Councils, Multicultural Affairs and student affairs staff, HR professionals, and other types of administrators. Participants will receive a comprehensive handout packet of worksheets and tools, and access to a free copy of Dr. Obear's recent book, Turn the Tide: Rise above toxic, difficult situations in the workplace.


Kathy Obear, EdD, President, Center for Transformation and Change

Micia Mosely, PhD, Founder and Executive Director, The Black Teachers' Project