Silhouette background of an urban cityscape connected to a mountain range. Written across it is "Power of Dialogue: Deconstructing the Rural-Urban Divide"

The Power of Dialogue: Deconstructing the Rural-Urban Divide is a 4-week immersive dialogue experience that brings together students from Georgetown University, Radford University, Columbia University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania  to 1) build dialogue skills needed for navigating contentious issues, and 2) develop the cultural dexterity students need to serve as a bridge between rural and urban communities. Through weekly evening group dialogue sessions, 1-on-1 conversations, and short activities, students develop skills to explore complex issues like the rural-urban divide and uncover commonalities.


Week 1 (Sep 16): How divided are we?

  • Interactive discussion: What is the rural-urban divide and why does it matter?

  • Simulation exercise: Multiparty negotiation

  • Prep for week 2: Living the Rural-Urban Divide video and 1-on-1 conversation

Week 2 (Sep 23): Defining community

  • Interactive discussion: How do you define community? Are there systems/structures in your community that create, unintentionally or intentionally, social inequities?

  • Prep for week 3: Many Appalachias: Myths and Realities video and 1-on-1 conversation

Week 3 (Sep 30): Stereotyping and bias

  • Interactive discussion: How do you work to dispel or complicate stereotypes about you or about others? How are attitudes toward COVID-19 further deepening the divide?

  • Prep for week 4: Managing Implicit Bias video and 1-on-1 conversations

Week 4 (Oct 7): Gentrification and economic transformation

  • Interactive discussion: What are the biggest challenges in each of our respective communities today?

  • Closing exercises: Where do we go from here?








Georgetown Undergraduate




The program will meet weekly from 9/16 through 10/7. Each of the four Zoom sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 7-9 PM ET.

*Applications will be open until August 21st at 5 PM ET*

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Between sessions, participants will watch a short video and participate in a 1-on-1 call with an assigned partner from a different university/geographic background. 

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Undergraduates from Georgetown University, Radford University, Columbia University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Program Leaders

Rachel Milner Gillers is Director of the Georgetown Conflict Transformation Lab and Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Mediation at the Georgetown University Law Center and McCourt School in Public Policy. She is a mediator and facilitator and specializes in multi-stakeholder processes, international development, and gender and negotiation.

Don Martin was General Counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. A native of southwestern Virginia, Mr. Martin served as Assistant General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency and was a corporate litigator for the law firm, McGuireWoods LLP. He now represents local governments in southwestern Virginia and teaches criminal law at Radford University.

Audrey Lee is a Senior Mediator & Institute Executive Director at Boston Law Collaborative, LLP, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and Lecturer on Law at Harvard University. As a mediator, facilitator and coach, Audrey specializes in workplace and discrimination disputes, implicit bias, influence and communication skills.

This program is based on facilitation methodologies created at the Georgetown Conflict Transformation Lab (CTL), Resetting the Table, and Georgetown’s A Different Dialogue.


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