University of Wisconsin–Madison


Workshop Questions

  • How can I participate in an Our Wisconsin workshop?

    Our Wisconsin inclusion workshops will be provided to all undergraduate first-year students living in University Housing residence halls.

    If you wish to participate in an Our Wisconsin inclusion workshop, and are an undergraduate first-year student who does not live in a University Housing residence hall, please contact for open workshop opportunities.

  • When is my Our Wisconsin workshop?

    If you are an undergraduate first-year student living in a University Housing residence hall, your Our Wisconsin inclusion workshop is during the early move-in period to the residence halls, or the first three weeks of class. Residents should check with their House Fellow for the assigned date, time, and location for their house.

  • Do I need to register for the Our Wisconsin workshop?

    No. all undergraduate first-year students living in a University Housing residence hall are already assigned a workshop by house community. 

  • May I participate if I am not an undergraduate first-year student?

    As Our Wisconsin is currently expanding from 1000 to 7000 students during the 2017-2018 academic year, the program may only serve undergraduate first-year students at this time. Upon assessment of this critical expansion period, Our Wisconsin intends to build campus partnerships to broaden its reach beyond undergraduate first-year students.

  • Is Our Wisconsin an attempt to infringe upon my freedom of speech?

    No. The University of Wisconsin-Madison values and supports free speech. 

    Our Wisconsin inclusion workshops are a learning opportunity intended to facilitate dialogue and build community. Past participants described the workshops as “eye-opening”, and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to build relationships with one another. Read more about the pilot program on Blank’s Slate. 

  • How does intergroup dialogue facilitate Our Wisconsin?

    The Our Wisconsin workshops provide a space for students to learn with and from their classmates through dialogue and other related experiential activities. This approach draws on an intergroup dialogue model with strong empirical support, and faculty scholarship on intergroup relations. Intergroup dialogues offer an interactive space for participants to share personal narratives and critically explore their social identities and contexts (Nagda, Tropp, & Paluck, 2006). Such dialogues have historically been used for conflict resolution and community building, and more recently to foster intergroup understanding of identity and inequality on college campuses (Nagda, Gurin, Sorensen, Gurin-Sands, & Osuna, 2009; Sorensen, Nagda, & Maxwell, 2009).

    The University of Wisconsin has a strong tradition in contributing to the science of intergroup relations, and the workshop activities and training of facilitators have been informed by their important scholarship (Devine & Vasquez, 1998; Ladson-Billings, 2004). Our Wisconsin also draws on a long history of other practices designed by and with Badgers, including the well-regarded Diversity Dialogues initiative, which has been running on campus for 11 years.

    Intergroup dialogues are theoretically rooted in Allport’s (1954) contact hypothesis, the idea that intergroup contact under specified conditions reduces prejudice. Pettigrew’s (1998) subsequent work further hypothesized that prejudice reduction occurs through learning about out-groups, the opportunity to re-categorize and reappraise out-groups, the generation of empathy and positive emotions, and the potential for friendships. Our Wisconsin activities are designed to promote honest exchanges and authentic relationships among students, mechanisms by which intergroup contact has been shown to benefit participants (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2008). A 2006 meta-analysis of 515 studies on the topic concluded that intergroup contact significantly reduced prejudice among various groups (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006).

    Intergroup dialogues in university settings have been shown to be effective on a wide range of student outcomes, including increased perspective-taking and stereotype reduction (Dessel & Rogge, 2008). A 2008 review found that intergroup dialogues facilitate increased empathy, awareness of how ethnicity impacts individual and group interactions, and complex thinking about diversity (Dessel & Rogge, 2008). In perhaps the most methodologically rigorous and large-scale study on the topic to date, researchers at nine U.S. universities found that dialogue participants increased significantly more than their control group peers in terms of intergroup understanding, awareness of inequalities, and motivation to bridge differences between groups (Nagda et al., 2009).


    Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

    Dessel, A., & Rogge, M. E. (2008). Evaluation of intergroup dialogue: A review of the empirical literature. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 26, 199– 238.

    Devine, P. G., & Vasquez, K. A. (1998). The rocky road to positive intergroup relations. Confronting racism: The problem and the response. (pp. 234-262) Sage Publications, Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA.

    Ladson-Billings, G. (2004). New directions in multicultural education. Handbook of research on multicultural education, 2, 50-65.

    Nagda, B. A., Tropp, L. R., & Paluck, E. L. (2006). Looking back as we look ahead: Integrating research, theory, and practice on intergroup relations. Journal of Social Issues, 62(3), 439-451.

    Nagda, B. A., Gurin, P., Sorensen, N., Gurin-Sands, C., & Osuna, S. M. (2009). From separate corners to dialogue and action. Race and Social Problems, 1(1), 45-55.

    Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85. http://

    Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 751–783. http://dx

    Pettigrew, T.F., & Tropp, L.R. (2008). How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology. 38 (6), 922-934. doi:10.1002/ejsp.504

    Sorensen, N., Nagda, B. A., Gurin, P., & Maxwell, K. E. (2009). Taking a “hands on” approach to diversity in higher education: A critical-dialogic model for effective intergroup interaction. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9, 3–35. .01193.x

Facilitation Questions

  • How do I become a facilitator?

    Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year will be available in Spring 2018. The Badger Way  peer facilitator and Staff and Faculty facilitator applications for Fall 2017 are now closed.

  • What is the time commitment for a facilitator?

    Badger Way peer facilitators, and staff and faculty facilitators are expected to participate in all trainings, assigned workshops, and co-facilitator planning and debrief meetings. The majority of Our Wisconsin workshops will be hosted during early move-in and the first 3 weeks of class. Early move-in begins August 27, 2017. Specific workshops will likely extend through Friday, September 22, 2017.  The anticipated time commitment for each facilitator is 30 hours total for Fall 2017.

  • When is training scheduled for Fall 2017 facilitators?

    Fall 2017 facilitators must reserve the following dates and times:

    • Thursday, August 24, 2017, 8 AM-4:30 PM
    • Friday, August 25, 2017, 8 AM-4:30 PM
  • Are facilitators paid?

    Yes. Badger Way peer facilitators are paid $10-$12/hour for approximately 30 hours total in Fall 2017. The facilitators are compensated for all employment trainings, assigned workshops, and co-facilitation planning and debrief meetings. Generally, the employment period extends between August 24, 2017 through September 22, 2017.

    Staff and faculty facilitators are compensated a $500.00 stipend for their employment with the Division of Student Life.

  • May I have another job and be a Badger Way peer facilitator?

    Yes. Badger Way peer facilitators are encouraged to be involved in other student leadership and employment opportunities. You may serve as a Badger Way peer facilitator for Our Wisconsin workshops and be employed elsewhere, so long as your other employer understand your commitment to Our Wisconsin between 8/24-9/22 for trainings and assigned workshops.

  • How are Badger Way peer facilitators selected?

    The hiring committee will review applications and a select group of applicants will be invited to participate in group interviews. Applicants will be notified of their status shortly after all of the interviews have been conducted.