Agreements for Courageous Conversations and Active Learning


Stay engaged.

  • Remain morally, emotionally, intellectually, and socially involved in dialogue.
  • Stay present: guard against the learned tendency to disengage.
  • Collectively make the commitment to embrace the conversation/dialogue.

Experience discomfort.

  • Deal openly and honestly with challenges: open up and examine your own core racial beliefs, values, perceptions, and behaviors.
  • Engage in the dialogue authentically: be personally responsible for pushing yourself into real dialogue.
  • Recognize that discomfort often leads to real growth.

Speak your truth.

  • Be willing to take risks
  • Share honest thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
  • We are experts in defining our own experiences and personal realities.

Expect and accept non-closure.

  • Solution may be revealed in the process of dialogue itself: There is no "quick fix."
  • Dialogue triggers a moral, intellectual, social, and emotional shift that allows for opportunities.
  • The more one talks, the more one learns; the more one learns, the more appropriate and promising your actions and interventions.

Maintain confidentiality.

  • Honor privacy by avoiding "who said what."
  • Uphold discretion.

Listen with the intent to learn.

  • Listening is a skill.
  • Be present: attend to the conversation.
  • Listening with an openness to learning: reciprocity of sharing creates an opportunity to learn from others.

Suspend judgment.