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On Common Ground: Brave Conversations

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” 


― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Interested in being a peer leader? Visit: https://forms.gle/aNgdjFm2mPCTYUdE9

Students experience greater likelihood of success when they are in a safe, inclusive environment, one in which they feel like they belong. 

The aim of this initiative is to encourage students to evaluate their own definitions and experiences of belonging and then apply their newfound knowledge in the creation of an artistic, written, or performative piece where they share their experiences with belonging. Students will have the opportunity to be considered for publication in a new literary journal, Brave Conversations

By challenging students to think reflexively about the concept of belonging, we can foster a safe and inclusive environment for all our Bengals. 

What is this initiative, and what will we do?

  • Kicks off with our first Brave Conversations series, Brene Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness” in Fall 2023. 
  • Students will lead peer discussion groups with the help of a faculty or staff facilitator utilizing the conversation guide for the book.
  • Students will take this newfound knowledge and self-understanding into the creation of a written, musical, or other artistic response to the above quote.
  • Creative writing and artistic support groups led by faculty and staff facilitators will help students to craft their entries for this journal. 
  • Students will submit their work on this topic to a new, curated literary journal housed at the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s Diversity Resource Center. 
  • Selected students will present their work at the “Brave Conversations: On Common Ground Monologues” performance event in Spring 2024. This event will be advertised on campus and the broader community and will give students the opportunity to take on leadership roles as well as present their work. 

By encouraging our Bengals to think about these concepts and have challenging, Brave Conversations around them we can create a culture of belonging on our campus.