ROOTED (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Empathy and Dialogue) is dedicated to creating spaces of solidarity, empathy and learning for members of the Columbia community to explore identity, power and privilege. Led by trained student facilitators, ROOTED hosts respectful and informed discussions about diversity and explores the commonalities and disparities among the social and political treatment of different groups in society. ROOTED facilitators lead open dialogues through the ROOTED Dialogue series, plan an annual week centered on allyship and work with student organizations, residences and other constituencies to create tailored dialogue-based programming.
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ROOTED’s tight-knit cohort of peer facilitators are trained by the Multicultural Affairs staff. The facilitators explore customs, beliefs, identities and power differentials, grounded in the belief that small-scale relationships and understanding must be at the root of large-scale social and political change. ROOTED teaches anti-bias strategies in conjunction with conflict resolution to help students create a community that is truly anti-oppressive. ROOTED facilitators receive intensive training in facilitation skills and dialogue development to allow them to create meaningful spaces of peer-led dialogue for students across the Columbia community.
ROOTED primarily recruits student facilitators during spring semester who will begin the following fall. Interested students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application.
Potential facilitators are highly encouraged to attend ROOTED programs, including ROOTED Dinner & Dialogue programs, before they apply.
Students who are selected must attend a mandatory weekend retreat training at the start of each semester in which peer facilitators will learn how to facilitate, develop programs to share with the Columbia community and get to know their follow ROOTED members. Selected facilitators are also expected to make a weekly commitment of approximately two hours, currently scheduled for Thursdays from 6:30–8:30 p.m. Weeks that are not spent hosting ROOTED Dinner & Dialogue sessions will be utilized for facilitator skill-building, planning and cohort development. The ROOTED facilitation experience is structured such that work required outside of weekly meeting times will be minimal.
We welcome Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies and Barnard College undergraduate students of all identities and experiences who are interested in social justice to apply to become ROOTED facilitators.
The ROOTED Dialogue Series explores similarities and differences among communities through techniques such as icebreakers, role-playing, literature, experiential exercises, games, videos and more. Through a variety of activities, students learn communication and conflict resolution strategies to find healthy ways to talk about differences. In addition to ROOTED Dinner & Dialogue, many communities, including Residential Life and student organizations, request for ROOTED workshops to prepare their groups.
Coordinated and facilitated by ROOTED members, the Allies Series is an intensive dialogue and programming series, which confronts issues of social power and privilege on individual, organizational and institutional levels. The goal of the series is to create a space for student organizations and individuals within the larger Columbia community to grapple with the complexities and expectations associated with being an ally. Participants involved in this series attempt to deconstruct invisible boundaries that often divide communities and focus on taking positive steps towards collaborative action. The series takes place in the spring semester.