Social Identity and Student Leadership: DAP at Georgia State University

Several years ago, the Dialogue Arts Project travelled to Atlanta, GA for the first of what would be multiple workshops and trainings with University Housing at Georgia State University. The following reflection was offered by Shannon Corey, GSU’s fabulous Assistant Director for Community and Staff Development.

When I first met Adam at the Intergroup Dialogue Institute at The University of Michigan, I could immediately see his passion for social justice. Adam possesses a unique charisma as a result of his experience facilitating dialogues and his talent in creative writing/performance – he is able to capture his audience with ease. I knew that I had to bring him to campus to conduct a workshop on social identify, power and privilege for our Resident Assistants.

Bringing Adam and the Dialogue Arts Project to campus was a great decision. Our Resident Assistants were engaged for the full four-hour workshop. They listened intently as he performed his own personal creative writings and they participated fully in the discussions and activities about power and privilege. Adam provided the medium for our student leaders to be self-reflective about their own social identities and how those identities influence their daily interactions with others. Many of them had never thought so critically about social identity fits into their leadership roles. Following our sessions, the feedback from our RA’s was overwhelming:

Adam’s creative exercises gave me the opportunity to evaluate the way I not only perceive myself in the social realm, but the way others look at me. In the challenge to break away from social constructs, I learned more about myself than I thought possible in a single four-hour span. Adam’s presentation and performance was heart-felt. He gave us a window into his soul, while we shared a piece of ours with him.

(Please have him back!! He’s the best presenter we’ve had!!)
-Kendra Kelly, Resident Assistant

Great presentation! Extremely interactive and allowed me to open up and write things down that I had never really thought about. Definitely appreciate him opening my eyes to the idea of writing again. Thanks!
-Latoya Belton, Resident Assistant

Adam Falkner was the most memorable and engaging presenter we have had thus far. He related incredibly well to the audience and did a great job of holding our attention throughout the entire session.
– Savanna Keo, Resident Assistant

Adam’s workshop was enticing from beginning to end. Information was presented in a different form that grabbed the attention of the audience in a truly unique way.
-Lady Mendez, Resident Assistant

-Mercedes O’Brien, Resident Assistant

Adam’s workshop on social identity was a perfect mixture of discussion, small group activities and personal reflection. It was well-planned and intentional for our specific population. Our RAs asked us to bring Adam back for fall training and thought it was one of the best training days yet.

Shannon Corey
Assistant Director for Community and Staff Development
Georgia State University