Photo: Students in Dialogue

Building Agreements with the Moments of Dissent Exercise


Communication agreements are one of the essential foundations to a dialogic discussion. Agreements should be set at the beginning of your time together as a group, kept alive throughout, and revisited to make sure they still meet the needs of the participants, the topic, and the context.

This exercise helps the facilitator and participants co-create a set of explicit agreements that allow them to share a dissenting, sensitive, or divisive view, story, or value. It helps facilitators understand the conditions they can create to promote an engaged space. And it helps participants identify their own intentions and purposes.

This exercise is appropriate for educational, community, faith, and organizational spaces—anywhere you need to have an open, honest, healthy discussion of issues that touch upon the participants' identities, values, or experiences.

Typical Length: 20-30 minutes