Dealing with Difference Institute

Brief Dealing With Difference Institute History

Since 1994, the Dealing with Difference Institute (DWDI) has offered WIU faculty, staff and students as well as educators from across the region and the state, opportunities to discuss a wide range of topics related to cultural diversity and social justice.

Issues of race/ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation have been embedded in each of the institutes while themes such as identity development, media representation, multicultural consciousness, white privilege, anti-racist activism, intercultural communication, the uses and abuses of fear in a culturally diverse world, multiculturalism vs. assimilation, and nonviolent strategies for social transformation have been explored from multiple perspectives and through various conference formats. Pragmatic instruction strategies have been interwoven with theoretical constructs in each of the institutes; innovative approaches have been introduced; and early takes on multicultural education have been examined and re-examined as the field has evolved and educators have sought to develop cultural competency skills without losing sight of social justice issues.