In 2006, an assignment for Dana Stuchul’s Curriculum Instruction course (CI295) was my invitation into the work of World in Conversation. I attended a dialogue and remember feeling refreshed, energized and relieved that I could sit with a group of people and engage in a discussion about race. Until that point, I had felt as though when I tried to have discussions about race with my peers, they were often surface level conversations that felt dismissive rather than engaging. The two facilitators in my very first dialogue ASKED QUESTIONS of the group that were not leading and did not seem to have an obvious answer. They made me feel welcomed, invited, and encouraged to discuss the topic of race in a manner that was relevant and engaging to me. I think that was why at the end of the conversation I asked them how I could “do what they do”.

World in Conversation became my invitation not only to participate in a one time dialogue but also to turn my experience into my life work. Since graduating from Penn State, I started my career working for World in Conversation, spent most of my career working as a middle school teacher, decided to live my life with Greg Frisby, relocated to Baltimore, MD, and now find myself growing roots with my family in Lancaster, PA while returning to my roots at World in Conversation. Since that first dialogue, I have felt compelled to share facilitation and dialogue with others in all aspects of my life.

Now, as Communications Manager for World in Conversation, I see myself as a facilitator who creates the space for the Center and the world to be in conversation with each other. I know that we have plenty to learn from each other; I invite us to do so.

Email: michelle@worldinconversation.org