Dedicated to recognizing differences and building alliances aimed at personal and social change, the IDEA Center integrates the practice and pedagogy of intergroup dialogue with social work practitioner education. The center also supports campus and community efforts that address oppression, empowerment and social justice.
The IDEA Center helps students and social work practitioners develop the knowledge, values, passion, commitment and skills they need to work in diverse settings. The approach uses face-to-face meetings to foster intergroup dialogue; encourages the learning of new information and the unlearning of socialized and prejudiced behaviors; and works to inspire individuals to promote social justice and become agents of change. The co-directors for the IDEA Center are Mary Lou Balassone and Margaret Spearmon.