The Power of Dialogue

Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide

The Power of Dialogue: Deconstructing the Rural-Urban Divide is an experiential learning opportunity for undergraduates at Georgetown (new window) and Radford University (new window). This credit-bearing course takes place both in rural Appalachia and Washington, D.C. from May 12-18, 2024. Apply by April 5, 2024.

Georgetown University Undergraduate Application Link

Note: Georgetown students, if you are accepted to this course, please factor 3 credits into your registration plans for Fall 2024 (final presentations take place in September).

Radford University Undergraduate Application Link

Part 1: Radford, Virginia

Undergraduate students from Georgetown and Radford University spend three days exploring in-depth conflict resolution skills through interactive simulations and exercises, outdoor activities, and learning more about rural communities and Appalachian culture.

Goals for this session are to:

“There are so few programs that make one a deeper thinker and better person in addition to teaching skills and building knowledge. This is one of those precious cases.”

Georgetown Undergraduate

Part 2: Washington, D.C.

The program continues for a three-day session held in Washington, D.C. Students immerse themselves in the D.C. community and explore issues salient to urban development and renewal specific to D.C., with the aim of further developing skills in dialogue and cultural dexterity explored during the first part of the program.

Students practice negotiation and consensus-building skills through interactive, team-based exercises and simulations. Students also take part in activities that showcase D.C. culture and allow students to learn about issues central to the city’s history and urban development. These include site visits to Capitol Hill, Anacostia, Georgetown, and other historic D.C. neighborhoods.

Check out our photo album (new window) for another look at the program. 

“[Power of Dialogue] was so much better than I could’ve imagined. I didn’t know what to expect, but I gained so much (personally and professionally) from the program.”

Radford Undergraduate

Program Leaders

A headshot of Theresa.

Theresa L. Burriss

Theresa L. Burriss serves as Chair of Appalachian Studies and Director of the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center at Radford University. She teaches Appalachian undergraduate and graduate classes on the region’s literature, history, political economy, and social and environmental justice issues.

Learn more about Theresa

Don Martin

Don Martin was General Counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. A native of southwestern Virginia, Mr. Martin served as Assistant General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency and was a corporate litigator for the law firm, McGuireWoods LLP.

Learn more about Don
A headshot of Rachel looking at the camera and smiling.

Rachel Milner Gillers

Rachel Milner Gillers is Director of the Georgetown Conflict Transformation Lab and Associate Professor of the Practice of Negotiation and Conflict Management at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She specializes in international development, gender and negotiation, and dialogue across divides.

Learn more about Rachel

Suggested Readings

Interested in learning more about the themes and concepts explored during The Power of Dialogue? Check out some suggested readings and videos below:



Film and video: