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Utahn Conversations at the University of Utah – Invitation for Student Hosts

Utahn Conversations at the University of Utah – Invitation for Student Hosts

This summer, we have seen our communities, here in Salt Lake, nationally and globally respond to the call to address racial injustice with a drive and intention that many haven’t seen in their lifetime.  This work is driving us to all look deeper at the ways we internalize racial injustice, the ways it affects our relationships and the ways this injustice drives our community structures and systems. Addressing racial injustice in this moment is showing up in our communities through protests, abolitionist movements, reading and learning.  Utahn Conversations, created by Ms. Franque Bains, is a call to engage community into accountability and healing through reflection, sharing and setting goals.

This is an invitation. We ask that if you align with this work and can see yourself as a host for conversations that address racial justice on to please apply.  Application information at bottom.

What is the work?

This project invites students to activate a network of folks in their community to hold conversations that address racial injustice and how it manifests into the various forms of system violence our communities face (educational, health system, police brutality, etc.).  It is based on the work of the project Utahn Conversations on Anti Blackness and is designed to support students in 2 main areas of focus (1) knowing self to know your role in the movement and take steps on a path to healing (2) building culture and community that change systems from within.


You change and grow through the relationships you have with those you trust. This call to community conversation helps us to build with those within our networks to co-create a just world.

The Invitation

Student participants are invited to take on the role of Conversation Hosts. You will be trained and supported by Conversation Guides.

You will hold a series of 3 conversations, 90-minute conversations for 8-10 people at the U. Each conversation should include 5-7 students and 2-3 faculty + staff and is not restricted to the Honors community. Each conversation builds on itself and the outcome will be a list of ways that they can agree to move forward in order to end the violence that racial injustice causes.

In order to create containers of communication that are safe for participants and help participants build from similar levels of growth, hosts are invited to hold conversations with individuals who align under one of the following stages of engagement with racial justice work.  These stages of engagement are:

(1) Race and ethnicity work feels new to me.

(2) I have some experience talking and thinking about race and ethnicity.

(3) I engage extensively in discourse on race and ethnicity.

(4) I have lived experience, think about, and talk about race and ethnicity.


What is the time commitment? Times are approximate

Conversation Hosts – 32.5 hours between Sept 11-Nov 15
Conversation Host Trainings – 6 hours (3 – 2 hour meetings)


Practice conversations – 6 hours (3 – 2 hour meetings)


Holding their conversations – 6 hours (3 – 2 hour meetings)


Check in with Guides – 2 hours (2 – 1 hour meetings)


Project Debrief and storytelling – (2.5 hours)


Communications to participants and prep (invites, maintaining calendars, emails, etc.) – 1 hour a week for 10 weeks – 10 hours


If you are interested, please email Dean Sylvia Torti with the following information by August 31. The first 25 respondents will be given priority.


Name and UID____________________


College Year_____________________


Affinity group (see above) ____________________________


50 words: Why I’m interested in being a host __________________________________

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