Ben Brubaker

Mailing Address:
Center for Public Service
Alcee Fortier Hall
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

Phone: 504-862-3347
Fax: 504-862-8061


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Overview |Faculty Director |

Program Staff | Student Information | Advisory Board

Overview of the Program

In order to foster a campus-community culture that is inclusive of all members and celebrates diversity, students, faculty, and community members must first address the long history and challenging issues within the complex culture and social structure of New Orleans.

What Workshop Participants Can Expect

Workshop participants will grow in their self-awareness and awareness of others through experiential activities and honest dialogue with peers. Participants will explore themes specific to the context of the group, relating to issues of power, privilege, identity, and community engagement. The CEA program aims to facilitate experiences for students that will both challenge their assumptions and ideas while supporting their growth, through productive, open and honest dialogue. The CEA program helps foster a campus culture of inclusion, equity and empathy, in order to prepare students to navigate some of society’s most pressing challenges related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Common Dialogue Objectives

Students will gain knowledge of the communities they live in and engage with during these dialogues. In addition, they will develop empathy, self-awareness and cultural competency.

Two Types of Dialogues:

  1. Community Engagement dialogues focus on preparing students to engage with the New Orleans community and explore issues of power, privilege and identity in the context of service, (i.e. Service Learning classes, Service Clubs, etc.).
  2. Campus-Based dialogues focus on building greater awareness, empathy and inclusion within the Tulane community (i.e. Residence Halls, Leadership Programs, classes, etc.)

In Community Engagement related workshops, participants will develop a sense of civic responsibility beyond a deficit-based or charity mind frame, developing empathy rather than sympathy for their service clients. Participants in these workshops will:

  1. Gain an increased knowledge of the New Orleans community; while challenging common assumptions and stereotypes;
  2. Explore the power of language and potential positive and negative impacts of language in different cultural contexts.
  3. Consider the relationships between systemic causes for social issues and how they relate to their service projects
  4. Gain tools to analyze community needs and assets through unbiased observation, deep listening and relationship building.
  5. Understand the importance of relationship building, reciprocity and deep listening in the context of community engagement.

In Campus-Based dialogues, participants will explore their own identity in relation to others, share personal experiences and opinions related to power and privilege, and diver deeper into language, concepts and perceptions related to diversity, inclusion and equity. Participants in these workshops will:

  1. Explore their own identity in relation to others, looking through an intersectional lens at the way identity interacts with power and privilege.
  2. Explore terms, definitions and language around issues of identity, oppression and empowerment; such as race, class, gender and sexuality.
  3. Consider the relationships between interpersonal, institutional and structural forms of oppression.
  4. Examine stereotypes, assumptions and beliefs which lead to misunderstanding, prejudice, bias and bigotry.
  5. Understand the importance of relationship building, reciprocity and deep listening in the context campus culture.
  6. Practice and develop foundational behaviors related to cultural competency, such as listening deeply, suspending one’s own judgements, cross-cultural communication and more.

About the CEA Facilitators

Community Engagement Advocates are diverse leaders from across Tulane’s campus who are trained to facilitate intergroup dialogues and social justice workshops.

Community Engagement Advocates participate in a year-long training designed to help them understand and explore key social justice issues and facilitation methods. During the year, the training includes a variety of academic and experiential modules, covering topics such as facilitation, processing, pedagogy, race, class, gender, sexuality, New Orleans root culture and more.

Community Engagement Advocates go through a rigorous three-part certification process which includes shadowing facilitators, a content exam and mock facilitations.

About the Program

The Community Engagement Advocates program is a partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and supports both curricular and co-curricular programming.

The program is based around core principles, research and pedagogical methods developed and promoted by the following:

  • Adams, Bell and Griffin; Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 2007
  • R. Brian Stanfield, The Art of Focused Conversation, Institute of Cultural Affairs, 2000
  • The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan

Request a Dialogue

Interested in bringing a dialogue to your classroom, organization or department? Request a Community Engagement Advocate dialogue by submitting this form. Please submit all requests at least two weeks in advance.

Center for Public Service, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-8060