The time has finally come and the UMass Amherst Civic Engagement Service Learning MACC AmeriCorps VISTAs have started facilitating intergroup dialogue at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club. We call these dialogues “#MondayNightRealTalk”. They take place on Monday nights from 5:30-7:30. We provide our participants with dinner and a space to have “Real Talk” about issues they may not necessarily get to talk about in a traditional classroom.
We discuss issues and concerns students have when it comes to pursuing higher education. There is so much power in sharing our personal stories that we try our hardest to create a safe space in order for this to happen. Stasia and I hope that the curriculum we have co developed in our office with a PhD candidate will be left behind for the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club to continue having these dialogues once our year of service is complete.