Practising Dialogue

Working Group, 2021-2022

Description of Activity

This group will focus on the diminishing capacity for true dialogue; our failure to simultaneously dissent and respect boundaries. As members of a multilingual and multi-ethnic society, we are aware of the impact of divisiveness and the ambiguous nature of calls for greater good, which can degrade into a call-out culture, silencing valid stances in the name of other greater goods. Our goal is to develop strategies that overcome the tendency to retreat into small groups of the like-minded: a capacity for dialogue, which involves recognizing and meeting people whose backgrounds and viewpoints differ along all possible dimensions (e.g., age, gender, political and religious affiliations, educational background, language) in a space created by the force of respectful listening and a desire for mutual learning.


  • Laura Colantoni, FAS Spanish & Portuguese
  • Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux, FAS Linguistics and Spanish & Portuguese

Faculty Members at the University of Toronto

  • Victor Rivas, FAS Spanish & Portuguese and Latin American Studies program
  • Jeffrey Senese, UTM Philosophy
  • Jeffrey Steele, UTM Language Studies

Faculty Member outside the University of Toronto

  • Ailén Cruz, Spanish, Australia National University

Staff Member, University of Toronto

  • Caroline Rabbat, Director of Critical Incidents, FAS Safety and Health Awareness

Graduate Students at the University of Toronto

  • Nae Hanashiro, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Sam Jambrovic, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Alejandro Suarez, Philosophy

Community Professionals

  • Bill Forrest, Affordable Housing East Non-Profit Housing Corporation
  • Maria Hadziz, National Volunteer Coordinator, Prison Fellowship Canada
  • Ana Luz Huete, consultant, cultural transformation of organizations & leadership
  • Rodney John, mediator
  • Gillian McConnell, psychotherapist
  • Eliza Trotter, Archdiocese of Toronto
  • Arturo Saez Sands, Director, Saez Law Firm, Madrid
  • Arantxa Zararain, Director, Food Services, Zubarin College, Madrid
  • Maria José Zatarain, Strategic Income Security Services