December 15, 2017
Contact: Colleen Karim

Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Ann Arbor, MI (December 14, 2017)

Contact Name: Dr. Kelly Maxwell                  

Organization: Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center


IMG_7396-03.jpgDr. Kelly Maxwell: New Chair of the Board  

Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center is pleased to announce Dr. Kelly Maxwell as the new chair of the board. The Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center seeks to foster constructive dialogue about some of society’s most contentious issues and social policies, including: race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, immigration, social class, the environment, war, and conflicts in the Middle East. The overarching goal is to form a consortium of higher education institutions and national associations committed to the advancement of difficult dialogues teaching and learning.

Kelly E. Maxwell, received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies where she also coordinated the University’s intergroup dialogue program, called Voices of Discovery. Her M.S. is in Higher Education in Student Affairs and she began her career working in residence education, new student orientation, and student life. As a result, she takes a holistic developmental approach as she works with students at all stages of their undergraduate careers. Dr. Maxwell currently teaches courses on intergroup issues including social identity, privilege, oppression and power. She has also taught student development theory in the Center for the Study of Postsecondary and Higher Education at U-M. Additionally, she trains students to facilitate intergroup dialogue on campus.

In addition to serving as Board Chair, Dr. Maxwell is also the Faculty Co-Director of the Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan. She co-directs a partnership unit between the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Student Life. Dr. Maxwell served as the chair of the University Diversity Council from 2012-2014 and is active in improving campus climate for underrepresented groups. Having help found DDNRC in 2011 thanks to the Ford Foundation Grant, Dr. Maxwell strives to bring in her past experiences to help guide and mentor other campuses, and staff to help create effective difficult dialogues in their community.

More recently, she co-led faculty workshops on using dialogic methods in traditional academic courses and has worked with faculty on strategies for effective inclusive classroom teaching approaches. Her book, Facilitating Intergroup Dialogues: Bridging Differences, Catalyzing Change emphasizes the significance of sound facilitation in processes that bridge social differences based on social identities. Her research interests include dialogue and intergroup relations issues in higher education, particularly related to the critical examination of white privilege and its role in maintaining systems of inequity in education.

We also would like to introduce our new Newsletter!  Keep updated on all of the new and exciting things DDNRC will be introducing throughout the year! 

About DDNRC: Founded in 2011, The Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center aims to ensure that college and university campuses remain places where we protect freedom of expression, sustain academic freedom, promote pluralism, and expand opportunities for constructive communication across different perspectives. To learn more visit or Like us on Facebook! 


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