The Youth Dialogue Institute is a conflict education project based in the Department of Communication and Social Influence in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia and the Conflict Resolution Education in Teacher Education (CRETE) program. The Youth Dialogue Institute empowers young people to develop and facilitate meaningful conversations about conflict and community needs using social media platforms and infusing media images to sharpen discussion on agency and advocacy.

High school students participated in the first phase of the program during summer and fall 2020. They participated with faculty and college students to build media-based dialogue processes as a conflict management and leadership tool. Through three two-day sessions, students learned critical media theories and conflict mmagement dialogue models, and developed their dialogue and advocacy process in a think-tank atmosphere on critical issues including racial inequality, LGBTQIA+ issues, mental health discrimination, women’s reproductive rights and climate change. 

Starting fall 2020, the Youth Dialogue Institute will be conducting dialogue sessions in participating high schools (Science Leadership Academy, George Washington High School and Workshop School) and expanding to community based dialogue in spring 2021.  A second YDI cohort is planned for Central High School and Masterman High School starting late fall 2020. The project team (CSI Professor Tricia Jones, CSI Adjunct Faculty and PhD student Trisha Swed, and interns Carys McCloskey, Justice McNeil, Shaina-Nicole Keena, and Tarahgee Morris) administer and support the project and gather research on the YDI dialogue process and platform. This innovative project will lay the groundwork for youth-led conversations on serious issues in the district and the broader Philadelphia community.

Follow along with the Youth Dialogue Institute on Twitter and Instagram @TUYouthDialogue! 

For more information about the Youth Dialogue Institute, contact Professor Jones at