The Vanderbilt Community Circle (VC2) was designed to provide all faculty, staff, and students within the entire Vanderbilt University Medical Center community a dedicated venue to discuss current events and ongoing societal issues.
During the 2017–18 academic year, four VC2 events were held on: "Race, identity, and conflict in America," "Gun violence in America," "Gender in the workplace," and "Immigration in America." Facilitators guided participants to share their views and perspectives on these matters with pre-developed open-ended questions. Attendees started discussions in small groups and then eventually combined into a large one. Pre- and post-event surveys were administered to measure the program's effectiveness.
One-hundred and twenty-four participants were included, 75 of whom completed both the pre- and post-event surveys. Sixty-four of the 75 (85%) agreed or strongly agreed that "multiple perspectives and opinions were represented" and 73% felt that their "own perspective was broadened on the issue." Most (89%) believed that the format and setting of the event was conducive to dialogue and discussion, and almost all (91%) reported that they would attend a similar event in the future. Groningen Reflection Ability Scale scores were high before (94 [25th–75th: 88–99]) and remained high after the events (93 [25th–75th: 88–93.3], <jats:italic>p</jats:italic> > 0.05).
We successfully implemented a medical center-wide, recurring current events and dialogue forum in hopes of increasing reflection, unity, and understanding across our own community.
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