The Four Ps:  Purpose, People, Process and Program

Below are four quick and easy steps for how to use Intergroup Resources.  If you need help working through the four steps or want additional support after following them, contact SPACEs.


1. Purpose

Be clear about your purpose.  First identify the outcome you want to achieve coming out of the meeting, project, training or campaign you are working on.

Use the DEAR framework as a tool.  Is your purpose to engage in:

Dialogue – Exchange ideas, perspectives and experiences.

Education (and training) – Transmit knowledge and build skills.

Action – Move people and organizations to take action (through mobilization, protest, rallies, accountability sessions, etc.) on issues of mutual concern.

Reflection – Use the power of memory and imagination to examine the past, present and/or future.

You may want to combine two or more of the above approaches, either simultaneously or in sequence.

2. People

Be clear about who you are engaging.  Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Organizational or individual leaders / community members – Will participants be staff, members, clients, etc. of particular organizations, or will they participate as individuals without concern for their institutional affiliation?

Single-race or ethnic constituency group or multi-racial / multi-ethnic – Will participants all identify with a particular racial/ethnic identity category (i.e. African Americans), or will they represent a spectrum of racial/ethnic identities?  Alternatively, some groups decide to first convene different racial/ethnic “affinity” groups separately, then bring them together later.

Youth, adult, or intergenerational – What age group will participants be?  Is your program geared toward young people?  Adults?  Or are you intentionally creating an intergenerational space?

Local, statewide, or regional – Will participants come from a defined geographic area (i.e. Washington, DC) or from a broader region (i.e., DC metropolitan region), state (i.e. Minnesota), or area of the country (i.e. U.S. South or Pacific Northwest)?  How will this geographic scope affect your approach?

Issue areas, industries, or approaches to social change – Are you convening leaders or organizations who work within a particular issue area (i.e. housing, education, immigration) or industry (i.e. restaurant workers, poultry processing, taxi drivers) or who take a particular approach to social change (i.e. organizing, advocacy, service delivery)?  Or do you seek to accommodate some a combination of these?

Being clear about the backgrounds and interests of the people you hope to engage will inform how you use the resources found on this site.

3. Process

How would you like to become acquainted with all that Intergroup Resources has to offer?

Self-tour – Decide whether you want to tour the site yourself as a way of identifying resources to support your efforts.

Guided tour – Contact SPACEs to schedule a guided tour of Intergroup Resources.

Or take a combination approach!  Tour the site yourself as a way of becoming more familiar with key concepts and material, and then schedule a guided tour in order to dig deeper.

4. Program

There are several ways to identify and use resources housed at Intergroup Resources to support your efforts.  Below is a brief overview of the site structure and where to go to find what you need.

Materials – What type of program do you seek to create?  Would you like build your program around guided dialogue, or do you prefer a more structured approach that comes from using or adapting an established curriculum?  By visiting the Materials section, users can scan the summaries of materials designed for each of these intentions to get a sense of what may be the best fit for their organization and/or purpose.

Innovation and experimentation – Users can identify and use resources by a particular approach or tool you feel is a fit for your work (i.e. storytelling, historical timelines, etc.).  To do this, simply visit Innovation & Experimentation to review some of the more innovative and effective tools identified by Intergroup Resources.

Challenges – Users can also identify and use resources by a particular challenge you or your organization are facing.  Examples of common challenges include facilitation, raising money, planning, and talking about race.  The Challenges section helps you identify and address some of the more common obstacles to intergroup dialogue and political education.

Primers and Other Resources – Users who would benefit from an overview of relevant terminology and ideas will find the Primers section useful.  In Other Resources, users will find other clearinghouses that compliment the materials found on Intergroup Resources, as well as additional reports and documents of interest related to intergroup relationship-building.

Welcome, and happy exploring!  Please let us know how we can continue to support you in your work to strengthen intergroup relations.  How can the online site be improved?  What additional guidance is needed offline?  Let us know by contacting Mia Henry, SPACEs Director of Special Projects at