Dialogue Program

Power & Privilege: Exploring issues of race, equity, and justice together


In partnership with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Oakland Museum of California offers a program for your employees to learn, explore, and connect around relevant issues that face our community. As part of this highly interactive program, groups of 15 to 20 individuals from your organization will explore OMCA’s exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 and participate in a facilitated dialogue. Each two-hour dialogue session is tailored to the needs of your organization based on themes of identity, race, power, and social justice. Participants will be invited to share their own perspectives, listen, and reflect on other points of view. By the end of the program, participants will create a shared understanding of a more just and humane future, and feel empowered to continue these critical conversations in their own lives.

How the program works
Pairs of trained facilitators will lead each session using dialogue methods developed by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and refined for your participants by Dia Penning of World Trust. Facilitators will be assigned based on each organization’s unique needs. Sessions include an advance consultation with a facilitator.

Sessions occur during exhibition open hours, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Session availability on weekends is limited and based on availability. To schedule a session for your organization, contact Nani Toda at ntoda@museumca.org.

Group Size and Cost
Each session can accommodate up to 20 participants from the same organization. Program cost is $150 per person.


The dialogue program facilitators have experience from a wide range of professions, including theater, education, museums, and the legal field. Each facilitator has previous facilitation experience with additional training specific to conversations about race, equity, and social justice.

All facilitators have undergone training with Dia Penning, Director of Curriculum and Education, World Trust, and Museum staff. Penning brings twenty years of workshop facilitation, facilitator training, and curriculum development including Racial Equity Learning Modules, which offer transformative and creative ways for educators to engage people in community building and learning about systemic racism.


International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
The Coalition is a worldwide network of Sites of Conscience—historic sites, museums, and initiatives specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies. The International Coalition advocates for every community’s right to preserve sites where struggles for human rights and democracy have taken place, to talk openly about what happened there, and to confront their contemporary legacies.

The Coalition was founded in 1999, when nine museums from four continents came together with a common commitment: to foster civil engagement by using their powerful places of memory as catalysts for new dialogue on contemporary issues. Today, the Coalition is led by 17 Core Founding Members and includes more than 200 members in 55 countries.

Sites of Conscience aim to move visitors beyond passive learning. The Sites use facilitated dialogue as an interpretive strategy to enable visitors to better access larger historical and humanities themes within their exhibits, tours, programs and social media.

Dialogue is a mode of communication which invites people with varied experiences and often differing perspectives to engage in an open-ended conversation toward the express goal of personal and collective learning. It requires participants to surface assumptions that inform their beliefs and actions while attempting to suspend judgment of others.

Facilitated dialogue refers to a process led by a neutral facilitator. Facilitators use a combination of questions, techniques, activities and ground rules to ensure that all participants can communicate with integrity. Because dialogue is a non-hierarchical mode of communication, facilitators also uphold equality among all participants.


"Dialogue has given us a methodology for engaging some of the most critical issues in our society. We have found it vital to our efforts to involve students, as well as broader publics, in dialogues on race, immigration, gender, sexuality, disability, and the environment.” —International Coalition of Sites of Conscience member

"Working with the programs team at the museum is wonderful. I have learned a great deal about how art can open conversations around deeper social issues. Their balance of personal inquiry with structural interrogation is helpful in building new understanding of matters that affect us all.” —Dia Penning, Director of Curriculum and Education, World Trust