Emerging Minds Project

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosts the Emerging Minds Project (EMP), a program that complements academic coursework through intentional dialogue and reflection on issues encountered daily in society.  Participants develop skills for becoming culturally competent leaders through facilitated discussions on topics related to social justice and diversity.  

During the winter and spring quarters, students have the opportunity to join a cohort to deepen their understanding of social justice, diversity, and identity on campus.  Cohorts consist of 10-15 students in a peer-facilitated intergroup dialogue held on Wednesdays or Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm during Winter Quarter (Weeks 3-7) and Spring Quarter (Weeks 2-6). At the culmination of the experience, cohorts design a capstone project that allows participants to move from dialogue to action.

Please click here for the 2018-2019 academic year application.

Questions? Contact omsa@uchicago.edu.


  • The purpose of EMP is to create a space for intentional discussion between students, focused on issues that are encountered daily in current society.
  • Participants of this program will engage in facilitated discussions on topics including, but not limited to: race, disability status, religion, language, immigration, class, access, power and privilege, white privilege, sexuality, gender.

Program Goals

  • EMP will supplement student coursework with a process that actively and purposefully engages their voice and experiences in collective learning. Through EMP, students will have the opportunity to develop their intercultural and intergroup communication skills that are helpful in an increasingly global economy and society.
  • Program participants will gain the skills to better navigate an increasingly complex society through a transformative learning experience.
  • Through meaningful intergroup discussion and education, EMP will provide the necessary tools for students to promote the creation of a just, multicultural University of Chicago campus community.

Participant Expectations

Student participants will be asked to commit to the following:

  • Attend all 10 sessions, which will be held on either Wednesdays or Thursdays based on the preferences indicated in your EMP application. The time cohorts meet are between 6:00 - 8:00 PM on the below dates:
    • Wednesday winter quarter dates: 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20 and spring quarter dates: 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8
    • Thursday winter quarter dates: 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/21     and spring quarter dates: 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9
  • Be willing to share personal experiences and actively contribute to the dialogues during cohort meetings
  • In the event a student is unable to attend a session, students must notify their facilitators and fellow cohort members two days in advance
  • Attend current events that relate to the discussion topic
  • Actively contribute to the final project
  • Respond to emails within two days of receipt
  • Review brief articles or videos provided prior to meetings
  • Provide feedback and evaluation on the program throughout the academic year

In addition to these program expectations, each cohort will develop a set of shared ground rules.

Participant Eligibility

  • All College students currently enrolled full time and in good standing with the University who do not plan to study abroad in Winter or Spring 2019.