Join the Conversation

Our goal is to help you to develop skills and unpack the challenges that exist in the effort to build a respectful community. We do this by enabling you to practice thoughtful interaction across difference in a comfortable, informal setting. Participants will discuss the book “What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People” by Vernā Myers, and a free copy will be provided to all students, staff, and faculty who participate. PDF and screen reader versions of the book will also be made available.

Participate in a Learning Community Discussion Group

Please choose the group you are interested in joining and complete the associated form. Groups are limited to 10-15 participants, and forms will close once the capacity is reached, or the day of the group's first meeting, whichever comes first. If you need assistance, or need to change to a different group, contact

For a more formal classroom experience, please register for the course through the Labor Management Workplace Education Program at the bottom of the page.

Location Frequency and dates. Click on session to register. Time
Bartlett 231 (Host: Melinda Nielsen) Wednesdays, Biweekly, (Feb 6, Feb 20, Mar 6, Mar 20) 12:00-1:00
Campus Center 803 (This is the more structured, classroom style group through LMWEP. More info below.) Feb 19, Feb 26, Mar 5, Mar 19, Mar 26 11:30-1:00
Du Bois Library 1938 (Host: Ann Kardos) Wednesdays, Biweekly, (Feb 6, Feb 20, Mar 6, Mar 20, Apr 3) 12:15-1:15
Goodell 407 (Hosts: Heather Sharpes-Smith & Marcie Savoie) Mondays, Weekly, (Feb 4, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 4) 12:00-1:00
Goodell 528 (Host: Kirsten Helmer) Tuesdays, Biweekly, (Feb 12, Feb 26, Mar 5, Mar 19, Apr 2, Apr 16) 12:30-1:30
ILC N340 (Host: Omadelle Nelson Bowser) Wednesdays, Monthly, 1-2 pm (Feb 6, Mar 6, Apr 3, May 1) 1:00-2:00
Morrill II, rm 220 (Host: Kari Loomis) Mondays, Weekly, (Feb 4, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 4, Mar 18) 12:15-1:15
Morrill II, rm 220 (Host: Caralyn Zehnder) Tuesdays, Weekly, (Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 26, Mar 5, Mar 19) 12:00-1:00
Morrill II, rm 220 (Host: Lynne McLandsborough) Wednesdays, Weekly, (Feb 6, Feb 13, Feb 20, Feb 27, Mar 6) 12:15-1:15 
Morrill II, rm 220 (Host: Joe Van Allen) Thursdays, Weekly, (Feb 7, Feb 14, Feb 21, Feb 28, Mar 7) 12:00-1:00
Morrill II, rm 220 (Host: Zander Crowley) Fridays, Weekly, (Feb 8, Feb 15, Feb 22, Mar 1, Mar 8) 12:15-1:15
Skinner 101 (Hosts: Maeve Howett & Raeann Leblanc) Mondays, Biweekly, (Feb 11, Mar 4, Apr 8, Apr 29) 11:30-12:30 
Slobody Bldg (101 Univ Dr), Suite B5, rm 209 (Host: Randy Sailer) Thursdays, Biweekly, (Feb 14, Feb 28, Mar 14, Mar 28, Apr 11) 12:00-1:00
Slobody Bldg (101 Univ Dr), Suite C5, Rm 350 (Host: Melinda LeLacheur) Fridays, Biweekly, (Feb 1, Feb 15, Mar 1, Mar 15, Mar 29) 11:30-12:30
Whitmore 340A/358 (Host: Robert Judge) Fridays, Weekly, (Feb 8, Feb 15, Feb 22, Mar 1) 12:00-1:00

Participate in a Course on 'What if I Say the Wrong Thing?'

Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
February 19, February 26, March 5, March 19, March 26 (5 sessions)
Campus Center 803 (except March 19, place TBA)

If you are interested in a more structured learning experience, you may want to enroll in this new class, offered through UMass Amherst Workplace Education. In this class, which is part of the Learning Communities initiative, participants will read Verna Myers’ book and develop ways to create more understanding, respect, and courage to be fully present.  The subject matter of this class is the same as that of the learning communities, but will be presented and moderated in a more formal format with instructors Leslie Fraser, Career Counselor/Next Steps Instructor and Lori Sadler, Diversity Special Projects Assistant.

Register for the course via the Labor/Management Workplace Education Program