Elephants & Onions


▪Personal Growth
▪Social Justice

Elephants & Onions is an Interactive Workshop that focuses on motivating students to embrace diversity and to peel back the layers of social justice.

For many students, the topic of diversity can feel like the elephant in the room. It is important for people to have a safe environment to discuss diversity and social justice and learn how they impact our communities. Elephants and Onions is an innovative, proactive way to train individuals who work closely with your diverse student body and helps participants understand how to can take responsibility for their actions and to become agents of change. Elephants and Onions is a starting point for the difficult conversations that surround social justice and social change. As you peel back the layers of identities, roots of judgment, back stories, patterns of assumptions and behaviors and the widely varying values sets that each individual holds, it can be uncomfortable. A few tears might be shed – kind of like peeling an onion. Get it? Elephants in the room. Peeling the onion. Elephants & Onions. Participants dig deeper into social justice and diversity and also gain skills related to effective communication and engaging in critical thinking. Participants will be involved in a highly engaging experience that will leave everyone feeling empowered to create a stronger, safer, more nurturing community for all walks of life.

Learning Outcomes As a result of this program, students will learn:

  • what tools are necessary to become an advocate for social justice,
  • effective interpersonal communication skills,
  • how to engage in challenging dialogue with integrity, and
  • have a good understanding of how social justice impacts relationships and conversations.

What CAS learning and development outcomes does this workshop focus on?

  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Intrapersonal development

Workshop Details

  • 4.5 – 5-hour workshop
  • Includes a participant workbook and a post assessment
  • Often used as part of an existing training

Who is this ideal for?

  • Orientation Leaders
  • Residence Life Training
  • Peer Educator Training
  • Fraternity and Sorority Leaders

>”Now that I have an understanding of how I react,I am able to view the entire situation more clearly and come to a more reasonable solution. By being able to take a step back and view the entire situation without bias, I am able to take in other people’s thoughts, ideas, and opinions.”


University of Rhode Island

“This program opened me up as a leader and showed me how I could achieve my personal goals. It provided a ‘brave space’ that allowed a lot of issues to be discussed that normally get pushed under the rug.”


New Jersey City University

See What People Have to Say!

“I believe that the workshop provided an understanding of social justice concepts and terms that needed to broken down for the students and they appreciated the ability to discuss those issues and not feel that they were attacked or looked down on. It was a great way to facilitate an important discussion about civility and respect. Our facilitators were awesome. I can always tell the effectiveness by the students who linger after the program to talk with the lead facilitators and the students definitely connected.”

Bob Dudolski– Assistant Dean of Students, Texas State University