We specialize in research and evidence-based practices for bringing about reconciliation to conflict and disharmony between individuals and within organizations and communities. We offer training utilizing the peacemaking circle process, theories of nonviolence, and other restorative practices to bring about peace, harmony, and balance in relationships. We can customize our services to meet your specific needs.
We provide social justice-based training, consultation, and coaching. We assist individuals, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community groups, non-profit and governmental agencies, faith-based communities, and others by utilizing restorative and transformative processes for problem-solving, conflict resolution, peace-building, team and community building, strategic planning, leadership development, racial healing, and racial equity analysis. We are an active partner of The Nonviolence Training Hub, an international consortium of trainers.
AVAILABLE TRAINING PROGRAMS and WORKSHOPS
NOTE: Due to Covid-19, we will rely on virtual technology to host sessions for the foreseeable future. Meeting virtually may require a different schedule configuration.
LEVEL I: Basics of Peacemaking Circles Training
This multi-day workshop provides firsthand experiences in a peacemaking circle. Participants learn about the underlying values of the peacemaking circle process, theoretical frameworks, key components, core principles, and practical applications utilizing the circle process.
LEVEL II: Fundamentals of Peacemaking Circle Facilitator Training
This multi-day experiential training prepares participants to design and facilitate basic talking circles. Participants will directly experience circles; understand the elements, philosophy, and rituals of the circles; and practice both planning and facilitation of circles. Circles are a structured form of dialogue based on indigenous values and principles. Circles foster a sense of community based on mutual respect with broad applications in many different contexts. This workshop will prepare participants to use talking circles within their own context: schools, youth-serving organizations, universities, corrections, social services, families, workplaces, faith organizations, and communities.
LEVEL III: Advanced Peacemaking Circle Facilitator Training
This can be a two or three-day experiential workshop for circle keepers who have prior circle training (not necessarily with our trainers) and ideally have experience as a circle keeper or facilitator. This training provides an opportunity to develop advanced practice, skills, and resources for keeping and facilitating circles.
Peacemaking Circles for Racial Healing©
Racism is one of the most pervasive social problems challenging society today. This problem of inherent racism continues to be emphatically denied or even talked about. Most of us were taught that if we don’t talk about race and say we don’t see color, racism will go away. Or folks give excuses for refusing to talk about race and racism because they either don’t know how to or they feel afraid, ashamed, or guilty. We cannot be truly liberated until we confront racism head-on. Racial healing has been described as a process of healing from the cumulative effects of racism individual and societal most likely caused by miseducation, separation, and disunity. Healing racism is the only way to restore us to our full humanity. We cannot be truly liberated until we confront racism head-on.
Peacemaking circles are a different way of talking about race/ism that is relational, preemptive, and proactive. The circle process is both an ancient practice and a modern process to create trust and belonging. These circles draw upon the ancient healing properties of circles that aid in raising awareness and stimulating introspection and reflection that will lead to a reconciliation of issues related to race and racism. In these circles, participants experience the circle process with a focus on racial healing and learn how to utilize this process to hold race-based conversations in their communities. This is a different way of talking about race and racism that is safe, preemptive, and proactive. It is aimed at building strong relationships capable of holding the needed healing dialogues around race and racism.
Peacemaking Circles provide the space for transforming ourselves and our relationships with others. Racial healing circles are typically offered as a series of circles (from six+ gatherings) that allow for a progressive deepening of individual and collective racial healing work. Some possible topics for a series of racial healing circles can be (but not limited to) as follows:
- Beginning the Race/ism Conversation
- Building Capacity for Holding Space & Bearing Witness
- Exploring Racial Identity
- Acknowledging the Impacts of Race/ism
- Deconstructing the Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture
- Truth-Telling: Conceding what LIES Between Us
- Recognizing Racial Privilege
- Managing Unconscious Bias
- Dismantling Anti-Black Bias
- Decoding Racialized Microaggressions
- Cultivating a Racial Equity Mindset
- Framing New Narratives for Racial Reconciliation
- *Other topics available
Peacemaking Circles in the Classroom
Classroom circles are a great way to allow students to develop and enhance life skills that are so important to all of us. They take many forms, from getting to know one another to curriculum topics to cooperative activities to problem-solving and conflict resolution. Some possibilities for classroom circles are:
1. Dialogue/Discussion Circles for discussing and agreeing upon the common courtesies or norms of the group or classroom (Negotiating classroom rules, values, planning class excursions)
2. Problem –Solving Circles for determining: How do we feel? Who has been affected by this problem? How have they been affected? How can we solve the problem so it doesn’t continue to be a problem?
3. Reviewing curriculum circles help teachers gauge how students are feeling about the lesson and how can the topic be made more relevant. And what kinds of support are needed by the students.
4. A reflection or evaluation circle asks what did we learn today or what do I already know (or from that session)?
5. Social skill circles help to build social skills like listening, friendships, kindness, respect, forgiveness, taking turns, and cooperation.
6. Restorative circles aid in restoring relationships and reconciling conflict – around a particular issue that has affected all classmates. These circles help to reveal what happened, who was affected, what can we do to make it better?
Peacemaking Circles as Restorative Practice – Fostering Racial Equity in Schools: An Institute for Educators©
This multi-day customized training can include some if not all of the following components:
1. An experiential introduction to the peacemaking circle process which is a dialog process that works intentionally to create a safe space to discuss very difficult or painful issues in order to improve relationships and resolve conflict.
2. An examination of the fundamental values and principles of restorative practices. Restorative practices aid to build community and promote healthy relationships among everyone in the school context in order to develop social-emotional and conflict-resolution skills necessary to reduce conflict.
3. Exploration of racial equity and racial power dynamics in schools. This will include the theories and practices for anti-racist multicultural education. Particular attention can be given to helping participants develop proactive dispositions (attitudes and beliefs) and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatments, impacts, and outcomes for everyone within the school context.
4. A review of contemporary practices for implementing restorative practices that meet the unique needs of your school. Other topics can include culture and climate assessments, identification of strengths and roadblocks, stakeholder participation and support, professional development recommendations, using restorative practices to address staff and student conflict, and building a sustainable community of practice.
Cultivating Radical Learning Communities©
Radical Learning Communities serve as seedbeds for transformation. This multi-day experience is for educators in diverse settings who are committed to creating compassionate learning communities and believe relationships are essential elements for optimizing learning and creative processes. A central focus centers on the restorative properties of the peacemaking circle. This work draws from the ancient traditions of the peacemaking circle processes, evidence- informed circle pedagogy, and other restorative practices to explore issues, understand problems, surface wounds, plant seeds, and find ways of cultivating relationships within learning communities.
This experience is focused on cultivating:
- The tenets of Radical Healing and the need for trauma-informed and healing-centered care in all our settings.
- How communities can self-assess, empower, and transform individuals and entire communities.
- Relationship building that moves from transactional to one that is transformational.
- Power dynamics and the ways we constantly perceive, surface, and reflect on conscious and unconscious uses of power in our relationships and institutions.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION AND/OR TO SCHEDULE A CIRCLE OR TRAINING
© COPYRIGHT by THE CIRCLE WORKS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2021