Peace Circle Skillshare
DC Trainers Network
October Skillshare
October 8, 2014

Introduction

  • Welcome and introductions by Circle Keepers (training facilitators): Bette Hoover and Mali Parke
  • Asked everyone to center themselves by being present in the moment.
  • Introductions of participants: Everyone formed a circle and gave a thought on who they were, the movement they were part of and what gave them hope and peace. Everyone wrote one word on the index card, explained why they chose it, and placed it at the center.

History and Philosophy of Peace Circles

  • All humans have gifts and are needed
  • Everything we need to make positive change is here and present within us
  • Human beings are holistic
  • We need practices so we can operate in this world with our core self

Role of a Circle Keeper

  • Circle keepers are less active than general facilitators. The job of a circle keeper is to hold the space and keep the space sacred, and if anything gets out of alignment, they have to pull the group back to the core. The assumption in Peace Circles is the facilitators don’t have the answers.
  • The centerpiece provides a place in the center of the circle and it’s some significant object. In the older times, individuals used fire. With children, one can place a candle.
  • Peace Circle is about being able to speak your truth without being judgmental.

Everyone was asked to list a value they hold dearly and how it connects to the work they do. Individuals noted the following values they held dearly to their work and why they attended the Peace Circles training.

1) Respect
2) Reverence
3) Learning about nonviolent communication for personal relationship/laughter and equity
4) Space creator- understanding that there is power in connection and voice; a space where people take care of each other
5) Justice
6) Compassion
7) Connection
8) Community and a sense of togetherness
9) Strategic nonviolent resistance
10) Courage
11) Honoring people
12) Being comfortable and accepting the differences across racial tensions
13) Inner Peace
14) Love: All of us loving one another we need to be loved.
15) Connecting with dignity and justice
16) Healing the Hurts

Facilitating Peace Circles

  • The first thing that is done in Circles is sharing values and building relationships;
  • the first set of questions is about building a core set of values  to build a base;  
  • Have some guidelines in the beginning and speak once

The group established their guidelines and what individuals would need in order for the circle to be authentic. The following guidelines were given by individuals:

  • Speaking from your own experiences
  • Being non-judgmental/no judgments
  • Everyone should make an efforts to speak deeply
  • Willingness to acknowledge conflict where it exists
  • Respect for another person’s opinion
  • Remembering to return to the present moment

In Peace Circles, the facilitators list the guidelines established by the group. In Peace Circles, it isn’t about getting consensus for a statement. It is about honoring the individual. As a Peace Circle keeper, one does not edit any of the points made by individuals.

The questions posed to the group for discussion included:

1)      What is healthy power and what would healthy power look like in our society?  The group had various thoughts on power. The talking piece was passed around.

2)      How to integrate power-sharing in our own lives? Sharing power: giving part of your power to others.  How do individuals see being able to use this process in their lifetime.

Closing the Circle and Checking-Out

Everyone stood up and held hands. Individuals were asked to speak their truth. Some key closing questions were:

  • How to use more physical movement in peace circles
  • Circles are a great way to build community and don’t know how much value there is in having one-time circles
  • How to get buy-in for a peace circle

Individuals with questions asked the facilitators directly about specific questions they had.

For more information: check out their website or contact Mali Parker at guitteny@gmail.com