Community Building Circle Process

The Circle process is structured restorative justice practice utilized to reach consensus, explore issues, resolve conflict and support individuals with hurt or trauma. Individuals are placed in a circle and provided an opportunity to dialogue openly. A talking piece is used to allow participants’ the right to speak uninterrupted or to remain silent. Individuals, not holding the talking piece, are required to listen intently until it is their time to speak. As a communication strategy, the Circle process places equal value on each participant in the Circle. Thus, each Circle participant is valued for his/her unique beliefs, perspectives, experiences and contributions to the Circle. In this way, power is equally distributed among all participants as a means of fostering community, building relationships and encouraging open dialogue.

Essential Elements of the Community Building Circle Process

Explain and Set Up the Center
Explain Talking Piece
Intros and Check-in Round
Create Values and Reach Consensus
Create Guidelines and Reach Consensus
Community Activity 1
Check-out Round

Teachers sitting in circle for Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice colorful cards
Teachers in classroom for Restorative Justice