The circle is the most ancient form of gathering in inclusive community. Among others, the Quakers and Tlingit tribes of the Pacific Northwest have used it to facilitate peaceful dialogue. C.G. Jung called the circle “the archetype of wholeness and divinity.” Today, leaders in many fields are using the ancient circle method to harness the archetypal power of the circle in service of conflict resolution, peace and healing. Circle facilitation is a highly effective way to awaken awareness of our connection with one another. This form of facilitation helps groups move through and beyond divisions and conflict. In the practice of circle facilitation, we create a field of care and connection such that participants experience their unity and interconnectedness in ways that can be surprising and transformative.
Circle process often is used for restorative justice and social justice. This methodology has the potential to heal and assist a community in decision-making, coming to a shared understanding and moving forward together. Whether in a formal peace-making process or more briefly as part of a larger facilitation process, Circle Process facilitation contributes to transformational outcomes by building trust and understanding while lessening the power differences of roles and positions.
Participants will learn:
- History and modern application of circle process
- Design and planning of a circle gathering
- How to participate in a circle facilitation
- Guiding principles and steps in the process of circle facilitation
- How and when to convene and facilitate a group using the circle process
- Use of listening and storytelling as key elements of dialogue in the circle process
- Facilitating when emotion is high and people feel vulnerable
- The art of relationship through the skills of compassionate, skillful communication and love of self and others
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Design a Circle Process to promote peace building.
- Facilitate a Circle Process including preparing the environment, establishing guidelines, designing the questions, opening the circle, guiding and keeping gracious space for the circle process to unfold, and bringing the circle to a close.
- Adapt and vary the Circle Process to meet the unique needs of a group.
- Modify Circle Process to a virtual online experience.
- Manage the Circle Process through difficult and emotionally charged terrain.
Graduates from the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University are eligible for a 10% alumni discount on select ITL courses, workshops, and seminars (certificate programs excluded). Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about your eligibility.
Participants who register at least 21 days prior to the course start date will receive a 10% tuition discount. Please note that only one tuition discount can be applied at time of registration.
This course is an open enrollment course. No application is required and registration is available by clicking "Add to Cart." Current students must register with their Georgetown NetID and password. New students will be prompted to create an account prior to registration.
Please review the refund policies in our Student Handbook before completing your registration.
About the instructors
Kathy Minardi holds a BA from St. Olaf College and an MA from the University of Wisconsin. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership’s Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership and Executive Certificate in Facilitation. She also holds certificates from Harvard and MIT in areas of organizational behavior and leadership. After retiring after a career as a school head of Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC, Kathy founded Whole School Leadership, LLC to assist leaders around the world, including school leaders, in guiding healthy communities.
She is a leadership coach for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and has forty years of experience as a school leader that includes a unique background in organizational development and whole systems design. She presents frequently around the world on a wide range of topics including the science of community building, emotional intelligence, and practices to support individual and collective growth.
She holds concentrations in the Circle Process across numerous lineages of the modality including Peer Spirit Circle Way, Circle of Trust, The Peacemaking Circle, The Way of Council, Circle Process for Reconciliation and Healing, Circle Process for Restorative Justice, and Racial Healing Circles.
Pamela Taylor is an associate professor in the Leadership and Professional Studies department at Seattle University (SU). Her work at SU and throughout the greater Seattle community has focused on raising awareness and deepening understanding about issues related to racial justice and modern-day restorative practices. She primarily teaches the Social Justice for Professional Practice and Multicultural Perspective courses in the College of Education. In the social justice course, there are particular emphases on human rights, grassroots movements, and transformative justice. And for the Multicultural Perspectives course, the pedagogy of circles is practiced.
Dr. Taylor is a nationally recognized circle keeper and trainer. Her circle work has been a long tradition dating back to her coordinating and facilitating groups, as a counselor, social worker, and community organizer. A few years ago, she reconnected with these traditions by joining the Peacemaking and Healing Circle Initiative with the Center for Ethical Leadership, as a consulting affiliate. As such, she has enjoyed keeping and leading innumerable circles and workshops. She especially enjoys special interest circles on topics related to social justice, leadership, and racial healing.
Throughout her professional career — spanning several decades – she has worked in a variety of settings that have intersected across the fields of education, social and human services, and criminal justice. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work, Masters Degree in Social Work, and a Masters of Arts and Ph.D. both in Education with specializations in Multicultural Education and Curriculum and Instruction. She has extensively studied a wide range of conflict resolution, mediation, and peacemaking circle traditions in programs across the United States and Canada.