Georgia Conflict Center offers training programs and workshops in schools, businesses, jails, and many others. Our primary focus is education based on restorative principles, in order to break the cycle of violence plaguing many communities.
This one-day skills workshop is for teachers, school administrators, youth workers, youth, and other professionals who wish to incorporate restorative circles as a proactive tool to build community. The circle keeper’s role is to initiate a space that is respectful and safe, and to engage participants in sharing responsibility for the space and for their collective work. Participants will learn the underlying assumptions, primary features, and basic process of Proactive Restorative Circles through direct experience and reflection. Participants will then have the opportunity to practice designing and keeping circles, to receive feedback on their skills and to receive an assessment of their readiness to apply circles to their work. On the basis of feedback and assessments, most participants will be ready to serve as keepers for basic community building circles as an outcome. More advanced responsive circle keeping requires additional training.
Prerequisites: The Restorative Practice Primer training or similar introductory training is a prerequisite to attending this training. If you have questions, please contact us.
Two related approaches to conflict and harm underlie most of GCC’s work: Nonviolent Communication and Restorative Justice. These two are used in a wide variety of settings, but because they are based on human nature, learning in any context often has a carryover effect. Many times participants at a school workshop have said, “I can use this with my husband (or kids, coworker, etc.)!”
Nonviolent Communication was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, a former psychologist who sought ways to make the work of Carl Rogers and others accessible on a larger scale. Influenced by Paulo Freire’s liberatory pedagogy, Rosenberg worked in neighborhoods, jails, schools, businesses, and many other places to help people understand the concept of universal human needs and their connection to our emotions. NVC helps us understand the reasons why we and others make certain choices, and a way to address things that are not supporting us in making our lives more wonderful.
Restorative Justice is an umbrella term for a wide variety of practices (some very ancient) that address community building and how communities deal with conflict and harm. At its heart restorative justice is about determining who has been harmed, what their needs are, and how to meet those needs communally. In the West its modern applications (often informed by indigenous practices) started in the context of juvenile justice, but has expanded to include schools, neighborhoods, businesses and other communities.