Our ancestors gathered around a fire in a circle, families gather around their kitchen tables in circles, and now we are gathering in circles as communities to solve problems. The practice draws on the ancient Native American tradition of a talking piece and combines that with concepts of democracy and inclusivity.
Peacemaking Circles are used in neighborhoods to provide support for those harmed by crime and to decide sentences for those who commit crime, in schools to create positive classroom climates and resolve behavior problems, in the workplace to deal with conflict, and in social services to develop more organic support systems for people struggling to get their lives together.
The Circle process hinges on storytelling. It is hard work, but it is an effort bringing astonishing results around the country.