Community Dialogues this Fall/Winter

This school year, I am planning to transform the monthly Empathy Café/Salon that I have held for 4-5 years in my own home into a series of Community Circles to discuss racial and social justice, including topics around our youth and children. Whatever your thoughts and experiences are, they are all invited to the table to be heard and shared in community to increase understanding, empathy for all, healing, and powerful transformation. Inviting us to nonviolence and restorative approaches to conflict and differences, our Circles will be based on the peacemaking circle process developed by Kay Pranis and guided/facilitated to support each topic to be approached with care and spaciousness for all voices. Circles will be about 90 minutes to 2 hours length.

The following Circle topics* are examples of what these Community Circles may be. (We will discuss one topic at a time and not necessarily in this order. Your suggestions are invited to further expand the dialogue.) The voices of youth and people of color are very much invited, and the circles will be adpated for general participation.

  • What Do We Know about Race?
  • What Difference Does Race Make?
  • Exploring our Feelings about Race
  • Talking About Structural Inequality: Privilege and Oppression
  • Exploring White Privilege
  • Exploring the Impact of Social Inequality
  • Roots of Youth Violence
  • Impact of Social Hierarchies on Me
  • Witnessing Violence
  • Let’s Talk about Bullying

* These titles and facilitated circle examples are directly taken from Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community by Carolyn Boyle-Watson and Kay Pranis.

Request: I am currently seeking a space, preferably in downtown DC, accessible by metro, to accomodate 20-30+ people at no charge on a monthly Friday night (6:30-9:30pm approximately): if you know of any such places and/or your organization is willing to host, maybe even sponsor these circles, contact me. If other facilitators want to support “co-keeping” these circles, email me as well!

I hope to announce the first circle date in October’s newsletter.

Welcoming all suggestions and expressions of interest or support and hoping to co-create the environment for curiosity, empathy and deep listening of all that is alive in us.


Mali Parke