Overview of Restorative Circles
August 18, 2012
10:00am - 5:00pm
Restorative Circles are increasingly valued for their ability to support communities and organizations of many kinds - families, schools, work teams, affinity groups, faith groups, neighborhoods.... - to understand and benefit from engaging with conflict and difference.
In an interactive day of demonstration and experiential learning, Dominic Barter and colleagues will present the key elements of Restorative Circles and of a systemic context that supports their use. We will focus on the evolution and practice of the process, and its application to various types of conflict, ranging from family disagreements to life threatening conduct. Through exploration of key concepts, grounded in a step-by-step process and illustrated by real world examples, we’ll envision its application in our own communities and organizations.
Participants will be invited to apply the learning to their own social and personal contexts and increase their ability to see and act in ways that strengthen partnership, resilience and safety by inviting restorative outcomes.
A Restorative Circle Facilitation and System Practice intensive is offered immediately following this event. If you plan to attend the 1-day Overview and the 4-day Practice it is necessary to register for each separately, as they are at different venues. Thank you!
More About Restorative Circles and Dominic Barter
In the mid 1990s, Dominic Barter began conversations with favela residents in Rio de Janeiro's hillside communities, which led to the emergence of a new iteration of an ancient practice - community self-care through engagement with the dynamics underlying conflict. Spreading by word of mouth, later indebted to the pioneering research of Marshall Rosenberg, and belatedly recognised as a restorative practice belonging to the social movement Restorative Justice, the practice spread and developed on a community level until attracting the attention of schools, government and, in 2004, the federal Justice Department and the United Nations Development Programe. Starting in 2005, Dominic and a cross-disciplinary team lead by local judges adapted the process - now known as Restorative Circles - into school, court, prison and social services settings as part of the first Brazilian pilot projects in Restorative Justice. These projects have won national awards for innovation in justice and in education, as well as national media attention. Since then - with the support of communities, as well as UNESCO, the Special Secretariat for Human Rights and State Secretaries for Education - Restorative Circles have spread in several states and been credited as an active contribution in the lowering rates of urban violence in Brazil.
Dominic, and those learning with him, have brought the work to over 20 countries in the last 5 years, in Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia. In 2008 Dominic was a keynote speaker at the 11th World Conference of the International Institute for Restorative Practices. In 2010 the UK's foremost social innovation think-tank, NESTA, featured Restorative Circles in their Radical Efficiency report.
For more information about Restorative Circles: www.restorativecircles.org
Co-creating the Resources for these Events and this Work
This work belongs to the communities that use it, and has always been freely sustained by those communities. Dominic's projects and livelihood are funded through donations offered by those who value what Restorative Circles brings them and wish the work to continue. The Rochester learning events are offered in the spirit of a gift - supporting those who wish to create and sustain compassionate responses to conflict.
To make these events, and the ongoing sharing of the work, financially viable - and to fund the next stages of our commitment to bring this work to everyone who seeks it - we will share information on the costs involved during the events. Simple ways to channel resources to the ongoing work in Brazil, locally and around the world will be shared - by cash, cheque or online.
Doing things this way diminishes barriers to access this work, lessening exclusion; it offers an opportunity to consciously choose how we want to invest in the changes we wish to see in the world; it reveals community and invites generosity in ways we find profoundly transformative; it serves as a reminder that forms such as Restorative Circles are essentially folk wisdom, and die when reduced to merchandise; and it keeps those of us who do this work focused on exploration and development. We are grateful for your willingness to receive our learning as a gift, and to nurture us with yours.
If you are contributing yourself:
During the two events, we will support individuals to determine what they would enjoy contributing. Contributions can be made in cash or by check. Making an upfront contribution of $50 for each event to help defray organizing costs when you register would be greatly appreciated, when possible.
If your workplace or another organization will be paying your tuition:
We welcome organizations for whom the above process may present challenges. Please contact the Gandhi Institute for information on payment options for organizations:
Lodging: If you need lodging, the Courtyard Rochester East/Penfield Marriott is the closest hotel to Penfield First Baptist Church where the 4-Day Facilitator Practice will be held. It is about 1.9 miles walking distance (40 minutes) or a 5 minute car ride. According to Google Maps, there is one bus that goes part of the distance between the Marriott and the First Baptist Church. Here are directions from the hotel to the Church. Other nearby hotels can be found through Google Maps here, along with two Bed and Breakfasts.
If you are ONLY coming for the 1-Day Overview, the closest hotels to the University of Rochester can be found here.
If you are coming from out of town and would like to stay in the home of a local participant, please email Jude: firstname.lastname@example.org information about what dates you plan to be in town and any special needs you have related to lodging. Currently we have more people needing lodging than those able to provide it. Because of this, you will be added to a waiting list.
Another option is to check out Couch Surfing.
If you live locally and are willing to host someone coming from out of town, please email Jude: email@example.com with how many people you are willing to host, what dates you are willing to host, and anything you think it would be important to know about your home.
While we can make no guarantees, we will do our best to match those requesting lodging to those offering it.