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Somali Peace Circle

SOMALI PEACE CIRCLE

Peace Circles are structured process used to bring people together to better understand one another, build and strengthen bonds and solve community problems. Peacemaking circles provide a way for people to have conversations and to work through conflict or differences in a safe and productive way. The Somali Peace Circle is space for Somali Community to retrieve authentic-self, build trust and deeper relationships, and support each other. In this circle, we heal ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, through sharing our real-life stories. This circle process enables us to become aware of our inner voices and develop deeper connections with one another. As a community who have been through severe stages of trauma and suffering from xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, and different level of discrimination, this space is very sacred place for Us to reconnect, to love, and to hold each other’s spirits high so we can get through from day to day.

The Circle is a container strong enough to hold:
Anger
Frustration
Truth
Conflict
Opposite opinions
Strong feelings

Value of circle format for discussion, brainstorming or problem:

1. Shared leadership, equality Placing everyone in a circle minimize structural distinctions between “teacher” and “learner” and sets a tone of equal participation and equal capacity to teach and learn among all participants.
2. Visual contact among all participants at all times — In a circle no one is looking at anyone else’s back. It is easier to listen and hear when there are direct sight and sound lines among participants.
3. Focus — The structure of the circle focuses attention on the participants and task of the circle and reduces distractions.
4. Connection — The circle links all participants to one another encouraging a sense of shared effort or common purpose.
5. Respect/accountability — Because everyone in a circle can see everyone else, disrespectful behavior such as side conversations or demeaning non-verbal actions are discouraged. If it happens it becomes obvious to everyone in the circle.
6. Input and participation from all — Use of the technique of going around the circle providing each person with a chance to speak ensures that everyone has an opportunity to be heard and reduces domination of discussion by a small number of people.
7. Inclusion — In a circle no one feels isolated or left out,
8. Guidelines Circle participants to meet the needs of the group create guidelines. Guidelines institute a covenant defining how people will interact and share space and time as a group.

December 2015 Somali Peace Circle

November 2015 Somali Peace Circle.

October 2015 Somali Peace Circle