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General News    H4'ed 9/6/11

Come Learn about Restorative Circles: A Community Response to Conflict and Injustice

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Note: Several individuals contributed to this article.

Seventeen years ago, Dominic Barter walked into a shantytown near his home in Rio de Janeiro with a question -- what happens when I walk toward conflict, rather than away from it? Could it be that conflict becomes violent when we attempt to suppress it and that moving toward it might actually increase safety?

(Image by Dominic Barter)
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The process that emerged from these meetings supports people to walk toward their conflicts with each other and to have their fights in more effective ways, increasing community and individual safety, resilience, and well-being.

Known as Restorative Circles (RC), it has been used in families, schools, courts, workplaces, neighborhoods, churches, and other communities in over 20 countries, in response to situations ranging from name calling to homicide. The award-winning projects in Brazil rate highly in participant satisfaction, reduced recidivism rates and decreased costs.

Now Dominic is coming to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois to share what he's learned from his experiences with RC and to support those present to bring this learning into places where we live, work, learn, play, and pray. 

The Overview [October 12]
will be an interactive day of demonstration and experiential learning, with Dominic presenting the key elements of RC and describing the development of a systemic context that supports its use.  Register here...

The Facilitation Practice [October 13-16] will create the conditions for focused exploration, peer support and group practice in the dynamics of RC facilitation for those who want to facilitate RCs in their own communities.  Register here...

Location: This event will take place at the Independent Media Center (IMC), which is located on 202 South Broadway #100, Urbana, IL

About the long days: Each day is scheduled to run from 8:30am to 9:30pm. We have scheduled long days to make the events accessible to people whose schedules vary widely from each other. We hope that scheduling it this way will help everyone who wants to be there to participate in as much of the events as they can. There will, of course, be long breaks for lunch and dinner and shorter breaks throughout the days.

Cost: There is no specific registration or participation fee. During the events, information will be shared on the financial costs of developing this event, RC itself and the projects Dominic and his colleagues support in several countries. Voluntary contributions will be invited to cover these costs.

More Information:  For information about the events and to register, follow the links above or call 217-722-3471.  For more information about RC: http://www.restorativecircles.org

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Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a teaching associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity and courses on restorative justice.

Since 2009, Mikhail has been studying and working with conflict, particularly via Restorative Circles (a restorative practice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and associates) and other restorative responses to conflict. Together with Elaine Shpungin, he now supports schools, organizations, and workplaces in developing restorative strategies for engaging conflict, building conflict facilitation skills and evaluating the outcomes associated with restorative responses via Conflict 180.

In addition to conflict and restorative (more...)

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