The Center for Community Stewardship (C4CS) is excited to introduce Dialogue Circles to the Madison area. C4CS has partnered with the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, who has been successfully hosting dialogues on a wide variety of subjects in Milwaukee for ten years. We launched this collaboration by training thirty community members in dialogue circle facilitation practices, allowing us to start offering this model to our area.
What are Dialogue Circles?
They are a structured 90 minute to 2-hour process of facilitated conversation in small groups, that allows for open and honest sharing between participants. Because of the structure and the practices of the facilitators, many participants report feeling heard in a way that they have rarely experienced in other group settings. If requested, notes are taken so that the convening organization has an extensive report to help with their future planning.
When Might a Dialogue Circle Model be Useful?
Dialogue Circles allow for respectful discussion of challenging social or community topics (political polarization, race relations, LGBTQ issues, policing, etc.). They can be used after an event such as a movie or play so that participants can process their experience with other attendees. Organizations can choose to have private Circles to increase their internal communication around issues that have led to divisions or tension within the organization, or to have a structured conversation about future plans.
Interested in Hosting a Circle?
If your organization or initiative would benefit from using Dialogue Circles, please contact us. We are excited about providing more resources to help our community have respectful and thoughtful conversations across differences.
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