Peacemaking Circles Peacemaking circles promote genuine democratic participation by creating space where all voices are respectively heard, shared leadership could emerge, and communities would grow stronger. In addition, Peacemaking Circles create spaces for healing, accountability and rebalancing harmful relationships within the community.
* Circles can help people build effective listening, speaking and decision-making skills that can address conflict and differences.
* Circles include the historically excluded - young people, parents, those with little or no education, those from poor communities, and others who are disenfranchised through life or circumstances - and acknowledge that all people are equal in the Circle.
* Circles provide safe places for people to address and express anger, pain, harm, and/or hopelessness.
* Circles promote accountability among individuals who cause harm to other people and among families and communities.
* Circles empower the members of a community with a sense that they are able to affect positive change, thus creating a significant opportunity for hope and optimism.
* Circles are not things or programs but a way to be.
* Circles are sacred spaces.
* No one controls Circles; they are spaces of collective empowerment.
* Circles are about the invitation; no one can be forced to sit in a Circle.
* Circles are not about what you do while in a circle as it is about how you are in life.
This information comes from http://www.cambridgema.gov/dept/peacefui.html and is reprinted here for more visibility.