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Community-Building and Reconciliation Circles for Putney

My name is Claire Summers and I’m writing this on behalf of Restorative Community Justice of Southern Vermont. In April, we plan to facilitate a series of four circles, all free, each addressing different aspects of community, both in Putney and in the United States as a whole. We invite anyone who is interested in having these conversations to join us every Saturday in April and talk about how to strengthen communities in times of trauma and unrest. Dates and descriptions for these circles are provided below. Please email or sign up at if you are interested and we will be happy to provide you with the Zoom link and any relevant resources for the circles!

April 3 & April 10, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Community Restoration in 2021 and Healing from National Trauma

Description: Recently, conversation abounds as to whether 2021 will be a “better” year than 2020. We at RCJSVT believe that there are steps individuals and communities can take to ensure that 2021 is, if not “better,” more restorative than 2020. Although we are only a month into 2021, already tensions are running high, perhaps in part due to the expectations many people hold for this year. We want to hear your voices, sit in circle, and engage in a dialogue about what we can all do to respond to issues that arise this year in ways that heal rather than harm. In the first circle, we will think about questions like, “How can we uphold our values in the face of crises?” and “How can we promote social healing without overlooking our own health?” In the second circle, we will focus specifically on the impacts on the nation of the trauma we have shared in the past few years due to COVID-19, political unrest, and other events. Let’s talk about how to find balance, accountability, healing, and more.

April 17 & April 24, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Community Reconciliation

– Do current tensions in the community make you uneasy?
– Do you have ideas and/or experiences regarding Black Lives Matter, Antifa, White Supremacy, or Donald Trump and his adherents which make it difficult to trust your neighbors’ intentions or fear their actions?
– Are you willing to participate in a restorative process that will allow you to articulate your feelings in a way that others can hear, and to hear the concerns and feelings of others?

Join RCJSVT for one or both of our community reconciliation circles, in which we can work through these challenging tensions in a safe and constructive manner, intended to help communication and respect flourish even where there is disagreement.

For these circles, we will ask you to confirm your participation in advance, so that you can have an “intake” or individual conversation with an RCJSVT facilitator prior to the circle. This helps to ensure that all participants are well prepared to express themselves and to actively listen to others in the circle.

Any outcome of these circles will be determined by the collective wisdom of the participants. RCJSVT will be there to ensure that the process is safe, equitable, and focused on the issues and relationships at hand.

Participation in our first two community circles is not required to attend these reconciliation circles, but it is strongly encouraged, especially for those without prior experience sitting in circle.

All circles will be facilitated by Dan DeWalt, Laurie Rabut, and/or Claire Summers. We hope you will join us and feel free to reach out with any questions!