Welcome to Just Peace Circles!

Peace circles are ancient to the future and relevant in the present.

We come together in circles to seek peace and to celebrate, for healing and community building.  Together we seek to understand trauma and what is needed to heal ourselves, our wounded communities and our world.

Circle keepers facilitate the process – discovering shared values, asking the right questions and guiding the participants toward the appropriate actions.

Circling up is catching  on – making hierarchy passé!

~Just Peace  Circles, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization~

Healing & Building Resiliency Workshop

A Peace Circle to help us gain a greater understanding of our own multiple traumas and seek ways to heal ourselves and do our part to heal the world.  With movement, mediation and ideas for self soothing, we build a better base for being resilient in a battered world.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 from 10am – 3 pm near Clarksville, MD. Register with Hannahgresser@gmail.com or Bette at 202-329-4667. Donation requested. Brunch starts at 9:30 am.

Join the next team to Nicaragua

February 6 – 13th of 2017 are the dates! More info to follow.

Restorative Justice Conference

The Circle of Restorative Initiatives (CRI) http://www.crimaryland.org presents the 6th R.J. Conference on November 17 & 18 at Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland. “Exploring Intersections between Restorative Justice and Race” features Nancy Riestenberg, Author of  Circle in the Square: Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools and many workshops.

Just Peace Circles will present a workshop on “Circles and Trauma Healing” on Thursday, Nov 17 @ 2 pm.  

 

Refugees in our Midst: How can we help?

A forum will be held at Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860 on Sunday, October 9th from 1 – 4 pm.  

Just Peace Circles joins the Peace Committee of Sandy Spring Friends (Quaker) Meeting, Maryland Welcomes Refugees and other co-sponsors in organizing this event.  According to the UNHCR there are an unprecedented 20 million refugees in our present world.  Nearly 5 million have fled the violence in Syria and at least 200 families are being resettled in Maryland in the coming months.

Panelists include Yasmine Taeb of Friends Committee on National Legislation www.fcnl.org, Ruben Chandrasekhar of the International Rescue Committee www.rescue.org, faith and community leaders sharing their process in becoming part of the solution and voices of new neighbors telling their stories. Opening prayers led by a Piscataway elder, Rico Newman.

Doors open at 12:30 pm for registration and light refreshments.  Suggested donation of $10. RSVP at http://www.md4refugees.org

Contact Bette@justpeacecircles.org or Erinn@campmansour.com for more info.

 

Gallery

Nicaragua Delegations

This gallery contains 24 photos.

2016 Healers Delegation

Warm breezes welcomed our team of six healers to Managua on Feb 18, 2016.  The group settled in at Quaker House where they were greeted with a delicious meal and hugs from Pro Nica staff.  The team included massage therapists, yoga teachers, a psychologist and a sex therapist.  For several team members it was their first visit to Nicaragua.  For the next ten days the group led retreats for Pro-Nica staff and partners in various parts of the country. 

The first day the team visited sites in the city of Managua and listened intensely to the history of the country.  It was important to understand the context of the country and the inter-connectedness of our nations.  The tree-lined Salvador Allende Bolivar brought us to present times as we admired the “trees of life” that were created by first lady, Dona Rosario Ortego.  The well-lit metal structures loom tall and powerful.  Political billboards proclaiming the strength and goodness of the Ortega government are everywhere.  A tourist might surmise there were no other political parties in the country that calls itself a democracy.

Our first workshop was a one day AVP training on trauma healing held at the Kairos Center.  Harold Urban and other Alternative to Violence facilitators from around the country enjoyed the intense “advanced” workshop experience.  For most of the team, it was an introduction to the AVP model and the popular education modality.

Next we traveled to the Centro de Retiros La Palmera in Diriamba to spend the next few days with Los Quinchos staff.  Initially, we visited the children and were entertained by a visiting circus who were there working with the former street children for a month.  Our team was excited by the holistic approach of Los Quinchos to the traumatized street children.  We observed them learning new skills (like sewing or drumming), cooking together and a cooperative family approach.

“The best part of the experience for me was working with Los Quinchos staff.  It was amazing fro see their resilience, desire to learn and to help in spite of all they have been through themselves.  Sometimes I feel jaded about the world and working with them boosted my sense of hope.”  This statement by one of the team is reflective of the their experience as a result of our days in retreat with these amazingly resilient and resourceful people.

Our third – and final- retreat was held in San Ramon at the Sueno de la Campana Retreat Center.  Retreatants came from Pro Nica’s northern partners and some traveled for many hours by bus to join us.  Casa del Nino, Casa Materna, Rio Blanco Women’s Network were all well represented at the retreat.

Each person was received a massage during our time together and got called from the circle when their turn came.  Again we explored types of trauma with a popular education format.  We spoke of stages of grief and how to deal with them.  There was ample time to share stories and learn some new information as well.  For many the five circles of sexuality were a welcome way to explore issues of relationship and violence.  The circles include: sexualization, sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity and sexual health and reproduction. 

In addition to leading the three retreats described, the team has time to swim at Laguna de apoyo, stroll along the Lakeshore waterfront park in Managua and have a mini-retreat at La Garnacha near Esteli.  The healers were all pleased to participant in this project and several described deep hearings that happened to them during the experience.

Healers and peacebuilders travel to Nicaragua

A team of 6 healers traveled to Nicaragua from Maryland in the US for 10 days in August. The group learned about the country and its history, practiced the ministry of presence and led two retreats.  Staff of the partners of ProNica (see http://www.pronica.org) were invited to participate in the retreats.  The workshops included community building, trauma healing awareness and hands on healing. About 60 people participated in the two workshops – one in Managua and the other near Matagalpa.

Repairing the damage and building resiliency among those working for social justice is essential for peace building anywhere.  It’s especially important in Nicaragua where people have been buffeted by wars, poverty, earthquakes and storms for many generations.  Those who labor on the front-lines are invaluable in transforming the scars of multiple traumas into positive change for individuals and communities.  Their work with marginalized people, street children and victims of violence is honorable – and stressful.  Our workshops/ retreats were offerings to help keep the leadership strong of body, mind and spirit.  So their organizations can continue their amazing work.

The team was led by Bette Rainbow Hoover, a healer, peace builder and workshop facilitator.  The five women who accompanied her included a registered nurse, two acupuncturists, a yoga teacher, massage therapist and an anthropologist.  Presentations about the work of the delegation are scheduled for

September 18, 2015 at Eden Valley in Howard County, MD

October 24, 2015 at 7:30 at Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting (Quakers)

Call us at 202-329-4667 for more information.