Circle Forward Supplement

Moving Toward Racial Equity in Schools —Starting with the Adults 

By Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis

Living Justice Press
Softcover spiral-bound, 88 pp, ISBN 0-9721886-2-2



The 2020 revised edition of Circle Forward, originally published in 2015, adds a new module of Circles for adults in schools to talk about race and equity issues. This book, Circle Forward Supplement, is that module—“Module 14 .” Educators who already have the original version can now access this new material without having to purchase the new edition. This supplement to Circle Forward is intended to be used in conjunction with the original publication of Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community. Critical information for building the capacity to use the Circles in this publication is in the original book. Circles that explore race and equity issues raise many challenges and require sustained commitment and learning. For this reason, we do not recommend using this supplement without a foundation of understanding the Circle process and developing a Circle practice. The supplement contains 18 new Circles that are not contained in the 2015 Circle Forward.

Conversations about race are hard for multiple reasons.. . . Many people recognize that they do not have the skills or knowledge required to really talk about race, and both are required. . . .Because of this and the added layer of the emotional element, conversations about race must be held in a good way.

Circle is by far one of the best social technologies available to us towards this end. Individuals are called to work on the “contents of their chair” through the process, as opposed to fixating and/or fixing other people. . . When a group sits in Circle and processes race, the group’s members are engaged in the collective act of humanization in conjunction with the lived racialized reality of the other humans present. They are invited to work on the contents of their chair, while building crucial skills associated with conversing about race in an experiential way. The work is critical for any school for the sake of the actual well-being of every student and family they serve. Administrators are not exempt and should lead by example. The reality is that this work will make them better administrators, more capable of supporting the students, faculty, staff, students, and parents who are relying on them.

Jabali Stewart, quoted in Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis, Circle Forward and Circle Forward Supplement

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