A circle is a platform where citizens participate in facilitated discussions, relationship building and take action. Circle discussions take place in safe, civil, and secure, spaces. These circles have led to the development of reconciliation projects.

Algiers Circle Reconciliation Project – Visions & Voices of Algiers: Reflections On Our Shared Racial and Multi-Ethnic History

The Algiers Circle project will guide high school aged youth to explore the racial and multi-ethnic fabric of Algiers history through interviews and conversations with elder residents and historians. The goals of this project are to enhance the public understanding of various racial and multi-ethnic communities in Algiers, to facilitate relationships among youth from varying ethnic backgrounds, to contribute to the larger dialogue around racial equity and reconciliation that is occurring at the citywide, state, national, and international levels, as well as to encourage youth to invest in their community by learning and preserving the historical narratives that often go untold. Nationally recognized artist and activist Brandan “B-mike” Odums will train a multiracial group of 24 students to use their analytical abilities and creative talents to conduct and archive the interviews; to interpret the information acquired; and to depict their newfound knowledge via a public art installation.

Business/ Civic Leaders Circle Reconciliation Project: THREAUX, INC.

The Business/ Civic Leaders Circle believes that it has a responsibility to take full advantage of its social networks, access to capital and the personal reputations of its members as community leaders to imagine and execute a large-scale, high-impact project that has the potential to re-shape the social and economic landscape of New Orleans. The project will challenge and reshape New Orleanians’ ideas about race and ethnicity and create economic opportunity where it is needed most using one of New Orleans’ most prominent and beloved institutions: Mardi Gras.

Carrollton Circle Reconciliation Project – Equity Circle

The Carrollton Circle will create a permanent outdoor conversation space in the geographic heart of New Orleans and one of its most diverse neighborhoods: Mid-City. The space will include an equity circle with seating that will invite the community to come together. The space will also include a children’s playground for families to gather. The project also features a film festival featuring filmmakers, guest speakers and conversations on the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, racism and the path to reconciliation, equity and unity.

Central City Circle Reconciliation Project – History Matters

The Central City Circle project is designed to recognize individuals who have worked to engage the community through public participation. The project will also involve high school students learning about their communities and racial reconciliation. Working in partnership with education experts, lesson plans are being developed and will be offered to public and private schools. Students will be invited to present and have artwork judged including essays, visual arts, spoken word pieces and writings based on the lesson plans.

Mid-City Circle Reconciliation Project

The Mid-City Circle will host a series of events using film/video, spoken word and a painted mural informed by community discussions and collaboration as catalyst and provocateur for structured dialogue about racial reconciliation. The purpose of the project is to communicate the message: “RACE – the Science is Myth. The Experience is Reality. The Construct We Must Reconcile.” The project seeks to shine a light on the myth, reality and construct of race, inspire people to think about and discuss racial reconciliation with family members, friends and community, offer tools for dialogue and catalyze action for racial reconciliation.

Mother’s Circle Reconciliation Project – Tragedy to Transformation to Triumph

Tragedy to Transformation to Triumph was designed by mothers who have lost sons and daughters to gun violence. The goal is to reconcile with mothers of perpetrators of violence. The project includes an outreach event to bring mothers together for dialogue; a Mother’s March and Second Line Jazz Funeral to symbolically bury the social ills that feed violence and hatred; personal development workshops for mothers and a Mother’s Ball to celebrate mothers working for peace in their communities.

New Orleans East Circle Reconciliation Project – NOLA Diaspora, Catalyst for Change

The New Orleans East Circle members will engage in finding their roots through genealogy testing. Using a facilitated discussion circle, they will explore similarities and differences. The Circle will also organize youth circles that will provide an early experience with facilitated racial dialogue creating a safe space for shared learning. Parent circles will also be organized, to give parents ways to create personal awareness, skills and strategies to raise and support children to effectively navigate the world of the future.

St. Roch Circle Reconciliation Project

The St. Roch Circle seeks to engage New Orleanians in dialogue that acknowledges the historic roots of racism and oppression, examines the current impact of racism and builds pathways forward toward racial reconciliation. The circle will identify historically significant places throughout St. Roch to host intimate conversations and Story Circles that provide residents opportunities to share and learn from one another. Through these dialogues, the hope is to build a better understanding of the issues and concerns that are most pertinent in the lives of St. Roch residents. The project will utilize social media as a tool to raise awareness of the project and to spark conversations about racial reconciliation across the city and invite people to join the dialogue.

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