What is Council?
Council is an age-old practice that involves bringing people together into a type of talking circle for candid and heartfelt conversations. Participants speak one-at-a-time, sharing their personal stories and experiences, rather than opinions, and listen intently while others do the same. Sharing and listening to universal stories about love, loss, fear, and hope enables participants to recognize that, despite their many differences, they have much in common.
By fostering attentive listening and authentic expression, Council builds positive relationships between participants and neutralizes hierarchical dynamics formed by the inequality of status, race, or other social factors. It supports a deep sense of community and fosters recognition of a shared humanity and interconnectedness. It enables individuals to give voice to their stories, develop mutual respect, cultivate a compassionate response to anger, defensiveness, and violence, as well as strengthen emotional health and resilience.