What is Council?
Council is an age-old practice that involves bringing people together in a circle to bear witness and share authentically. Participants agree to speak one-at-a-time, sharing their personal stories and experiences, rather than opinions, and listening non-judgmentally while others do the same. Sharing and listening to universal stories about love, loss, fear, triumph, challenge, hope and other experiences enables participants to recognize that, despite our many differences, we 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.