What exactly is a Study Circle?
- These Study Circles will be opportunities for small groups of citizens (8 to 12) to sit together in a public space, and share a constructive, respectful conversation with one another.
- A Study Circle is a space that promotes open dialogue – NOT debate.
- This is not a lecture series.
- These dialogues will be facilitated by experienced professionals.
- For each Study Circle formed, we are planning six sessions, each lasting no more than two hours, taking place over six consecutive weeks. The final meeting will be an open forum, part of the “On the Table” initiative with the Foundation of Delaware County and the Philadelphia Foundation. With this combination of deep conversation and outreach, we hope to create a program that generate ideas and actions for positive change.
It is hoped that through this shared experience of listening to others’ experiences and concerns, we can begin building relationships and trust, and generate valuable action ideas & programs for our community. Last fall, The Fellowship House’s pilot five-session Study Circle on Race Relations was an inspiring and empowering experience for all our participants.
The Study Circle model is not a new idea. Many communities across America have successfully used study circles over the past 25 years to develop new strategies to create more democratic and inclusive communities that have made a greater commitment to taking on racism and other challenging and problematic issues in American society.
It is our objective to organize a diverse coalition of organizations that will join forces to reach out and publicize this program to our broader community.