Transforming the Culture of Power Through Love and Compassion: Healing Circles for Accountability

Transforming the Culture of Power Through Love and Compassion: Healing Circles for Accountability

May11 - 132022

Decolonizing Transformative and Restorative Circle Practices for those who harm and those who are harmed based on Indigenous perspectives

At Virtual Event


Presented by Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition /

This Summit is for all races and cultures to explore the creation of a world where racial, economic, political, and cultural equity for all beings, including Mother Earth, is a way of life. This is a time of great awakening and truth telling for the liberation of all in active decision making and power sharing where every voice is heard and valued. We have all been harmed and committed harm. How can we embrace healing approaches to dealing with these experiences that are transformative and not punitive?

Transforming the culture of power means, among other things, understanding that treating each other equally is not the same as treating each other equitably. A one size fits all equality model doesn't account for the fact that everyone is different, occupies different positions of relative power (or lack thereof), and has different needs. Treating people equitably involves empowering each other to get our unique needs met, and doing our best to rectify power imbalances when we see them. Truly transforming the culture of power in which we live means each of us taking a critical look at where we stand on the scales of privilege and oppression, and asking ourselves what we need and what we can do to help balance those scales. To that end, for BIPOC, registration for this conference involves no charge (though you are still welcome to donate if you would like). VBCIC readily acknowledges that many white participants may not be in a position to make a donation, and so there is still no mandatory cost. However, white participants who have the means to do so are strongly encouraged to reflect on that privilege, consider this an opportunity for both transformation and reparations, and to make a donation that you feel is reasonable (suggested amount $25-$100), to help offset costs and provide equitable admission for BIPOC and others with less access to wealth.

Featured presenters are : Joseph Davis. Born in Baton Rouge, LA. He is of Cherokee and African American descent. He follows the “old traditional ways” of his ancestors. His Great-Uncle was a Traditional Herbal Medicine Healer. He is recognized as an Elder, a Traditional Ceremonial Leader, a Sun Dancer and is also recognized as a teacher by his Medicine Society.

He will be joining us to discuss how we can use the “Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers” to find a balance in coping with the many challenging situations we face in our everyday lives .

Maryellen Baker, Objibwe Grandmother and Abjiinooji AKI Inc. Founder and Board President from Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation will give a plenary presentation on “Living the Good Life through Anishinaabe values.”

Hema Sarang Sieminski , Policy Director at Jane Doe Inc, the Massachusetts Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, will lead a circle discussion on a collective path to supporting survivors who are harmed by carceral systems.

A BIPOC panel of community leaders from Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition will speak about transforming the culture of power through circle practices that transform the values that lead to violence to those that promote harmony, equity , and peace by teaching about indigenous values and traditions prior to colonization. First nations people see healthy conflict resolution through circle practices as imperative to achieving equity and peace.

Project :Elevate! from Denver Colorado, will lead a panel discussion about the Center for Reentry they are developing for those coming into civilian life. A team of defense attorneys, prosecutors, ex-judges, people with lived experience, and restorative justice practitioners are designing a program to work with those who have committed sexual harm through healing circle practices. Project: Elevate is working with a grant from the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Grandmother Nancy is of Algonquin and French heritage and has followed the Red Road since childhood. A Sundancer and a Sacred Pipe carrier, she is acknowledged as an elder and a grandmother in her communities in Canada, where she was given instruction to bring out and share certain teachings. Grandmother Nancy is a well-known storyteller, sharing legends from many different Nations in schools, health facilities and the pow wow circuit. She was a staff member of the Joined Nations of Connecticut, a youth organization for those of Native heritage. She has given talks in Calgary, Canada, St. Croix USV, and at various centers in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment: A panel of members from the Deaf Community in Colorado will share their experiences working to bring restorative practices to members of the community who have experienced sexual harm. DOVE is working with a grant from the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

This National Summit on Transforming the Culture of Power will feature in depth circles to do a deep dive into the critical issues facing us at this point in our history. We are being challenged to look at the systemic roots of harm , the impacts of this harm on our families and communities. We are being called to seek healing approaches to healing both those who harm and those who are harmed from a place of love and compassion. Come and be part of the conversation!

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