WHO WE ARE:
All under one roof, TeenTalkingCircles.org: interviews with inspiring folks, programs that support democratic ideals, and human beings freeing themselves to be fully real and healthy. We are all about having a safe space to tell the truth…
Teen Talking Circles:
Teen Talking Circles is a 501-c3 organically grown nonprofit organization founded on the principle that both a mature self-identity and healthy relationships develop naturally when we learn to speak our truth from our hearts and hear the truth of others with our hearts.
We provide local Girls Talking Circles, Guy’s Circles and GenderTalks (mixed gender Talking Circles) on Bainbridge Island, and our youth and adult facilitators train people from around the country and internationally through our TTC Facilitator Trainings to assist them to start circles in their communities, schools, organizations and youth-serving programs.
Our training staff has certified facilitators of Compassionate Listening and teaches one-day workshops on such topics as how to listen to your teen and how to be heard by him/her, using the practice of Compassionate Listening, a conflict resolution technique developed by the Compassionate Listening Project and used in the Middle East with Israelies and Palestinians. Compassionate Listening is a skill taught and practiced in all Teen Talking Circles.
By providing young people with a safe space to tell the truth, talking circles encourage teens to reveal their passion, beauty, and dreams, as well as their fears, problems, and insecurities. In circle, young women and men bear witness to each other as full human beings, discover the wholeness in themselves, and learn to relate inclusively rather than exclusively. By modeling wholeness, compassion, and inclusiveness, talking circles help young people develop mature identities and form healthy relationships at home, at work, and in society, providing a foundation for a more cooperative, caring world.
TTC was founded in 1993 to help girls and young women navigate the teen years. We are pioneers in the creation of Girl’s Circles, Guy’s Circles, and GenderTalks, our mixed-gender youth circles. We have also trained hundreds of adults to start circles in their own communities. We offer facilitator trainings, workshops, and retreats for adults and youth. In addition to facilitating circles and training new facilitators, our lead trainers have participated in advanced programs in the practice of Compassionate Listening (SM). Our Talking Circle mentoring model has been awarded special recognition by universities, schools, diversion programs, community organizations, health educators, and youth-serving organizations around the world, including the National Young Women’s Health Conference, and the Department for Women’s Health in Washington, DC. TTC received the Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2001.
Since 1993 TTC has offered local weekly gender-specific talking circles and bi-monthly mixed gender circles for middle and high school-aged youth in our home community. These circles take place one day per week, after-school, nine months per year as well as in daylong summer programs. More than 75% of our circles have been Girl’s Talking Circles led by adult women facilitators. From this beginning we developed mixed-gender workshops, which also led young men to request Guy’s Circles of their own.
In circle, young people learn to use a variety of skills including conflict resolution, stress reduction, deep listening, and physical movement practices. Many young people in our circles also teach adults about circle through our facilitator trainings.
Girls Talking Circles:
TTC inspired Girls Talking Circles are happening throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and in countries all over the world. Our local circles (on Bainbridge Island) have been on-going since 1993 under the banner of Daughters Sisters Project. Girls Talking Circles are designed to give young women an opportunity to strengthen their self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth, stay true to themelves, act on their values, make wise, resilient, and healthy choices, create new definitions of beauty, respect and appreciate their bodies, listen to their intuition, voice their thoughts and opinions responsibly, and practice speaking and listening from their hearts and standing up for what they feel, think, see and know.
Guys Talking Circles:
TTC inspired Guy’s Talking Circles are continuing to grow throughout the US, Canada, and in other countries. Guys Talking Circles are designed to give young men a safe space to experience their full range of feelings and emotions “outside the gender box” of what it means to be a man in this world. Guy’s Circles give young men an opportunity to see the cost of participating in patriarchal definitions of masculinity and entitlement, become greater allies for one another as well as girls and women, and develop more understanding and consciousness of the choices they make.
GenderTalks provides youth with an opportunity to bust open the myths, expectations, proscriptions, and roles we’re taught about everything that pertains to gender, sexuality, friendships and intimate relationships with the opposite or same sex. Our local GenderTalks are daylong happenings, three to four times per year. GenderTalks give young people a place to explore their individual strengths inside and outside the Gender Box and then ditch the box itself!
Global Youth Allies:
In 21st century there is a pressing need to develop a new kind of consciousness — that all life is interconnected and our well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet and of the planet itself. GYA was founded to foster a deeper understanding of the values that unite us as a human community: a critical component for creating meaningful lives, responsible citizenship, and an empowered sense of self in an interdependent world. GYA projects include multicultural talking circles, racism/white privilege workshops, ETEFund (Educate Teen Ethiopians, Full Woman Project, and more.
Adult Facilitator Trainings:
Since 1997, TTC has offered deeply experiential workshops to provide adult participants with a clear understanding of the basics of starting and running teen talking circles, as well as a visceral understanding of what it feels like to be part of a circle and participate in exercises they will lead. Our Facilitator’s Handbook and documentary DVDs assist new facilitators in learning to lead both topic-driven and open format check-in style circles, and include resource lists of articles, books, videos, and additional programs that can help new facilitators further develop the skills introduced in the training and augment their ability to successfully lead circles. Facilitator trainings are attended by parents, teachers, counselors, social workers, youth service providers, and anyone interested in bringing teen talking circles into their communities.
Adult Womens Sacred Circle Yoga Retreats:
Womens Sacred Circle Retreats offer adult women an opportunity to get away from their daily lives for one week, and participate in their own Talking Circle. Usually held in Yelapa, Mexico, a pedestrian-only fishing village, Women’s Sacred Circle Retreats, Circle/Yoga Retreats and adult GenderTalk Retreats give people a chance to work through personal issues from their own teen years, while also taking time to nourish and nurture themselves, body, soul and mind, in a beautiful, restful, and natural setting.
Adult GenderTalks Retreats:
Adult GenderTalks Retreats give men and women a chance to look at the issues around gender relationships. Offered on Bainbridge Island as well as in Yelapa, Mexico.