By Steven McFadden – April 16, 2022
In 1993 I had the honor of serving as National Coordinator for the annual Earth Day USA observation. When appointed to the position, I reached out to the Seventh Generation Fund. We formed a project partnership, and together we developed a plan and a protocol for community council circles.
People came together with their neighbors in a respectful matter to talk about something they (and their children) all have a stake in: the health of the earth, their responsibilities, and their opportunities.
That year Earth Day was marked with formal Council Circles in over 500 US and Canadian communities, a host of other activities from the Boston Esplanade to the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska, and circles along the Pacific shore.
Now, 29 years later, the materials are still relevant for all kinds of communities. They describe a way to bring people together in a respectful and positive manner.
Having dug the original typewritten materials out of storage, and then scanned them page by page, it feels right and fitting to share them again, and to make them freely available.
Council Circles remains a powerful tool for any group of people needing to address serious issues. The circles function as a perennial way of democratically developing and engaging community wisdom and strength.