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CIRCLE UP Film Event - Peace Through Action USA

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CIRCLE UP Film Event & Restorative Justice Discussion | Monday, December 19, 2022, 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm ET | Virtual Event | Register Here

Peace Through Action USA will hold a virtual screening of the film CIRCLE UP followed by an informal discussion about restorative justice. The event will take place Monday, December 19, 2022, 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm ET. Register for the free event here.

Event Description – This virtual film screening of the feature-length documentary CIRCLE UP makes a call to action for reframing approaches to crime and punishment through the lens of restorative justice, forgiveness, and accountability. After the brutal slaying of her teenage son, Janet Connors reaches out to her son’s killers to offer a chance at forgiveness. They team up with a group of mothers of murdered children to help young people in their community break the chain of violence and revenge. In viewing this story of grieving mothers, the men who murdered their children, and the unexpected relationships they create, participants will explore strategies to prevent violence and promote reconciliation in their communities. This film details traditional peacemaking circle practices applicable across a range of professional settings including schools, prisons, and social service agencies. After participating in this event, viewers will be introduced to processes to help people hold themselves accountable for their actions. This virtual film screening and community discussion strives to enact a vision for another kind of justice – one in which people treat each other with humanity and together address the deeper roots of violence.

View the film trailer here.

Presenter Biography

Chris Walonski, MA, is the director of programs and partnerships development and delivery with Peace Through Action USA. Chris is responsible for designing instruction in civic engagement and social engagement concepts and practices; writing and editing educational and promotional materials; planning and delivering educational activities; implementing performance management procedures; and engaging with organizations and networks aligned with Peace Through Action’s mission.

Chris Walonski’s programmatic work has engaged a broad range of community intervention strategies and performance-based teaching methods. Prior to joining Peace Through Action USA, Chris served as a program researcher and professor of public speaking at East Tennessee State University. In this capacity, Chris married his passion for project development with the power of personal narrative to help produce a campus-wide sexual consent training program. Chris’ love for crafting educational experiences has taken him from public schools in Thailand to the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Upon returning to the United States as a program manager for the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Chris designed and delivered a bilingual training program that incorporated an array of community partnerships serving multicultural and multilingual youth. Chris has served as an AmeriCorps member through Teach For America’s Colorado Corps. Chris holds a Master of Arts in communication and storytelling studies from East Tennessee State University. As an avid learner, Chris has completed training in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and holds CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) certification from Cambridge University. Chris is a grateful recipient of the Hemera Foundation’s Fellowship for Contemplative Education and is an eager student of Buddhist meditation. In his personal time, Chris has toured the U.S. as a spoken word artist and National Poetry Slam champion.

Learning Resources

Resources and Services in Calvert County, Maryland

  • The Community Mediation Center of Calvert offers numerous group interventions that bring together community members for dialogue and exchange of ideas to support, repair, and build relationships. Their services include community conferencing, classroom circles, dialogue circles and community conversations, support circles, and group facilitation.
  • If you or someone you know would benefit from restorative circle practices, please contact the Community Mediation Center of Calvert at 1-(443)-295-7456 or via email at calvertmediation@gmail.com.

About Peace Through Action Events

Peace Through Action Events gather youth and adults of all ages to learn about civic and social topics with a focus on peace. Using delivery methods of subject expert lecture, skills training, film discussion, artistic presentation, reflection, and experiential activities, Peace Through Action Events participants gain knowledge on compassionate living, peaceful practices, and social justice concerns.

To keep informed of Peace Through Action Events sign up for our national email or our Calvert County, Maryland email.

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