Letter: Restorative Practice Project seeks to bring Bennington together

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To the Editor:

We are developing a Restorative Practice Project in Bennington with the hope of beginning to bring our community together. Restorative practices can create opportunities to strengthen empathy and understanding among individuals in a group setting and can lead to conflict resolution. Listening Circles are a core method used in restorative work. Listening Circles allow everyone's voice to be heard and encourage deep listening. It is a simple yet powerful process that can move people forward, even in situations in which they feel stuck, isolated and misunderstood.

The Restorative Practice Project will train individuals to facilitate Listening Circles. This group of facilitators will be diverse in age, gender, ethnicity and color. We will meet several times over the next weeks to strengthen our awareness, understanding, skills and strategies in order to offer Listening Circles around our community in the coming months. Our goal will be to bring our community together. It is our hope to create more understanding and compassion and possibly, bring forward shared goals in the hopes of building a stronger and more equitable Bennington.

If you are interested in participating or receiving more information, please contact us through this link: https://forms.gle/zJXQXoNUvK4bPeVx5 Our first organizing meeting will be on Wednesday, July 8 from 6-7 p.m. on ZOOM. At that time, we will share our ideas and develop a plan for building this project.

Alisa Del Tufo,

Rachel Blumenthal,

North Bennington

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