Host a Restorative Circle
To host a restorative circle takes time and skillful human resources. On a selective basis and at our own discretion, Leticia provides a virtual space to host transformative online justice processes within safe listening environments. In average, we aim to host up to three circles per year. Currently, we can only host circles in Spanish or English. Our focus is sites of conflict in the Americas.
Anyone involved in or impacted by a conflict can call a circle. A circle is an opportunity for members of a community involved in a conflict to speak and be heard by the other community members. Note that the goal is not to punish anyone but to help the community impacted by conflict to restore their ability to listen to each other, acknowledge what happened and why it happened, and agree on possible solutions to move forward. Through this platform, they can do so using asynchronous modes of remote dialogue or in a hybrid format combining in-person and remote encounters. Our practice embraces different approaches to restorative justice in an online format.
However, one approach that we find very useful and inspired by is Dominic Barter’s Restorative Circles. We encourage those interested in learning more about restorative justice to see our Rersources section.
Host a Restorative Circle
What is Leticia Listening Acts?
Leticia Listening Acts advocates for applying creative approaches to facilitate transformative encounters between people impacted by violence. It focuses on the role that performance, theatre, art, digital technologies, and other cultural practices may play in enabling or even shaping such encounters. We document and study how listening and being heard are performed and experienced in such scenarios. This project is named after a rural Colombian woman who never learned how to read out loud. She was born in the 1920s, when women had few chances to access formal education in Colombia, much less in rural areas. Thus, she was primarily an oral culture person. That means that writing or reading played not a big role in her everyday life. In contrast, she developed other, perhaps more fundamental skills: listening and memory. She never married nor had children on her own. But we, all her nephews and nieces, became her children. She was always there for us. She was always available to listen to us and helped us remember where we had left our stuff. I sincerely wish there is in each family, in each community, a person like my aunt Leticia performing listening acts to help us remember what matters and solve our vital concerns. And I hope this project contributes to making the function of selfless, non-judgmental listening acts be valued and acknowledged as tools for conflict transformation.
Luis C. Sotelo Castro