Schedule for 2019 Cross Class Dialogue Circles
Virtual Circle #1 - 7 Thursdays, Feb. 7-Mar. 21, 6-8:30pm - Zoom platform- Sign up
Virtual Circle #2 - 7 wednesdays, Jun. 5-jul. 17, 6-8:30pm - Zoom platform - Sign up
White River Junction, VT - 3 Saturdays, Apr. 20, May 4, May 18 from 9am-3pm - Sign up
Bellows Falls, VT - 3 Saturdays, Nov. 2, Nov. 16, Nov. 30 - 9am-3pm - Rockingham Free public library - Sign up
Level 2 Circles
IN-person Level 2 for all CCDC graduates - saturday April 6 - 9am-3pm - Bellows Falls Library - Sign up
Virtual Level 2 for all CCDC graduates - Sunday Sept. 30 - 1-4pm - Zoom platform - Sign up
We use a sliding-scale fee structure for Cross Class Dialogue Circles. For all participants, please read this guide before deciding what amount to contribute. For all others, you can read below about how these circles are funded. *If you are having trouble viewing this guide, try opening it from another browser.
Why Cross Class Dialogue Circles?
Imagine these situations:
A campaign opposing a new big box store uses disparaging language about the kind of people who shop at such stores, alienating many low-income community members who are otherwise in agreement with the campaign’s goals
An organization hosts an educational event about climate justice intended to appeal to the whole community, but the language and images used to market the event lead low-income people to feel unwelcome, and a lack of childcare at the event makes it difficult for low-income parents to participate
A community group uses a sliding scale to make membership affordable to everyone, but the rates people choose to pay are not proportionate to their means, with low-income members stretching to pay more than their share while members who could afford more contribute toward the low end of the scale
In a planning meeting, a raised-poor woman proposes an idea using colorful language and specific examples; the response is lukewarm, but 30 minutes later a professional-middle class man repeats the same idea using abstract technical language, to enthusiastic approval
An owning class family wants to contribute to positive change in the community, but feel too awkward to show up to community activism meetings because of their guilt about class privilege. They donate to programs they have prioritized, instead of what people most impacted by injustice are asking for.
Such scenarios are all too familiar. With the best of intentions, many groups and organizations unintentionally perpetuate class-biased patterns in terms of who is included, whose voices are respected, whose work is valued. In pursuing sustainable, collaborative, and socially just communities we can’t afford to leave anyone out. The projects and programs that move our community toward this vision need leadership from people who understand how class-bias plays out and have the skills to work effectively across a range of class backgrounds and statuses.
For Cross-Class Dialogue Circle, we seek out individuals from diverse class backgrounds, and encourage participation from people whose work in the community puts them in cross-class situations – people who receive state/non-profit services, service providers working with low-income families, managers of small nonprofits who work with donors and board members, people working on equitable business models such as worker-owned cooperatives, and community organizers trying to foster collaboration among people across the class spectrum.
With the skills and understanding gained through participation in the Cross-Class Dialogue Circle, these community leaders can foresee barriers to participation and make their events accessible to the whole community; they can create effective sliding scales and cost-sharing processes so that community projects are funded equitably; and they can help stakeholders understand each other's concerns and come to solutions that meet the needs of the community.
To get an idea of what a circle is like check out this video made by Brad and Willow of Snippet Productions (past participants!).
Kendra Colburn, Deb Witkus, and Angela Berkfield co-facilitate these circles.
For all in-person sessions: Childcare, transportation, light refreshments & lunch provided. Wheelchair accessible. Fragrance free. Nut free.
All virtual circles are through a zoom platform.
Cost: We charge using a sliding scale $0-sky’s the limit. It isn’t a perfect way to correct for the unfair, harmful economic system we live in, but it’s a start. We ask participants to give in a way that is truly generous. In other words, it feels like a sacrifice, and does not create a hardship.
CONTACT US to find out more or to get on our updates list.
Because of a generous 3 year commitment from the Vermont Praxis Group of Resource Generation the circles in 2019 are subsidized. There are still many costs to cover and we appreciate donations of all sizes! Make a Donation. Click the donate button and write Equity Solutions - Cross Class Dialogues in the comments.
We are also seeking organizational co-sponsors to continue making this community education opportunity possible. A BIG THANK YOU to our current organizational sponsors
To learn more about our content, the facilitators, past circles, and what past participants have to say, click this button…