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Understanding Circle for Conflict in the Middle East

November 19 | 1pm-4pm CST | Back of the Yards Neighborhood

Join Artesian Collaborative for an Understanding Circle led by two of our therapists/restorative justice practitioners to discuss how the escalating crisis in Israel, Palestine and the Middle East is affecting you and the communities you care about.

What to Expect

This gathering is for those longing for a space to discuss how the ongoing conflict in the Middle East impacts our lives and the communities we are connected to.


We will utilize the restorative justice practice of Circle to create space for participants to share.


Circles are indigenous practices/processes that utilize a talking piece to give space for each individual to express themself with the potential of tapping into the collective wisdom of the group. While we may not walk away from this circle with a resolution to the current challenges, our intention is to create a space that is anchored in turning towards one another during this time of deep pain and suffering, and offering a source of hope for ways to move forward together. 


Meet Your Circle Keepers

Ben Durchslag and Victoria Smith Ellison have extensive experience and training in restorative justice and circle keeping. They are excited to guide you in a communal journey toward understanding.

Ben Durchslag, LCSW
Artesian Collaborative Therapist
Victoria Smith Ellison, LCSW

Artesian Collaborative Therapist


How much does it cost?

We are offering this opportunity for free with an invitation to give a donation to benefit our sliding scale therapy fund and community events. (Donation link will be sent with your registration confirmation).

We offer discounted therapy to uninsured and underinsured individuals, couples, and families and offer training services to nonprofits at discounted rates. Your donations will increase our ability to provide these needed services.

Who is this for?

The circle is open to people who are  both directly and indirectly impacted by the conflict in the Middle East in various ways including but not limited to 

  • Being from or having relationships with those who live in or near areas of conflict.

  • Through media and relationships.

  • Want to support those impacted. 


You don’t need experience with circle to participate. Additional information about the circle process will be discussed during our time together.

What if I don't feel safe?

Everyone's safety is a priority and a concern and we are taking the steps we can to ensure your physical and emotional safety at this circle. Registrants will be given the location after signing up and confirmed upon arrival. Trained professionals will be at this event to ensure things are handled calmly and peacefully.

Where will this event take place?

We will be meeting at a location in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and parking will be available on site. Participants will receive location details upon registration.

How long is this event?

The event will be 3 hours with a break in between.


I’m not sure if I’m ready to talk, is this still something I could benefit from?

There are various ways that you can engage in the circle process. Everyone will have the opportunity to choose to speak or not when the talking piece comes to you. The circle is a space to build connection in community with others. We ask that you be present in the ways that you are able during the circle experience. 

Is this conflict resolution?

Various viewpoints may come up during our time together and our goal is to create space for an opportunity for collective flow of communication. There is a possibility for various viewpoints to be expressed that may cause tension and/or bring up difficult emotions. Our intention is to build a space together that can hold whatever arises through our shared values, and respect for each other's humanity.  What we experience in circle together may not result in participants agreeing with all that is shared, and yet, we hope that we can find space to seek understanding through listening and sharing.


Is this something I can bring my kids to?

This circle is open to adults and teenagers age 13 and older.

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Sign up today

3 Hours | November 19 | 1pm-4pm CST

We're glad you're joining us.

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