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The Study Circle Initiative

What is a study circle?

A study circle is a group of 8-to-12 people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet several times to talk about an issue. In a study circle, everyone has an equal voice. One goal is that people try to understand each other’s views, but they do not have to agree with each other. The idea is to share concerns and look for ways to make things better. A facilitator helps the group focus on different views and makes sure the discussion goes well.

How does a study circle program work?

In a large scale study circle program, people from diverse backgrounds within neighborhoods, cities, counties, school districts, or region meet in study circles over the same period of time. All the study circles work on the same issues and seek solutions for the whole community. At the end of the round of study circles, the groups gather in one place to work together on the action ideas they created.

Many communities across the country have used study circles successfully to build new relationships and trust, and develop new strategies to make real progress on issues that are important to individual communities, organizations, school districts, and churches.


ÿ      Everyone is equal.

ÿ      Dialogue can lead to action.

ÿ      Each person has the opportunity to make an impact.

ÿ      No special experience is needed.

Racial Justice

Program Intention 

The YWCA of Bristol intends to utilize the Study Circle program as a racial justice program in the Bristol community.

The YWCA will hold Study Circles in-house as well as offer to provide a space for other groups in the community to hold their own groups.