How To Start A Circle

If you are energized by policy discussion and enjoy connecting with other women, become a Circle Leader and start your own Circle!

A Circle Leader brings together women from her community for meaningful conversation about public policy around the belief that limited government and free markets create the best opportunities for all to pursue their dreams and improve their lives.   You don’t need to be a policy expert to be Circle Leader. Your role is that of a “respectful facilitator” who brings women together to talk policy and get engaged by speaking up.

A Circle Leader…

  • Loves open dialogue
  • Believes everyone can participate in a policy discussion
  • Enjoys learning from others
  • Encourages people to get engaged

When you and a friend organize a Circle, you will have access to policy briefs that provide content to drive conversation and a website to help you personalize, start, manage and grow your Circle.   Sound interesting?  Read on.

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How do Circles work?

Circle conversations are the cornerstone of The Policy Circle experience.  Women gather together in someone’s home to discuss a Policy Brief, produced by the Policy Circle,  that summarizes the work of leading scholars on various policy areas, including economic growth, healthcare, education among others (we agree to a truce on social issues that be divisive and distracting).  A few points about Circles:

  • You don’t need to do policy research or find speakers for Circle meetings – the briefs and corresponding discussion guides are available from the website to serve as content for discussion.
  • Women read the brief ahead of the meeting and come to your Circle meeting ready to talk and take action.
  • Discussion is held in a roundtable format, where each has a chance share her thoughts

The point of the meeting is to discuss the issues in a way that members learn from each other and encourage one another in taking action.

What does a Circle Leader do?

Your role is to first find a friend or two to form your circle.  Forming a circle usually starts with inviting 5 or 10 women in your community who share your concerns and beliefs. Then you can rely on each member to grow your circle as they invite other women who maybe interested in having an open dialog about policy.    You’ll be amazed at how your group will come up with topics to discuss and ways of engaging to have an impact.

The Policy Circle website features tools to make it easy to manage your Circle and your meetings, such as sending event invitations, managing RSVPs and communicating with your Circle.   Policy briefs for an entire year’s worth of conversations are available through the website, complete with discussion guides.  You just gather your group and act as a “respectful facilitator” of conversation.

What is the time commitment?

Circle Leaders organize five Circle meetings throughout the year, usually during the second week (e.g., the second Tuesday) of every other month (January, March, May, September, November) with a break for summer in July.   We have a suggested agenda and suggested list of discussion topics to make meeting planning easy.   You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with other Circle Leaders to share ideas and even mentor new Circle Leaders.  You and your group may decide to meet more frequently or tackle issues that directly affect your community.

Why would I do this?

Because you’re tired of being silent. You want to talk about the issues and discuss without personal attacks. By providing a forum for women who believe in free-markets and limited government to learn through conversation about the issues, you will be energized together to take back the conversation.  Here is a quote from an early member of the first Circle formed in Wilmette, IL, called the “The Rose Friedman Society”:

“Thank you for hosting us last night. More importantly, thank you for having the vision to organize this group. I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to have an outlet for intelligent, constructive and educational conversation about the serious issues we all face today. For so long, I have silently worried about where our state and country is headed and, as an individual, the problem seems overwhelmingly impossible to tackle. With others, there is strength and power – both in ideas and actions – and, suddenly, the potential for change seems very possible.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and all of the wonderful women of Rose Friedman. I look forward to exploring issues and identifying ways we can all pitch in to make a difference.”

-Lisa F.

By clicking below you can start your Circle.  A step-by-step guide will take you through the process for starting and growing your Circle.  At any time, you can contact us with questions by clicking on the  Contact us  link.

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