circle of elders

(Bios and headshots coming soon!)


The Circle of Elders is the decision making body empowered by Resist’s Board to handle issues related to collective and interpersonal actions that are not reflective of Resist’s values and principles, as stated in Section VII, D of these policies (“Accountability, Step Four”).  The Circle of Elders has the power to remove any member of the Resist community, including but not limited to termination of employment.


Resist is a foundation rooted in the principles of restorative and transformative justice. Being accountable to each other then serves as an act of love and radical responsibility while holding people accountable serves as a practice in being transparent. Resist’s formal accountability process aims to address collective and interpersonal actions that are not reflective of Resist’s values and principles. This accountability process sets a shared standard for what we hold members of the Resist community accountable for and how, while keeping in mind that one size does not fit all. Externally, people are often held accountable in ways that are destructive. We practice the world we want rooted in the core belief that people are not disposable.

This accountability process applies to all members of the Resist community (Staff Collective, Board Owls, and Decision Making Bodies).

A conversation regarding behavior that impacts the collective or a specific Staff Collective member. This conversation can be initiated by anyone in the community.  If the person does not feel comfortable initiating the conversation, they can seek support from the Elder Owl or the Elder Owl staff liaison.  This conversation will follow some guidelines on ways of being but does not have to be structured unless deemed necessary.  Optional parts of the check-in could include:

  • naming and identifying tools for support and growth
  • clarity on current behavior and what different behavior looks like
  • set up a follow up
  • positive reinforcement once behavior changes

Responsibility for this step is shared and parties have the option of having a third trusted party agreed to by both people to facilitate this conversation. This step can be between two or more members of the Resist community and could serve as a mediation or a circle. The following is required after this step and will be used to create an action plan that is agreed upon by all involved.

  • Naming and identifying tools for support and growth
  • Clarity on current behavior and what different behavior looks like
  • Setting up a follow up on plan
  • Positive reinforcement once behavior changes

If the behavior doesn’t change and continues to impact the Resist community, this step is a circle process with two clear paths: one to restoration and another to the Circle of Elders. In this step, the circle either creates an action plan if it collectively believes healing is possible or calls upon the Circle of Elders if it does not. If an action plan is created and does not resolve the situation as agreed to by the circle collectively, the process moves on to the Circle of Elders as well. The purpose of this circle is to include more members of the Resist community in an effort to get to the root cause of the behavior.  It is the responsibility of the Elder Owl or Elder Owl staff liaison to support and ensure this process happens in a restorative and timely way.

The fourth and final step of this process is the Circle of Elders. Following their internal process the Circle of Elders will use transformative and restorative justice principles to make a decision that is binding to the Resist community. This includes but is not limited to termination and/or removal from the Resist community.

 If for any reason the Circle process fails, the Elder Owl in consultation with the Board will lay out a binding, value aligned path forward toward resolution.  


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Resist is a foundation that supports people’s movements for justice and liberation. We redistribute resources back to frontline communities at the forefront of change while amplifying their stories of building a better world.