Circles USA is proud to announce the appointment of a new Advisory Council in 2022. This group will provide support and connectivity for our growing network of 80+ chapters, amplifying diverse participants’ voices to guide CUSA board decisions and directions.

The idea behind the Advisory Council, says executive director Kamatara Johnson, is “to create a comfortable way for members of the Circles community to interact more regularly with the Board—an open space for dialogue between the Board and Circles stakeholders while also fostering leadership opportunities at the national level.

Board member Jennifer Pelling, who is leading this initiative, says: “The Board aims for the Council to reflect the diversity of the Circles network in the U.S.. We want to engage people representing different roles. Several seats on the Council will be held by former Circle Leaders who have taken on leadership roles at their local chapters. We want to hear from Allies, volunteers, coaches, coordinators, executive directors and community partners, too.”

Advisory Council members will represent different kinds of CUSA chapters as well. Appointees may represent faith-based chapters, nonprofit-based chapters, government-based chapters, new and veteran chapters, large and small chapters, rural and urban chapters. The Council includes a spectrum of ethnicities, ages, regions, sectors, genders, sexualities, religions, and political views. 

Discussion topics for joint meetings between the Council and Board may include:

  • Reviewing new Circles data and considering the Circles model’s impact and opportunities for improvement;
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Pursuing systemic change through the Big View; and
  • Linking poverty alleviation with economic/workforce development.

“The most important topic is what the Council brings forth for Board consideration,” Kamatara adds. “We value our community members’ lived experience and insights, and we’re excited to strengthen Circles with this Council. So we thank all of our amazing applicants!”

The kickoff meeting will be held the last week of July, 2022.