Workshops and Presentations


Chicago Commission on Human Relations Workshops & Peace Circles

For questions and to request a workshop, contact Daniel Serrano, Director of InterGroup Relations and Outreach, 312-744-2571

Education is key to preventing and alleviating discrimination, hate crimes, and inter-group tensions. The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) conducts workshops and peace circles for schools, community groups, religious institutions, and agencies on a variety of topics, including bullying and conflict resolution. These workshops and peace circles can be facilitated as a package, or they can be delivered individually.

Workshop Specifics:

· All workshops are free of charge.

· Workshops are designed for all ages: Kindergarten, 2nd-5th, 6th-8th and 8th-12th grades, college, adults and seniors (staff and administrators).

· The length of the workshop is customized to your time frame.

· The workshop can be facilitated in one session, or it can be divided up into multiple sessions.

· Workshop Formats: Peace Circle format and the more traditional workshop format of facing the front of the room. Handouts will be provided.

· Requests for audio visual equipment will be discussed (if needed).

· All workshops can be facilitated in English and several in Spanish.


Workshop I

Peace Circles & Peace Circles in the Classroom (Children, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Administrators, and Staff)

a). Explore the Peace Circle process with staff and administrators

b). Will model using the Peace Circle in individual classrooms

Peace Circle Titles

-Respect/Values Circles

-Getting to Know One Another Circle

-Community Building Circle

-My Three Wishes (Children’s Circle)

-Relaxation and Storytelling Circle

-Bullying/Cyber Bullying

-Conflict Resolution/Anger Management

-De-escalation techniques for teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and frontline workers

-Family Connection Circle

-Rejuvenation Circle

-Understanding Trauma Circle & Losses Circle

Description of Peace Circles

Peace Circles are an ancient Native American and ethnic practice. In modern Western communities, its practice stems from the larger Restorative Justice Model that started out being used as an alternative method to the punitive juvenile justice system.

Restorative Justice is the practice of ‘repairing harm’ when a crime occurs or an injustice is done. It is a sign of hope and a direction for the future. Restorative Justice Peace Circles are a way to work through, resolve, and transform conflicts. It is also a way to build trust and heal communities. 

Along with using circles for healing from injustices, they can be used for any number of reasons: processing workplace conflicts, best practices; problem-solving, cross cultural understanding, anti-violence, storytelling, grief, civic action, and lastly, circles can be about hope and moving forward in the community. What is important about circles is that the participants are the ones that shape the circle discussion.

Circles can be used in the neighborhoods to provide support for victims and offenders; they can be used in classrooms to build healthy classroom climates and to resolve behavior problems and conflicts between students, students’ and staff, staff and parents and between parents and principals. They can be used in social service and throughout the court systems.

Workshop II

Living With Less Stress at Home and in the Workplace: Our Natural State of Wellbeing

Objectives: Expanding the conversation around where stress comes from

Through an understanding of where stress comes from, (our mind and thoughts), which lead us into our emotions and our actions, participants will begin to decrease their feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed-out, and worrying non-stop. We are all gripped by emotions, but we don’t have to stay ‘hooked’ on those emotions. Recognizing that we create of our human experience moment to moment will help return us to our natural state of wellbeing. 

Workshop III

Conflict Resolution and Anger Management (Children, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Administrators and Staff) Introduction, Intermediate and Advance Sessions

Objectives: Conflict Resolution

In this workshop, participants will examine the underlying causes of conflicts, learn to describe the methods of resolving conflicts, and will be able to apply positive and practical steps towards resolving conflicts.

Objectives: Anger Management

In this workshop, participants will discuss what happens physically within our bodies when we become angry. In this session, participants will learn how to gain control of their angry emotions when they surface. Specifically, we will discuss recognizing warning signs, coping thoughts and actions, acting-out physically and emotionally, relaxation techniques, and constructive ways to communicate when we are angry.

Workshop IV

Bullying & Cyber Bullying Training (Children, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Administrators and Staff) Introduction, Intermediate Sessions-‘What can I do’?

Objectives: Bullying and Cyber Bullying

In addition to experiencing kindness, courage, and friendship during a school year, many students also have to cope with teasing and bullying. The effects of bullying on the student may result in social exclusion, absenteeism, and lower academic achievement. It could also contribute to other internalizing problems such as depression, anxiety, and lower psychosocial adjustments.

This workshop, Bullying, Hidden Hurts and its Consequences on the Victim, is an interactive workshop designed to help children build resilience, improve self-esteem and reduce violence and bullying in our schools. The easy-to-read information, worksheets, and role-plays are designed to encourage open dialogue between students with the purpose of helping them understand and deal with bullies and bullying. Understanding and responding to cyber-bullying is also addressed through discussion, handouts, and if time is permitted, a video.

Workshops V

Prejudice Reduction Trainings (Package or Individual Trainings) (Children, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Administrators and Staff) Introduction, and Intermediate Sessions

Prejudice Reduction Workshops are designed to enhance participants’ appreciation of Chicago’s diverse population by heightening their awareness of racism, bigotry and discrimination.

The five workshops offerings below can either be facilitated as a package under the title, “Prejudice Reduction,” or can be facilitated individually depending on the preferred subject.


WORKSHOP A (Stereotype)

Objectives: This workshop helps participants recognize how stereotypes are originated and perpetuated. It encourages them to understand the feeling of individuals subjected to stereotypes, while developing their skills for dealing with biases and stereotypes.


WORKSHOP B (Prejudice)

Objectives: In this workshop, participants learn to identify bias and prejudice and understand the sources of their perceptions and beliefs. The workshop promotes the concept that bias and prejudice not only impact our inter-personal relationships, but the systems and structures within our society as well.


WORKSHOP C (Discrimination)

Objectives: In this workshop, participants are made aware of the different forms discrimination takes, and the various interpretations of the concepts of fairness, justice, and equity. Participants work on developing positive approaches to interacting with members of different racial/ethnic groups.


WORKSHOP D (Understanding Diversity)

Objectives: In this workshop, participants discuss the importance of understanding and appreciating differences.


WORSHOP E (Sensitivity Training)

Objectives: Promote human relations at a practical level and foster understanding and appreciation of the benefits and challenges of working in a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational, and multicultural environment of today.


Adjudication Division

The Adjudication Division regularly delivers presentations on the legal aspects of the CCHR's work. This includes presentations to bar associations, advocacy groups, and social service providers on the substantive and procedural aspects of bringing claims before the CCHR. In addition, the Adjudication Division provides presentations and trainings to business associations, chambers of commerce, and other professional organizations on best practices for complying with the Chicago Human Rights and Fair Housing Ordinances.  To request a presentation regarding the Commission's Ordinances, call JoAnn Newsome, Deputy Commissioner, 312-744-1548. 


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