View our Prezi about CircleBridge Here!


Our TIE Culture, Climate & Courage Team Members

What We Do

For more than a decade, across the Central region of the US, and beyond, TIE’s Culture, Climate and Courage team has been engaged in the work of bridge-building. We’ve helped groups build bridges across cultural divides like race and ethnicity; we’ve supported bridge-building across historical divides that were constructed decades ago, maintained due to a lack of awareness, and then ignored out of fear of making them worse. Our work has helped communities build bridges that span opportunity and economic divides, gender divides, educational, political, even religious divides. 

These bridges are built through stories shared in ways that develop trust. 

We bring individuals and communities together to tell their stories, the big stories of their cultures, traditions and shared experiences, and the small stories of their loves, challenges and losses. Through all of this, Circles of Trust© have been formed, differences have been navigated, and traumas have begun the healing process. This is the work of CircleBridge, a framework for transforming relationships and systems within organizations or communities. Sure, much of our work has happened within education, but we’ve also brought the CircleBridge approach to gatherings as diverse as communities of faith, prison inmates, and family groups.

Beginning with the telling of stories, we move through the challenges of listening deeply, turning to wonder concerning our differences, and choosing to show up fully to the circle while ensuring the circle stays open and welcoming to every other human being gathered there.

Through this process, organizations identify their guiding principles, their own Touchstones to come back to again and again and identify the voices that have gained the experience and gravitas to be considered the wise voices of their elders.

Transforming schools, businesses or non-profits doesn’t have to begin with a high-dollar consulting agency. It can begin simply by sitting down together and learning how to listen, share, grow in awareness of how our histories may still be coloring our future together in ways that hold us back from the transformation we know our organizations need.

CircleBridge is not one thing. CircleBridge is not a way of getting a set of helpful outside ideas. CircleBridge is a way of uncovering and enacting the intuitive and human ideas your organization or community already has: the ones that simply need a safe and courageous circle in order to surface.

Some Types of Needs We Help People Address

Each of TIE’s Culture, Climate & Courage projects, websites, documentaries, trainings, workshops, or presentations grows out of the CircleBridge framework. When you come to us with your organization’s particular challenge, we will turn to this guiding framework of long-tested and successful processes to determine a direction and propose our plan for facilitating, supporting and assisting your transformative journey. Those who have come to us over the last decade of our work, haven’t always known exactly what they wanted or needed, but have brought with them the request to meet a broad range of challenges. They’ve asked for our help with things like:

  • Developing Culturally Responsive Practices in school or work settings
  • Implementing Indigenous Education initiatives or requirements
  • Addressing school Climate and Culture challenges
  • Better practice of Social Emotional Learning
  • Developing greater Relational Trust among adults in their school, business or workplace
  • Facilitation of challenging conversations
  • Gaining awareness of Equity and Justice issues, and ways of addressing them
  • Coaching and Modeling of classroom implementation of Responsive Practices
  • Mentoring and mentoring or leadership training
  • Intercultural Agility to help individuals gain tools for navigating difference
  • Retreat Design and Facilitation 
  • Video Storytelling to identify key themes or guiding principles
  • Development of documentary films
  • Development of video resource websites
  • Navigating school or organizational change/restructuring

Our Learning Specialists are all prepared in at least two key bodies of researched practice that are foundational to the CircleBridge framework:

Additionally, each of us brings a body of unique knowledge and experience, as well as enthusiasm, to any challenge you bring to us.

We look forward to beginning a journey with you!

This survey will give you and your school or organization a little feedback concerning the helpfulness of any CircleBridge-guided initiative. It will also give us some information on how to guide you in initial conversations. Taking this survey is not a commitment to a CircleBridge project. This survey is simply a place to give you a sense of how CircleBridge might be helpful for you in your school or community. Thank you for your interest in CircleBridge.

In this survey, you will be asked randomly to answer questions about yourself and about your school or organizational colleagues and environment. You will not be asked for specific names or information, only about your opinions concerning the ways you interact with each other. Your individual responses are completely confidential.

CircleBridge Websites

  • WoLakota Project Our South Dakota site dedicated to Indigenous Elder interviews and essential understandings
  • Green Siblings Project Our National Parks-funded site featuring a documentary film and Social Justice workshop featuring interviews with Treopia, Ernest and Scott Green concerning life in the Jim Crow South and the 1957 Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR
  • Blue Deer Learning Our video story-telling project with Texas A&M International University’s College of Education Teacher Preparation Pathway

CircleBridge Films and Documentaries


Thought Partners & Advisory Board

We’ve had great support in developing and clarifying the CircleBridge approach from a group of thought partners that we have worked with for over the last decade. These partners have also agreed to serve as an advisory board for our work: