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#WWV16: Smudging, Talking Circle & Beading with Elder Darlene


Crisis Shelter & Residence

One of our regular program facilitators, Darlene Speidel, helped make the YWCA Week Without Violence a memorable week for all. Darlene is well known in the shelter for providing her beading group twice a month. The ladies of the shelter enjoy this time to visit, connect and work with their hands to create beautiful projects.

For Week Without Violence Darlene led a talking circle, smudging and a beading project. These components of programming connected with promoting non-violence and positive communication.  Darlene and the ladies participated in smudging at the beginning of the group then started up a Talking Circle. Talking Circles are a traditional way to connect and remove barriers while allowing people to express themselves with complete openness and acceptance. Darlene spoke about the importance of recognizing the respect women deserve.  There was discussion about gender roles, awareness of human rights and not making excuses for violence.  The Talking Circle allowed time for all in attendance to speak openly about their own lives and experiences.  The night was healing, and evolved with the group and the unique perspectives each woman contributed.  The women had a great time taking part in this meaningful night. Darlene finished the night with a beading project.  The project was a key chain that featured the color purple, known for its symbolism of non-violence.

These key chains will act as a reminder to the women of this meaningful night and the impact YWCA Week Without Violence holds.