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Family Dinner Group Values

Our "Family Dinner" is intended to be a safe space for people who are formerly incarcerated and those who wish to support them. To this aim, we have a set of group values to set a tone for this gathering:

1. We hold a non-judgmental space for each other.
2. We don't give advice, unless advice is asked for.
3. Nobody needs to be fixed. Each person knows best what they need and while we might empathize or identify, our path is not their path.
4. "Take Space," and "Make Space." Taking space refers to speaking up, asking for support, or contributing to a conversation when you have something beneficial to add. Making space refers to refraining from talking or taking too long when possible to make room for others.
5. Consider replacing, "You should..." with, "What do you need?"
6. We value building community, reaching out, checking on one another, etc. Consider getting a phone number to continue being in community with each other outside of the group.
7. We endeavor to "Hold Space."
8. Having fun!

We named it "Family Dinner" in the spirit of having a place to land. It's natural and healthy for people to spread their wings, expand their horizons, and grow their community, but this inherently means there will be times when we just need to ground and feel at home. Although having independence is important, sometimes we all just want to come "home" to a family dinner -- to be around those who know us, who share our values or experiences, and accept us for who we are. While we realize that not everyone has a home or family like that, this "family" endeavors to be.

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