“We Are...” – The Traveling Experience

Common Circles is currently bringing a traveling educational museum experience called “We Are White Plains: Bridging, Belonging, and Building Community” to the White Plains Public Schools in Westchester County, New York.

Students at White Plains High School learn about the Holocaust in the Dimensions in Testimony room of the We Are White Plains exhibit
The walls and rooms in White Plains High School and Middle School buildings have been transformed into a world-class museum experience. This experience uses the arts, conversation, and storytelling to help the students and the broader community explore identity, the Holocaust, and genocide – with the goal of building bridges between who we are and who we want to become, between the community we have and the community we want to shape, and between historical lessons of the past and actions we can take in the future. Our hope is that the exhibit will help students and visitors embrace their role in creating a better future by learning from history, the present, themselves, and one another.

Dr. Joseph Ricca, Superintendent of the White Plains School District, said, “More than ever, we need to support each other and protect our communities from the insidious toxicity of bigotry and hatred. As community members, we have the power to break down barriers of division and replace them with bridges to understanding and mutual respect. Our partnership with Common Circles has allowed our children and our community the opportunity to elevate their voices and shared commitment to each other. “We Are White Plains” embodies our commitment to each and every member of our city while celebrating and honoring the unique and beautiful qualities of every member of our vibrant learning community.”

Common Circles Partners with USC Shoah Foundation

One of the exhibits in the “We Are White Plains” experience includes two interactive biographies from USC Shoah Foundation's Dimensions in Testimony. They highlight Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and liberator Alan Moskin.

“We Are White Plains” launched in March 2023. This experience can be customized for other school districts, municipalities, and organizations. Email info@commoncircles.org for more information.

We Are White Plains Bridging, Belonging, & Building Community logoWe Are White Plains -- Common Threads display -- teacher showing her cardImage

The Common Circles Interactive Art Experience

Common Circles has developed plans for a community art experience specifically designed for corporations and educational communities (middle school, high school, and college students, faculty, administrators and staff).

Using cutting-edge technology and proven techniques for reducing bias, the Common Circles Interactive Art Experience will engage participants through emotional and educational videos and interactive photo-capturing devices that encourage identity exploration. The experience will culminate with a large cycling video wall that provides unexpected insights to challenge preconceptions. The purpose of this experience is to inspire greater cohesion and harmony and to help participants consider one another’s personalities and perspectives in more layered and nuanced ways.

Watch this video to see how our interactive experience was customized for the Tri-Faith Center in Omaha, NB.

Hand holding up photo of young woman

The Common Circles App

Our new Identity & Belonging App will revolutionize the way Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) education is deployed by corporations, schools, government offices, police departments, and other organizations by tackling bias, lack of inclusion, and feelings of belonging in a new and inventive way.

In stark contrast to traditional DEIB training programs that are not scalable and take place once or twice a year, this app presents convenient, self-directed experiences that can be used on a daily basis. The core premise is that regular exposure to micro-bursts of powerful and emotive video content will provide a more effective and palatable way to engage in the work necessary to build more inclusive and equitable communities and more cohesive and productive work forces.

The app features hundreds of curated videos and interactive experiences, as well as personalized expert advice that can be configured to meet organizational needs and match user preferences. Think of it as the Spotify of identity, belonging, diversity, equity, and inclusion content. The app and its video content are being designed and vetted by a panel of top D&I experts, social scientists, learning psychologists and subject matter professionals. Metrics will be used to measure changes in attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors.

Experts believe the app will increase empathy, decrease bias, and foster a greater sense of belonging in corporations, schools and other community organizations, which will lead to a measurable impact in both ROI and SROI (social return on investment).

Step into the shoes of others

The Workshop & Game Jam

Imagined for students by students

Common Circles designed, developed, and implemented an identity and game workshop for high school students in St. Louis, Missouri. Students from seven area high schools came together to learn about identity, unconscious bias, and the fundamentals of game design. Using techniques from psychology that have been proven to increase empathy and decrease bias, the students then worked collaboratively alongside game designers and experts on bias and intergroup relations to create games to address these difficult topics in an engaging way. The students generated innovative and viable ideas, including a card game called Common Threads that was further developed and is now part of the “We Are...” exhibit and curriculum.

group of students in workshop to develop a game to teach about bias and identity

The Common Threads Game

Common Threads is an innovative multi-player character card game linking Malcolm x and P!nk in less than 5 minutes.

Developed by high school students, the Common Threads card game highlights the richness of both personal and social identities and seeks to find connection and commonalities across lines of difference. The character cards address the many layers of identity among various historical figures, artists, celebrities, politicians, scientists, athletes and musicians.

The game uses several proven methods from psychology including "finding commonality," a technique that tasks players to explore commonalities among the varied 100-character card deck. This highlights that our identities are multi-layered and made up of diverse factors and allows us to focus on what we have in common. Experts agree that this identity work is a crucial starting point in the difficult but vital education necessary to ensure inclusive, anti-racist schools, workplaces and organizations. The Common Threads card game is being integrated into curriculum in classrooms and other organizations as part of the “We Are...” exhibit and curriculum.

illustration of Common Threads Game Cards

Inspire greater cohesion and harmony

Combine technology with proven techniques from psychology and compelling storytelling

The goal is for students, teachers, families, individuals, businesses and institutions — all people across all generations — to leave with the tools needed to transform old destructive behavior based on fear and bias into thoughtful and authentic empathy and positive action. Common Circles experiences are places where technology meets people and people meet people, opening minds and inspiring individuals to make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others.