One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Green Circle Program
Contact(s): Niyonu Spann, Executive Director: (215) 893-8400
Purpose: To promote children's cultural understanding, while enhancing their self-esteem

The Green Circle Program (GCP) was conceived in 1957 by Gladys Rawlins, a black social worker for the Race Relations Committee of The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). GCP is a human relations education program designed to promote positive intergroup relationships. The program focuses on helping people develop an appreciation and understanding of diversity while developing self-worth. There are three components: Green Circle I, the core program, focuses on children, kindergarten-sixth grade. Green Circle II is designed for middle and high school students. Green Circle III works with public school faculty and administrators, as well as adults in corporations, community organizations and human relation commissions across the country. GCP operates through a number of host organizations and individual volunteers, such as the School District of Philadelphia, Girl Scouts of America, the National Conference and school districts nationwide. With the establishment of the new Students Widening Circles Program in 1997, high school students in 10 states are now being trained to facilitate GCP with students in their local elementary schools. Today, there are Green Circle Programs in 49 states with 1,800 members, as well as many other Green Circle trained individuals who have offered their services as volunteer Green Circle facilitators. (GCP was highlighted at President Clinton's town hall meeting in Akron, Ohio, in December 1997.) GCP has shown significant growth over the past two years. The program provided curriculum materials to 362 individuals and community groups in 1997, up from 285 in 1995. In the same time period, GCP has also increased the number of schools and community groups served directly by the national office by 25%. For more information, e-mail the national GCP office at

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