Global Citizens Circle was founded as New England Circle in 1974 in the aftermath of a turbulent decade of assassinations, wars, racial tension, and government upheaval as a way of gathering concerned people of diverse backgrounds and opinions to address critical issues of our time. Its original mission remains: “to foster diversity, discussion, and constructive change in ourselves, our nation, and our world.”
Participants in “Activism That Works” Circle, 2017, Khayelitsha, South Africa
Through the decades and across tables and continents, the Circle has encouraged and inspired highly participatory, spirited conversations on race relations in the US, Northern Ireland’s troubles, South Africa’s struggles, children, families and community, homelessness, nuclear proliferation, the AIDS pandemic, China’s labor camps, Haiti and Cuba, and women’s rights — to name but a few.

Our Impact

Everyone at a Circle discussion has an equal voice so world leaders and locals from all sectors (community, business, academia, etc.) talk with each other about not only the challenges, but also the solutions to our world’s most pressing concerns.

Diverse Engagement

The Dunfey family founded and funded decades of Circles free of charge to ensure inclusive participation. We believe it’s a tradition worth saving as we transition to a diversely funded and led non-profit. True inclusion is inviting students and those from socioeconomic brackets who would otherwise not have access (90% of participants) to policy makers or leaders.  

View an image gallery of Circles Since 1974, including our 2017 program in South Africa.

By bringing together some of our best thinkers and experts with opinion leaders and concerned citizens, the Circle has become an invaluable resource for educators and policy-makers alike. I expect that the Circle’s influence as an educational institution will become increasingly important in the next century.
Coretta Scott King