About Us

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Who We Are

Circle Up is a non-profit corporation, working to help members of our community improve interpersonal relationships and communication, thereby resolving personal and societal conflict in an innovative, practical and effective manner.

What We Do

  • We collaborate with individuals, families, businesses and community organizations to foster a more peaceful and productive society.
  • We use best practices, combining ancient tradition with current research.
  • We provide training in social and emotional intelligence, and effective empathetic communication.
  • We provide structures and processes for conversation that create, restore and nurture relationship.
  • We provide training and resources that help individuals understand the root cause of conflict and how to resolve it.
  • We literally and figuratively, Circle Up, creating connection and finding common ground that transcends conflict and empowers personal and community growth.

Why We Do It

  • To facilitate healing from trauma and prevent future harm.
  • To empower communities to be resilient and harmonious.
  • To transform the paradigm of fear, hatred and violence to one of peace, empowerment and restoration.


Cindy Grimes
Director of Programming
Karin Dean
Director of Marketing & Communication
Nira Colyn
Executive Director


Jeff Gann (President) – Kim Burt (Vice-President)Richard Mead (Treasurer)Tim DeanJessi MillerRyan Van FleetLaurie Zink

How We Came To Be

Two days before Rev. Cindy Grimes of Centers of Spiritual Living, Ocala began a Community Peacebuilder Immersion Training in Gainesville offered by the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding there was a shooting at a local school, Forrest High School on April 20, 2018. Having raised children in Ocala and being form a family of law enforcement this really shone a spotlight on the fact we are all vulnerable to instantaneous life changing threat of violence and the devastation it brings to a community. This reinforced for her the need for local peacebuilding and that the time to start is now. Armed with this inspiration and her training, she set forth to gather a group of community members to bring peacebuilding to Ocala, Marion County and the beyond.