The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) Basic Workshop offers experiential exercises followed by reflection to examine our responses to situations where injustice, prejudice, conflict, frustration, and anger can lead to aggressive behavior and violence. The core of Fox’s, Gandhi’s, and Martin Luther King’s nonviolent approaches are practiced.
An AVP workshop can help you to:
• manage strong feelings such as anger and fear
• deal more effectively with risk and danger
• build good relationships with other people
• communicate well in difficult situations
• recognize the skills you already have and learn new ones
• be true to yourself while respecting other people
• understand why conflict happens
• achieve insight into family experiences; however, know that AVP is not therapy
BACKGROUND: AVP, begun in 1975 as a cooperative project of prisoners and Quakers, has spread from one prison in New York State to over 30 states and 25 countries. It has been shown to be effective and empowering with youth, men and women who are incarcerated, ex-combatants, marginalized groups, and peoples of diverse cultures. A specialized trauma healing program has been developed. We will learn about many of these applications.
We follow an AVP format which includes individual, dyad, small group and whole group activities. Activities include a progressive series of brainstorms, interactive exercises, guided meditation, and role plays. Following each activity is the opportunity for personal reflection and examination of the experiences for applications to life situations for ways of seeking and creating alternatives to violence.
We will be active so please wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Laughter, surprise and creativity are valuable parts of our learning.
Participants who want to know more about the workshop, descriptions, evaluations of its effectiveness, and the applications of AVP before the conference can visit www.AVPInternational, Friends Peace Teams http://friendspeaceteams.org/, African Great Lakes Initiative: http://www.aglifpt.org/, and http://www.avpusa.org/. However, please know that reading is not the same as experiencing. Arriving with an open mind and heart is the best preparation. It is helpful to come with an awareness of community and conflict in your own life and to be willing to share both your wisdom and difficulties in dealing with them.
Apsey, Lawrence S. et al. Transforming Power for Peace. 4th ed. AVP Distribution Center, 2001.
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum Press, 1981.
Gandhi, Mohandas K. Gandhi on Non-Violence: Selected Texts from Gandhi’s Nonviolence in Peace and War. Ed. Thomas Merton. New York: New Directions, 1965.
Judson, Stephanie et al. Manual on Nonviolence and Children. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1977.
King, Martin Luther: Strength to Love. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.
Kriedler, W.J. Conflict Resolution in the Middle School: A Curriculum and Teacher’s Guide. Kendall Hunt Publishing Co., 1997.
Merton, Thomas. The Nonviolent Alternative. New York: Farrar,Straus & Giroux, 1971.
Rosenberg, Marshall B. A Model for NonViolence and Communication. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1983.
Sharp, Gene. The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Vol. I – III. Boston: Porter Sargent, 1975.
About the leaders :
We will be team of 3 including Ken Wood.
Carolyn Schodt has been a facilitator of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Spiritual Formation Programs from 2001- today and a lead facilitator of AVP from 2003 - today. Previously, she taught pediatric nursing at the undergraduate and graduate level. In 1990 – 2003 each June she served as staff and then coordinator of the Abington Quarter Junior Friends Conference (for Quaker school-aged children with Quaker high school and college age counselors).
Ken Wood has been a lead facilitator for about 16 years. He has also done corporate legal mediation and some informal parent child counseling. He has an educational background in economics, business and lastly social sciences. He is a previous member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting where I was a board member of Friends Center.
For Eric Smith –