As a life-long avoider of conflict and an acknowledged introvert, I find it ironic that I spend so much time facilitating Alternatives to Violence Project workshops. It seems so out of character to willingly go into a minimum or medium security prison and spend essentially 18-20 hours over a weekend, once a month, with a bunch of guys dealing with conflict and talking about feelings. It is difficult for me on so many levels. And yet, I keep going back.
For me, it was the power of the process that kept pulling me back. An AVP workshop is packed with interactive, immersion type experiences. It very successfully builds a sense of community and level of trust I have never experienced anywhere else before. It was the power of this community that drew me. I kept learning things about myself and changing, and even though it was challenging, everyone else was being challenged at some level at the same time. I was not alone.
I used to be afraid of doing anything that put me in a position of making mistakes in front of others. The first community workshop I helped facilitate was a baptism in fire. I made all kinds of mistakes, but the process worked so well that in spite of my mistakes, all of the participants grasped what we hoped they would. As one person said at the end of the workshop, “I realize now that non-violent resolution of conflict is inside everyone of us and what we need to do is reach down inside ourselves and pull it out.” I learned to trust the process, because it works. — Magical Miriam
Basic AVP Workshop – Plainfield Correctional Facility – January, 2017
Announcing the next Community T4F from AVP Indiana.
AVP Community Training 4 Facilitators – at West Richmond Friends Meeting.
9 am – 8 pm Saturday January 14th and , 9 am – 7 pm Sunday, January 15th. Participants should have taken Basic and Advanced Workshops to participate.
Please sign up on website: avpindiana.org under the Registration tab.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“I feel more confident and peaceful inside when conflict arises. I don’t
feel like I just want to hide under a rock anymore when conflict is near.”
From Justice Jessica, after her AVP basic workshop.
The Core Coordinating Group of AVP Indiana has been hard at work creating the first AVP Indiana Annual Gathering. The gathering will bring together AVP facilitators from all over Indiana and the surrounding AVP Midwest Region. Participants will be sure to have a lot of laughs as well as working on how to make our community stronger and practicing a few AVP facilitation skills.
We are so excited to see old friends and new in Indiana and the surrounding region to share with each other our love of AVP and to learn together how to make our organization even stronger. We promise this will be loads of fun!!
Location: 212 South 4th Street Richmond, IN 47374
Date/Time: July 9th 11am-5pm
Food: Lunch will be provided!
Who: Anyone involved in AVP Indiana or the Midwest Region (no need to be a facilitator)
What: Practicing AVP skills, learning about the non-profit and ways to plug in, and brainstorming how to make our community stronger.
If you’re interested in coming, simply show up! Or fill out this brief RSVP form: http://goo.gl/forms/R4vVKkok0S9IBYSX2
Thanks and hope to see you there!
-Courageous Kirsten Bunner
Check out this new radio series!
The Power of Nonviolence, a major new series distributed worldwide by NPR, is now available to hear (or download):www.humanmedia.org/nonviolence
History proves over and over that violence breeds more violence. Victims are traumatized by brutality — as are perpetrators, and the cycle is uninterrupted.
Yet, today ISIS terrorizes the Mideast and Europe, civilian jetliners are shot down in Ukraine and Sinai, mass shootings erupt even in “safe havens” like churches and elementary schools in the U.S. People of conscience everywhere are heartsick and looking for answers.
The Power of Nonviolence, by award-winning radio documentary producer David Freudberg, seeks deep solutions to this vexing problem. Voices of peacemakers are heard and their stories are uplifting. And we turn to wisdom teachings across our great spiritual traditions for guidance and inspiration. This is a powerful free resource. Please share with everyone.
In April, AVP Indiana was invited to Berea, Kentucky to facilitate a Basic (1st level) AVP workshop. One of our original group of apprentice facilitators is a Kentucky native and has been working for the last several years to regenerate interest in AVP. This spring, Steve was successful in organizing a group of local Quakers from Berea Friends Meeting to attend a workshop held on the campus of Berea College. It was a beautiful spring weekend, with the trees beginning to leaf and the mountains beckoning in the distance.
Our facilitation team consisted of me, Steve, and Arnold, who was a new apprentice from South Carolina, looking for an opportunity to gain experience. I had never met Arnold before the Friday evening of the workshop, so team building that first evening was crucial. Also, I had not facilitated a community workshop since the fall of 2012 and I knew it would be a different experience than my prison workshops.
Fortunately, the weekend proved to be a great learning experience for all of us. As a facilitation team, we learned how to smooth out some or our own rough spots and became aware of issues that we, ourselves, needed to work on. Personally, I learned to be more sensitive to the needs of the participants. We tried an exercise I had never done, or seen done before, and it generated some strong emotions among the participants. In the evaluation process, I received really good, critical feedback that will help me facilitate the exercise better in the future.
I also discovered that I have come a long way from my former, introverted, conflict-avoiding self. When conflict arose in several instances, I was able to handle them with a great sense of calm. Transforming Power was truly present, because I knew exactly what to do without thinking. It reminded me that the AVP process works and that we can trust it. It was a superb beginning to a new AVP presence in Kentucky!