Statement on Racism

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a multiracial and multicultural volunteer organization that is dedicated to ending interpersonal and systemic violence.  Racism is violence.  We challenge racism in ourselves, in others, and in the institutions that make up our society.  Experiential AVP workshops in communities and in prisons seek to build bridges through affirmation, communication, community building, and nonviolent conflict resolution.  Though AVP is rooted in radical recognition
of our shared humanity and a deep rooted belief that our differences can be our strengths, we cannot ignore the fact that the U.S. has been built on institutionalized anti-Black racism for four hundred years and counting.  Our organization has benefited from and reflects that white privilege in its membership and in its organizational practices. The way of being and the kind of society AVP seeks to foster must include a personal investigation by facilitators and organizers of the active legacy of racism and white supremacy culture present in ourselves, in the structures and practices of our governing bodies, and in the design of the workshops we share. The work, then, of building conscious, intentional, anti-racist facilitators and community members must be ongoing, performed honestly, humbly, rigorously, and with forbearance and love, even with those who embrace racist ideals and ideology.