What is the Alternatives to Violence Project? – AVP

 

Goals:

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a multi-cultural volunteer organization that is dedicated to reducing interpersonal violence in our society.

AVP workshops present conflict management skills that can enable individuals to build successful interpersonal interactions, gain insights into themselves and find new and positive approaches to their lives.

The AVP program offers experiential workshops that empower individuals to liberate themselves from the burden of violence.

Philosophy:

The fundamental belief of AVP is that there is a power for peace and good in everyone, and that this power has the ability to transform violence. AVP builds on a spiritual base of caring for self and others working both in prisons and in the community.

Guides to Transforming Power:

  1. Seek to resolve conflicts by reaching common ground.
  2. Reach for that something in others that seeks to do good for self and others.
  3. Listen. Everyone has made a journey. Try to understand where the other person is coming from before you make up your mind.
  4. Base your position on truth. Since people tend to seek truth, no position based on falsehood can long prevail.
  5. Be ready to revise your position if you discover it is not fair.
  6. When you are clear about your position, expect to experience great inward power to act on it. A response that relies on this power will be courageous and without hostility.
  7. Do not expect that this response will automatically ward off danger. If you cannot avoid risk, risk being creative rather than violent.
  8. Surprise and humor may help transform.
  9. Learn to trust your inner sense of when to act and when to withdraw.
  10. Work towards new ways of overcoming injustice. Be willing to suffer suspicion, hostility, rejection, even persecution if necessary.
  11. Be patient and persistent in the continuing search for justice.
  12. Help build “community” based on honesty, respect and caring.

  • Build your own self respect.
  • Respect and care about others.
  • Expect the best.
  • Ask yourself for a nonviolent way.There may be one inside you.
  • Pause – give yourself time – before reacting. It may make you open to Transforming Power.
  • Trust your inner sense of what’s needed.
  • Don’t rely on weapons, drugs or alcohol. They weaken you.
  • When you have done wrong, admit it, make amends if you can, so that you can forgive yourself, then let it go.
  • Don’t threaten or put down.
  • Make friends who will support you.Support the best in them.
  • Risk changing yourself.

Program:

  • AVP is an experiential program, helping people change their lives through a series of structured experiences.
  • AVP is a prison program, helping inmates learn new skills and attitudes that can lead to fulfilling, crime-free lives.
  • AVP is a community program, offering a new approach for community groups, social service agencies, youth organizations and all that would like to participate.
  • AVP is a program for everybody regardless of race, religion, political view or national origin. Though founded by Quakers based on their belief in an inborn power for peace in everyone, it draws its participants and trainers from all religions, races and walks of life.
  • AVP is an intensive learning experience offering two or three-day (22 hours) workshops on three levels:
    1. The Basic Workshop
    2. The Advanced or Second Level Workshop
    3. The Training for Trainers (T4T) Workshop

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