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Mid-Missouri Alternatives to Violence Project

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Guide to Transforming Power 

  • Seek to resolve conflicts by reaching common ground. 
  • Reach for that something good in others. 
  • Listen before making judgments.
  • Base your position on truth. 
  • Be ready to revise your position, if it is wrong. 
  • Expect to experience great inward power to act. 
  • Risk being creative rather than violent. 
  • Use surprise and humor. 
  • Learn to trust your inner sense of when to act. 
  • Be willing to suffer for what is important. 
  • Be patient and persistent. 
  • Build community based on honesty, respect and caring.

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a grassroots, international, volunteer organization offering experiential workshops in prisons, schools and the community to encourage personal growth end empower individuals to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation and conflict resolution. AVP has grown from its beginnings in New York State when the Quaker Project on Community Conflict assisted inmates at Green Haven Prison with one workshop in 1975. Now, AVP workshops are offered throughout the US and the world.

Gertrude Marshall and Sister Ruth Haney were the primary facilitators behind the start of AVP in Mid Missouri. The program began in 1985 when two AVP facilitators from the national AVP organization came to Mid Missouri and offered two community workshops which graduated 15 individuals from the basic workshop and five from the advanced workshop. These five went on to hold more community workshops and soon workshops at Missouri State Prison and Algoa Prison.

Since that time, Mid Missouri AVP facilitators have done workshops at Boonville Correctional Center, Vandalia Eastern C. C. for Women, Jefferson City Correctional Center and Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas in addition to the original prisons and many community workshops. In 1993 the Mid Missouri AVP council was officially formed. The community facilitators work closely with the able ‘inside’ facilitators. These individuals are inmates at the prison who have proven their ability to share the non violent messages of AVP.

The number of workshops that the facilitators are able to provide depends on a core of dedicated volunteers to lead the workshops. The Mid Missouri AVP council is always seeking more volunteers. While the commitment is great, the rewards are as well. AVP facilitators quickly state that they gain more from the participants in their workshops than they give in time and effort.

How to attend a workshop and become a volunteer facilitator.