Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is an international workshop curriculum that enables participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways.
The workshops draw on the shared experience of participants, using interactive exercises, discussions, games and role-plays to examine the ways we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behavior and violence.
The Alternatives to Violence Project Basic Workshop teaches interpersonal conflict resolution skills through a series of step-by-step processes. These experiences in small groups and one-to-one interactions build a sense of community and trust through exercises focusing on:
Affirmation — Building self esteem and trust.
Communication — Improving listening skills and assertive methods of expression.
Cooperation — Developing cooperative attitudes that avoid competitive conflicts.
Creative Conflict Resolution — Getting in touch with one’s inner Transforming Power to resolve violence.
The Advanced AVP workshop focuses on the underlying causes of violence, both in ourselves and in the world we live in. It is designed to give participants opportunities to rebuild community, review in depth the concept of Transforming Power and proceed to set individual and group goals for the focus of the remainder of the workshop. (Prerequisite: Completion of Basic Workshop)
Such a focus topic might be:
- Fear — Reveals the hidden fears that usually underlie anger, jealousy and prejudice.
- Anger — Results in a deeper understanding of the personal situations that trigger anger.
- Power — (And powerlessness) Helps individuals understand power structures and get in touch with their inner power.
- Communication — Develops the skills and the ability to communicate in tense and stressful situations.
- Forgiveness — Builds the groundwork for true reconciliation and freedom from guilt.
- Bias Awareness — Builds awareness of stereotyping, bias and prejudice in personal relations.
- Racial Justice — Exploring the challenges people of color face.
- Man-woman relationships — Explores issues of fear, anger, power and powerlessness.
- Manly Awareness — What is it to be a man?
- Re-entry — Addressing the difficult transition from prison to community.
- And others — Whatever the group finds most compelling.
This workshop is reserved for those who have completed a Basic and Advanced workshop and would like to become an active volunteer facilitators in their community. Since AVP is a program where learning takes place through experience, a Facilitator Training workshop should be designed to bring about the understanding of what it means to facilitate by having the participants experience facilitating in a supportive environment. The theme of the Training for Facilitators Program is “Empowerment.
The goals for participants in this workshop are:
- Learn to work as an effective facilitating team member;
- Learn to give and receive feedback;
- Learn to personally communicate and give examples of the concept of Transforming Power
- Conduct a practice session of a Basic AVP Workshop;
- Practice skills as a facilitator: planning, presenting and processing;
- Practice adapting exercises to meet special needs of facilitators and participants;
- Practice skills in debriefing and processing learning activities and role plays;
- Practice skills in teaching I Messages;
- Begin the process of building sense of community in a workshop
Key Features of an AVP Workshop
A safe learning environment
Reliance on Transforming Power
Experiential rather than conceptual focus
- Experiential rather than conceptual focus
- A holistic focus
- Building community
Fun and laughter
A varied pace with time for reflection
- Feedback and Evaluation