Alternatives to Violence Project
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is an international association of volunteer groups that offers workshops dealing with conflict resolution, responses to violence, and personal growth. It began in 1975 when inmates at Greenhaven Prison (NY) were working with young people who came into conflict with the law. They worked with the Quaker Project on Community Conflict to devise a prison workshop. More workshops were requested, and the program spread to other prisons and thence to communities and schools. There are currently nearly 2000 AVP facilitators, all volunteers, in the USA.
The aim of AVP is to give people the tools to help reduce the level of violence in our society by giving them methods of conflict resolution that reduces their own need to resort to violent solutions to situations and problems they encounter. The Alternatives to Violence Project is designed to create successful personal interactions and use what is called in AVP "transforming power" to effect peaceful outcomes to violent situations. The same non-violent skills and techniques that were used by Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr are used in AVP training.
Although AVP was founded by Quakers and based on their belief in peace and the inward light in everyone, AVP volunteers come all religions, races and walks of life.