The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

AVP was developed in New York State in 1974, after the Attica riots, through collaboration between the Quaker community and inmates of the New York State prison system. They developed the format, exercises and methodology, which make the workshops such an effective process. AVP has a spiritual base but promotes no religious doctrine. We believe there is a power for peace in everyone which, if we are open to it, can transform violent situations. We call this Transforming Power.

Basic workshops, (Dec. 12-14 2014) introduces the concepts, principles, and tools of nonviolent conflict resolution and Transforming Power. Once a participant has completed a Basic workshop, s/he is free to participate in the 2nd level, advanced workshop.

Advanced workshops (tentatively scheduled for Jan 9-11 2015) promote a deeper look at aspects of violence such as stereotyping, power, fear, and anger. They may also focus on related topics such as gender issues and forgiveness. They build upon our collective experience in communication, cooperation and problem solving.

Training for Trainers (tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6-8 2015) is offered to those who have completed a Basic and at least one Advanced workshop and are interested in becoming AVP facilitators.

The Workshops

Workshops typically consist of 15 – 20 participants. Experiential in nature, the workshops employ a dynamic, hands-on learning process that promotes personal reflection and support for and from others. Using a variety of exercises, games, discussions, and role-plays, a community of trust is built where participants are encouraged to explore and practice basic conflict resolution skills that provide a foundation for living nonviolently. Four major themes run throughout the workshops:

  • Affirmation
    The acknowledgement of self-worth and the valuing of others provide the motivation for any nonviolent solution to be successfully implemented.
  • Cooperation
    The skills of working with others to achieve a win/win solution provide a positive alternative to the win/lose attitude.
  • Communication
    The use of good listening skills and assertive communication is essential to a nonviolent conflict resolution
  • Collaboration
    True concern for self and others leads to creative problem solving and moves us away from violence and toward peace.

Schedule for Dec 12-14 workshop (with breaks for snacks and meals):

Friday – 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday – 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday – 12 noon. – 5:00 p.m.

For more information, contact:
Diane Butler at 803-727-6307;

Registration Form: A registration form is in the attached brochure or you can register online

Registration deadline: Dec. 1, 2014

The AVP Mission

The Alternatives to Violence Project is a multi-cultural organization of volunteers offering experiential workshops that empower people to lead nonviolent lives through self affirmation, respect for others, community building, cooperation and trust. AVP builds upon a spiritual base of respect and caring for self and others, with groups in communities and sometimes prisons.

Each workshop is limited to 20 participants.

In order to satisfactorily complete a workshop and receive a certificate, participants should plan to attend the entire length of all sessions and complete all work assignments

Who Should Attend?

  • Students
  • Social Workers
  • Law Enforcement workers
  • Community Volunteers
  • Teachers
  • Anyone interested in solving problems peacefully


December 12-14, 2014

The Columbia Meeting of the Society of Friends
120 Pisgah Church Road
Columbia, SC 29203