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Local Quakers Invite Public to Alternatives to Violence Training in Chatham

Sunday, March 23, 2014 • 9:20am

Chatham, NJ.     The public is invited to attend a demonstration and discussion of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), a Quaker initiative that empowers people to lead non-violent lives, 7 p.m. Friday, March 28 at the Chatham-Summit Quaker Meeting, 158 Southern Boulevard. 

The program and demonstration are structured to give a taste of an AVP training session and how AVP builds community.  Participating in the demonstration will be AVP trainers currently working in prisons, as well as a returnee who will speak compellingly about the program's impact on his life.

            Developed in 1975 by Quakers in the New York region for use in the prison system, AVP training is now recognized and taught around the world, in many settings, to encourage peaceful responses to tense situations.  The training offers tools and techniques, such as affirmation, respect, community building and trust, to help individuals recognize and quickly move past many of the triggers that can lead to aggressive behavior. 

            A light meal precedes the program, followed by open discussion with time for questions and answers.  An RSVP to abowman33@earthlink.net or 973-292-4863 will be appreciated; alternatively: windofthespirit1@aol.com or 973-538-2035.  Because AVP is working to expand its grassroots peace program into schools and communities, a small donation is requested but not required: $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

            Chatham-Summit Quaker Meeting is a core supporter of New Jersey AVP efforts.  Many of its members have completed the basic and advanced AVP training.  Six members have become facilitators and now offer this program in two New Jersey prisons. 

            It is one of five Quaker meetings in northern New Jersey. Also called the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers (also known as "Friends") describe themselves as practicing "a simple faith, a radical witness." People of goodwill from all faiths and traditions are always welcome.  For additional information and directions, visit www.chathamquakers.org or call 973-635-2161.

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