The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to reducing violence in our lives. We are committed to building stronger communities through respect and mutual understanding. Our team is made up of passionate individuals who believe that positive change is possible. We provide trainings and workshops that help individuals and communities develop skills for conflict resolution and nonviolent communication.
We believe that everyone has the potential to create a world without violence, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is an association of community and prison-based groups that offer experience-based workshops in personal growth, community building and conflict resolution. We seek to build a movement that builds on respect for all, cooperation and trust. AVP brings together diverse groups of people to model Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideal of the “beloved community."
What We Do
AVP workshops draw from the life experience of participants. We don’t lecture or preach. Our dynamic sessions help people to understand why conflict happens; manage strong feelings like anger and fear; build good relationships; communicate well in difficult situations; and stand up for themselves while respecting others. When people see that they can relate to others in peaceful ways, rather than with hostility and aggression, their attitudes and behaviors change for the better.
Our workshops are evidence-based. Research shows that AVP programs reduce anger and stress while building improved coping skills and improving morale in many settings.
Where We Began
AVP's community-led initiative began in the 1970s in Green Haven Prison in upstate New York as a program to reduce levels of violence among young prisoners. It was soon recognized as an effective approach for workplaces, schools, churches and community groups in the US and abroad.
Where We Are Now
Today, AVP workshops are active in 33 states, in prisons and jails, churches and businesses, shelters, youth clubs and schools. AVP is also active in 50 countries. Successful workshops have been held with combatants in conflict zones like Sudan, Palestine, and Rwanda.