“The alternatives to violence program is a grassroots, volunteer program dedicated to reducing interpersonal violence in our streets, in our schools, in our homes and in our society.”
“The mission of the Alternative to Violence Project is to empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation and trust.“Founded and developed from the real-life experiences of men and women in prison and others and building on a spiritual base, AVP encourages every person’s innate power to positively transform themselves and the world.” (AVP/USA By-Laws, 2010)
Over the past few years, Breathing Space Florida has sponsored workshops locally using the principles of the AVP; the Alternative to Violence Program. These ideas are rooted in the principles followed by the Quakers to promote peace in the presence of conflict. These workshops endeavor to reduce the level of violence in our communities, schools and prisons. During the past forty years, workshops guided by the principles of the AVP have been conducted, both domestically and abroad, with resulting success of reducing violent behaviors.
The reason Breathing Space is affiliated with such programs as this is clear. It is based on a belief that interaction among members of the human community may lead to the healing of members within that community. Education is needed to foster an alternative to violence, especially in light of recent forms of violence becoming more commonplace. Creating ways to peace as an alternative to violence is the goal of AVP and thereby a goal of Breathing Space, Florida. What better way to reintegrate into society? Finding peace can be the first step to building a new life. We must all strive together and partner with each other in this endeavor.