Mid-Hudson Area Council/AVP members plan a series of Alternatives to Violence Project Workshops in spring 2017 in collaboration with community groups including churches, social action organizations, schools and social clubs. Our aim is to help Hudson neighborhoods and people to communicate peacefully across old boundaries and to create a more safe, just, happy and healthy Hudson. Pictured are Jim Peppler, Facilitator & Photographer, Bill Leicht, Recording Secretary, Laurie Scott, Clerk, and Carolyn Polikarpus, Treasurer. We will focus on Mini-AVP Workshops for community youth and activists. Later workshops will lead to Facilitator Certification. AVP began in the Hudson Valley in 1975 and has spread to communities across the globe through volunteers and local initiative, not foundations nor governments.
"Body-Based Conflict Transformation Workshop" 3-5 March 2017 at the Watershed Center (Millerton, NY 12546) will introduce Paul Linden's somatic exercises for self-regulation under stress to community activists and peace builders (as well as martial artists). To clarify his purpose Paul, Ss. paraphrases Dr. King's motto, "Love without Power is weakness; Power without Love is brutality." Through perceptual, physical, verbal and imaginative experiences participants learn how to take charge of their challenges gently, powerfully and lovingly.
Bill Leicht and Miltón H. Káriakónex Román will facilitate this Aiki/AVP Miniworkshop. Bill, President, Urban Visions, Inc, has been an AVP Facilitator since Larry Apsey and Steve Angell in 1985 asked him to develop a somatically oriented AVP Workshop. Miltón was raised and has lived in the South Bronx for over 40 years. He has worked with Urban Visions, Inc. for over fifteen years as Senior Instructor and Facilitator of Bronx Peace Dojo and Aiki Workshops in public schools and community agencies.
The Alternatives to Violence Project at Franklin Central School welcomed thirteen new Youth Facilitators in early 2016. They had graduated from three multi-day workshops throughout the 2015 school year in which they learned alternatives to violence through shared discussions, experiential activities, and interactive role plays. They look forward to running 2016 workshops for new participants. They have shown commitment to building community within the school district and to practicing random acts of kindness. F.S.C. is very excited to have them help to grow our AVP program.
Twenty six martial artists from across the globe joined this webinar on 14 June. Bertram Wohak, Sensei and myself, Bill Leicht, responded to questions from the moderator, Paul Linden, Sensei, on how the martial arts uniquely support peacemaking. Then in two sessions, first participants paired up, got to know someone new and shared reactions and ideas, second the pairs and the whole group directed questions to the panel as well as offering their ideas about peacemaking both during Intl. Aik Peace Week (20-26 September 2015) and throughout the following year in their dojos. Some participants asked for help to become active peacemakers in their communities during IAPW, particularly with public relations strategies. Others asked for resources to deal with trauma, grieving, disease and other life problems. Several complimented Miles Kessler, Sensei on his vision for virtual conversations across national, cultural and organizational boundaries on matters of peace and spiritual life.
Linden invited Jamie Zimron, Sensei, representing Aiki Extensions' "Training Across Borders-2015" team to give a brief introduction to TAB-2015 near Athens (7-11 Oct.). She told us how "The seminar will bring together 200 aikidoka from conflict regions around the world to practice aikido and to replace barriers -- built by years of mistrust, fear, and hatred -- with foundations for friendship and peace."
The International Aiki Peace Week and Peace Dojos International Teams of Aiki Extensions, Inc. sponsored this webinar which the Integral Dojo hosted as part of its ongoing Dharma Discussions. For those who missed this lively event, the edited webinar will be available in a few days on Integral Dojo's SoundCloud site.
Friends Peace Teams invited Paul Linden and Bill Leicht to present a mini-workshop on including somatics as a part of peacemaking at PeaceQuest-2015, Richmond IN. Eleven activists participated. Paul and Bill demonstrated aikido briefly to distinguish the martial art then taught somatics as applied to nonviolence. In the last few minutes Bill showed the AVP Exercise, "Hand Pushing Demonstration," with a number of somatic variations that can help participants understand how physical, like verbal, nonviolence is also a dialog about affirmation, attention, trust and transformation. The workshop participants felt excited about the possibilities in approaching Transforming Power through the body.
Facilitator-Peer Educators First Graduating Class, AVP Training of Facilitators
By Noelle Granger, Special Ed. Teacher and AVP Leader:
"All of our workshops went really well. We did learn that we should not hold all of the mini workshops on the same day as the Training for Facilitators workshop. We also learned that we need to break classes in half for the minis. One group was 20 students and that was way too many fifth graders in one workshop. ..in moving forward we will be careful to make the groups smaller and have strong peer groups separated. We have welcomed 25 new student facilitators into our group. They completed the T4F workshop in February.
Our plans at this moment include shooting a promotional video to start raising funds for a documentary on AVP in our schools (Franklin and Walton [NY]). We will also be holding a dignity day in May for all students in grades 7-12 that focuses around the theme of diversity. We are currently so big that I am having students "apply" for the "position" of being my student assistants."
By Getry Agizah and Peter Serete
Fresh conflict erupted one morning in Kakuma Refugee Camp, phase II, between the Great Lakes and the Sudanese refugees. A Burundian motorbike driver hit a Sudanese boy at around 8 a.m. and the boy suffered minor injuries on his mouth. The Burundian was carrying a Congolese passenger and the accident triggered angry Sudanese who attacked the Burundian and killed him in cold blood. The Great Lakes group which comprises Congolese, Burundians and Ugandans started fighting the Sudanese. ‘The matter was out of control, the only message we got from the camp was “we need your prayers” pastor Etienne. . . . . . read more
Bill Leicht is an AVP Facili-tator-activist, a member of Peace Dojos Intl. Steering Group, and past-President of Aiki Extensions Peace Dojos are now his main work.