Friends and attenders gathered on Sunday at the New Paltz Quaker Meetinghouse, 8 North Manheim Boulevard, for silent worship, warm fellowship, a delicious lunch, and an inspiring program on the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), the conflict transformation program that began in 1975 when inmates at Green Haven, one of New York State’s maximum security prisons, worked with Quakers to design exercises to address violence in the prison.  Since then, it has spread nationally and internationally to over 80 countries and is practiced in prisons and in communities, schools, and other group settings.

Sunday’s program was part of the Nine Partners Quarterly Meeting and featured four AVP facilitators. Patty Tyrol, Ruth Matthews, Kevin Bartley, Moses (El-Sun) White, shared their experience and how AVP has impacted their lives, both in prison and community environments. Teams of trained AVP facilitators conduct experiential workshops to develop participants’ abilities to resolve conflicts without resorting to manipulation, coercion or violence. On Sunday, we got to experience exercises from an AVP workshop.

New Paltz Friends Meeting will be hosting a basic training for the Alternatives to Violence Project from Friday, Nov. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 12. Contact Patty Tyrol for more information  www.avpusa.0rg