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Organization: Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Worcester, MA USA
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: April 19 2010,19:11 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Center for Nonviolent Solutions,  901 Pleasant Street, Worcester ,  MA 01602, USA

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution


PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

See list of Worcester area organizations on our website

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

One incident that characterizes the response to the Center, since our successful Launch and the opening of an office in October,  involved two  Board Members who met with the principal of a large high school in Worcester. After introductions and a discussion of the Center’s vision statement and program, the principal responded by saying that she would appreciate our. Offering a course on peacemaking and nonviolence in the fall to 300 students and a workshop for teachers on peace, conflict and nonviolence studies.  Such a response dramatizes the fact that our Center meets a need in the community as well as  the challenge it faces in resisting violence and resolving conflict through nonviolent solutions, from the family and neighborhood to the schools and wider community.  

A brief summary of five action programs that the Board is involved in at this time:

1.  Engaging in local, state, and national advocacy as appropriate to creating awareness of nonviolent solutions.  This effort has informed  our work since we first began in June 2008, through monthly planning  meetings and outreach; laying the groundwork for the Board, over the past year, Board members and assistants conducted the first ever public opinion survey of 300 people in Worcester, with the assistance of Wallace Andrews and the InterGlobal communication Group that assessed current attitudes toward violence and ways of reducing it locally, a launch event last October with 150 attendees, featuring Colman McCarthy, journalist and peace education, and Congressman James McGovern.  Both before and since the October 17 launch, Board members  have published articles in InCityTimes and Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and benefited from the professional assistance of Lori Schafer in publicizing the launch and opening of the Center and Elizabeth Wambui with today’s event.  Board members appeared on Channel 13 television, visited classes in peace, conflict, and nonviolence studies at Holy Cross, Assumption, and Clark, and spoke about the Center All Saint’s Episcopal Church Forum, Greendale People’s Church Lenten Series, First Unitarian Church, and Worcester Neighborhood Council. A speakers bureau lists historians, psychologists, activists, educators, mediators—available to engage others in conversations about peace, conflict, and nonviolence, with slide presentations, handouts, and book exhibits.

2.  Creating awareness of the losses cause by violence and the ways we are manipulated to support violence.  Bill Densmore, with Libby Westie and Tim Hutchinson, are collaborating on presentations on the consequences of local violence, nonviolent solutions, and UN Declaration for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World.  They are also preparing a Power Point presentation, for general use, about how warfare and preparations for war divert resources, create havoc with economic systems, and erode the protections of the constitution.  The consequences of warfare, in addition to military and civilian casualties, are permanent psychological damage to survivors, destruction of the infrastructure and environment, and violations of human rights.

3.  Providing educational resources center where concerned citizens can obtain information, speakers, syllabi, films. The extraordinary efforts of Marj Ropp and Libby Westie, our talented, resourceful staff person provides outreach through our website:  www.nonviolentsolution.orgm Facebook, a lending library for teachers and families,  and particularly Libby’s contacts with organizations and individuals during office hours.  Hits to the website now number       , along with responses to specific requests, most recently from Trenton,NJ, on nonviolence training/  In addition to organizations, bibliographies, lesson plans, references to local peacemaking events, the website lists books on peace and nonviolence available through the Worcester Public Library, provided by the Children’s Library, Liza. Graybill. A newsletter will soon be available on hard copy or on the web, depending upon funding.

4.  Facilitating collaboration among Worcester area peace, religious, and local groups working for sustainable, peaceful, and just communities.  Claire Schaeffer Duffy, with assistance from Joanne Gervais, Clark University, has identified twenty local groups and organizations involved in environmental initiatives, anti-violence campaigns locally amd internationally and mediation.  Meeting with religious leaders are being coordinated by Nancy Small, with assistance from The Rev. Robert Batchelder amd our new Board member, David Siddle, a deacon at the First Baptist Church. A long term goal of this action group included the preparation of an electronic mailing list, and eventually a print edition of all groups represented in our directory. Forthcoming meetings will involve representatives of the Diocese of Worcester. Plans are underway to cooperate with Worcester Peace Works on Mayors for Peace, an international initiative organized in anticipation of the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference scheduled for this May, with Rob Jones' July  training sessions in Kingian nonviolence for young people.

5. Advocate for the provision of mediation and conflict management skill at the k-12, college, and adult levels. Paul Ropp, Education Chair, chaired a successful meeting with Dr. Melinda Boone and four Worcester Public  School  administrators, after which Dr. Boone indicated four areas in which the Center and the Public Schools might cooperate; and a meeting with the principal of South High School, who asked about our offering a course on nonviolent solutions and peacemaking to incoming freshmen/women and a workshops for teachers. Mary Bennett, UMass Medical School’s Anger Management Program gave an excellent presentation for Board Members.  .

        Upholding the values of a culture of peace, as defined by the UN Declaration for the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, and nonviolent solutions across the spectrum unites us with people around the globe, a number of whom have welcomed news of the Center and recommended the website to others.  

Michael True, Chair

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

See actions above

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

Our main task, since the community response has been so positive, is raising funds to pay for trainers, and teachers to offer high school courses and teachers workshops, as well as community mediation training.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

We are cooperating with all local organizations involved in building cultures of peace in Central Massachusetts, with  links on our websites with other national and international organizations  Our main emphasis is in helping people learn skills in mediation and conflict resolution—skills that we are not born with and are essential  for making peace and finding and applying nonviolent solutions to conflict at all levels.  Although we are not a political organization, the Center is definitely committed to advocacy of nonviolent solutions research and scholarship, particularly of the last forty years, particularly the work from the Albert Einstein Institution:, Boston.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

The main work is to get the publications of Gene Sharp, now translated into thirty languages and free on the internet,  in the hand of activists and academics, particularly those involved in democratic movements against repressive regimes.
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Organization: Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Worcester, MA USA

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