Alternatives to Violence Project of Northern New Mexico (AVP-NNM) helps individuals manage conflict without resorting to violence.
Who we are
An all-volunteer group, we have been part of the non-profit AVP-USA since 2004. AVP-USA has affiliates in 37 states; AVP-International operates in over 55 countries worldwide.
AVP-NNM has no paid positions and we rely on private donations and small grants to reimburse expenses.
- AVP-NNM facilitators include working people, retirees, and inmates of all ages and many backgrounds -- all united by a passion for helping others and a commitment to non-violence. After completing an apprenticeship, both inmate and "civilian" facilitators donate their time to conduct weekend-long workshops.
To empower people to lead non-violent lives through respect for all, community building, and using conflict resolution tools
To call on every person’s innate power to transform themselves and their world.
What we do
AVP-NNM’s sole activity is offering workshops that help participants discover and practice non-violent conflict resolution.
Our sequence of three workshops was developed in a New York prison in the 1970s, when a group of inmates sought to address the violence of young offenders. The inmates collaborated with community volunteers to create the first AVP workshop.
Annually, AVP-NNM conducts 22 prison workshops and one or more for community groups. The three prisons presently served are Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, NM (women's facility), Springer Correctional Center in Springer, NM (women's facility), and the Penitentiary of New Mexico (for men) in Santa Fe.
How we do this
- All AVP workshops are experiential — we learn best by doing, not from lectures.
- Workshop participants call upon past experience of resolving conflict without violence as a first step in committing to peaceful interpersonal relationships.
- Sharing experiences in a safe, supportive group creates a community dedicated to peace — even inside a prison.
- Our prison workshops are in high demand, because they focus on cooperation, self-awareness, empathy, and self-esteem at the same time as they teach problem-solving tools.
Why we do this
Sadly, there is an urgent need for AVP conflict resolution workshops. Our society too often sees violence as a way to solve problems; poverty, addictions, and racism exacerbate this view and can be seen as types of violence that take a tragic toll on families, as well as individuals. Changing lives one workshop at a time and one person at a time is AVP-NNM’s goal.
Visit the national AVP/USA website to learn about what happens in workshops and to find research that shows the effectiveness of AVP in responding to violence, anger, and recidivism. The national website also links you to videos showing actual prison workshops