About AVP CA

AVP California

AVP CA Fall Gathering 2015 participants
AVP CA Fall Gathering 2015 participants

AVP California (AVP CA) connects and supports local councils and facilitators who conduct AVP workshops in prisons and communities throughout the state. AVP CA also provides resources for people interested in learning more about or becoming involved with AVP, including returning citizens. In collaboration with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and local citizens around the state, AVP CA supports the development of new prison and community AVP programs.

AVP CA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit registered organization. It is funded by donations as well as sliding-scale contributions from participants in community workshops. Prisoners with AVP experience also contribute a significant amount.

There are AVP councils around the state, which you can find listed here.

About the Alternatives to Violence Project

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) facilitates participants' capacity to positively transform relationships by practicing affirmation, communication, conflict resolution and community building.  It is grounded in the spiritual but non-sectarian belief that there is a Transforming Power available to all of us when we open ourselves to be used by it. AVP is also fun.

History

AVP was founded in 1975 at Greenhaven Prison in New York state when inmates, local Quakers and other community members collaborated on a curriculum to teach non-violence that was influenced by the Civil Rights movement's goal to build Beloved Community. From that origin AVP has now spread to 33 states and 45 countries. Read More about AVP 

Although workshops had been taking place in California since the mid-1980's, AVP California was formed in 2004 to respond to the call by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to significantly increase the number of workshops in California prisons.  That required increased coordination, outreach, and recruitment of new facilitators across the state.

People

In 2015, AVP CA facilitated 393 work shops in 20 state prisons, 3 jails, 2 probation facilities, and 58 community settings. The number of facilitators inside prison increased by 18 percent, from 543 to 636, while the number of community facilitators increased by just over 23 percent, from 163 to 198.

AVP California is coordinated by a volunteer Steering Committee currently with ten members, as well as four outreach coordinators who are building AVP programs in different parts of California. Steering Committee members are confirmed at the annual Fall Gathering of facilitators, and may serve two consecutive three year terms. Contact us.

Steering Committee Members

  • Stephen Matchett - Bay Bridge Council
  • Nancy Vimla - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Council
  • Steve Lomas - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Council
  • Sue Torrey - San Luis Obispo Council
  • Ann Leonard - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Council
  • Karen Brower - San Luis Obispo Council
  • Steve Gelb - San Diego Council
  • Joyce Banzhof - Northern Sierra Council
  • Stacy Hughes - Santa Cruz/Salinas Valley Council
  • Gori Urling - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Council

The role of the Steering Committee is:

  • Provide a point of contact for returning citizens and the general public.
  • Provide leadership and support to serve prisons not served by any local council.
  • Maintain website to provide information and resources to the general public, facilitators, and returning citizens.
  • Interface, represent, and advocate for AVP with CDCR and other agencies and organizations.
  • Collect, aggregate, and share data on workshops around the state with AVP USA.
  • Raise funds through the annual mail appeal and grant proposals.
  • Facilitate discussion forums for prison coordinators and community outreach coordinators.
  • Consult to local councils and provide special trainings upon request.
  • Maintain facilitator and program high standards.
  • Raise funds to help facilitators with workshop-related expenses (mileage, accommodation, etc).