Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

The Mission of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is “To empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, building and enhancing of community, cooperation and trust.” AVP offers three experiential workshops in nonviolence and conflict resolution. Founded in prison and developed from the life experiences of people who've been incarcerated, AVP encourages every person’s innate power to positively transform first themselves and then the world we live in.


Registration is now open for the following workshops:
AVP Training for Facilitators Workshop - July 6-7, 2024

Our Workshops   

The Basic Workshop helps to develop primary conflict management skills using personal experiences, problem-solving techniques and experiential exercises. Some of the discussion topics include affirmation, communication, cooperation and creative conflict resolution.

  The focus of the Advanced Workshop is chosen by the participants through consensus. Common themes include but not limited to fear, anger, stereotyping, power and forgiveness. 

The Training 4 Facilitators Workshop focuses on team building and facilitation skills to empower participants to be successful facilitators. The curriculum includes learning to build agendas for a Basic level workshop, feedback, team skills, facilitation techniques and leadership training.  



Transforming Power 

Each of us has the ability to transform any situation with our words and actions into a win-win scenario. These powers are at the heart of AVP, and we teach and practice the ability to tap into this potential. Participants in each level workshop learn how to use these to transform conflict in their lives

1.  Seek to resolve conflict by reaching common ground.

2.  Reach for that something good in others.

3.   Listen before making judgments.

4.   Base your position on truth.

5.   Be ready to revise your position, if it is wrong.

 6.   Expect to experience great inward power to act.




7.   Risk being creative rather than violent.

 8.   Use surprise and humor.

 9.   Learn to trust your inner sense of when to act.

10.  Be willing to suffer for what is important.

11.  Be patient and persistent.

12.  Build community based on honesty, respect, and caring.

The first AVP workshop in Minnesota was organized for the local community in 1993. In 1994, two workshops were held inside of the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault, MN. The success of these workshops quickly generated requests for more, and the program soon spread to other prisons in Minnesota. Today, AVP-MN has hosted over 1,000 workshops in the community and at federal, state and county correctional facilities. We are available to provide workshops wherever there is a need and interest.

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) facilitators interviewed on
Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

AVP Inside Out Newsletter
FNVW strives to stay connected to incarcerated AVP facilitators and other individuals who are incarcerated through an AVP newsletter delivered to them in their prison cells or electronically. Contributors include AVP facilitators, AVP program participants, and others whose lives have been touched by the principles of AVP and nonviolent action. 
Visit the AVP Inside Out Newsletter Archive to view and download digital copies.