skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Avatar for jmstevenson

( jmstevenson )

Comments made by jmstevenson

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

My own hopefulness for long term positive changes to the UCSD campus community comes as one who has enjoyed a two-year period as a volunteer facilitator of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops in prison chapels, half-way houses, and schools, and for AmeriCorps Team Leaders. AVP workshops, developed over the last thirty years, are experiential in nature. They are not lecture-driven; the learning occurs as the participants interact with each other in both serious and light-hearted exercises.
In the weekend prison workshops particularly, I have observed men come into our initial (Basic) workshops from a racially-segregated living environment, estranged from each other due to their differences and histories within the prison system, and barely able to look at or speak with each other. By the end of our workshops, these men have begun to share with each other openly, formed the beginnings of friendships across racial lines, and have new understandings about effective communication and nonviolent conflict resolution strategies. All of these positive changes are enhanced when they participate in a second (Advanced) workshop; some even become inside facilitators after a third (Training for Facilitators) workshop.
My workshop experiences with AmeriCorps Team Leaders, most of whom were college graduates, confirms my belief that AVP workshops are effective outside the penal system, allowing participants to develop the attitudes and relationships needed to build a positive community, based on communication skills, trust, compassion, and empathy.
I have a dream that AVP workshops will become commonplace events on college and university campuses, starting with UCSD. I believe that the outcomes would include a profound unifying effect on campus life.
When faced with “REAL PAIN,” the appropriate “REAL ACTIONS” called for can be summarized with the following: “DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY. ENCOURAGE EMPATHY.”

February 25, 2010 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Compton Cookout And Pop Culture

My own hopefulness for long term positive changes to the UCSD campus community comes as one who has enjoyed a two-year period as a volunteer facilitator of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops in prison chapels, half-way houses, and schools, and for AmeriCorps Team Leaders. AVP workshops, developed over the last thirty years, are experiential in nature. They are not lecture-driven; the learning occurs as the participants interact with each other in both serious and light-hearted exercises.
In the weekend prison workshops particularly, I have observed men come into our initial (Basic) workshops from a racially-segregated living environment, estranged from each other due to their differences and histories within the prison system, and barely able to look at or speak with each other. By the end of our workshops, these men have begun to share with each other openly, formed the beginnings of friendships across racial lines, and have new understandings about effective communication and nonviolent conflict resolution strategies. All of these positive changes are enhanced when they participate in a second (Advanced) workshop; some even become inside facilitators after a third (Training for Facilitators) workshop.
My workshop experiences with AmeriCorps Team Leaders, most of whom were college graduates, confirms my belief that AVP workshops are effective outside the penal system, allowing participants to develop the attitudes and relationships needed to build a positive community, based on communication skills, trust, compassion, and empathy.
I have a dream that AVP workshops will become commonplace events on college and university campuses, starting with UCSD. I believe that the outcomes would include a profound unifying effect on campus life.
When faced with “REAL PAIN,” the appropriate “REAL ACTIONS” called for can be summarized with the following: “DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY. ENCOURAGE EMPATHY.”

February 25, 2010 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )