"Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening" -- Gertrude Stein

Demonstrators protested every day for six weeks, lying in the road to stop trucks containing PCB-laced soil to dump I Warren County, North Carolina, in 1982 • Photo By: Jenny Labalme, from “A Road to Walk – A Struggle for Environmental Justice,” 1987.



Nonviolence – people’s power – takes many forms. It is a method of intervening, physically, socially and economically, to change an unjust situation.

The oppression may exist as a result of a government, corporation or other institution as well as organizations and individuals. Nonviolence methods include constructive activity as people try to build the kind of communities they want. Nonviolence empowers action.




Training provides an opportunity to develop a better understanding of all aspects of nonviolence. It is a part of an educational process, where we can learn skills to organize for social change while we work on the process of unlearning destructive and oppressive attitudes and behaviors taught in society.

In this country, CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, was the first to develop nonviolence trainings in preparation for involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1940’s. Since that time many other movements for social change have used these methods.

Nonviolence training can strengthen a group, developing community spirit while people learn to work better together to build a strong movement. Individually, training helps people build self-confidence and clarify our personal interactions as well as those of the group. Trainings provide insight into our responses to conflict and offer creative nonviolent options.

Techniques used by nonviolence trainers include exercises such as brainstorms, working in small groups, role plays, presentations, discussion, and audio-visuals.




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Website developed by Cal Donnellycolt • cdonnell@oberlin.edu • 2004