"They're still talking about the lunch counter sit-ins," said Creating a Culture of Peace facilitator Doug Horner at a recent CCP board meeting. Horner had invited 16 inner-city Cleveland residents to attend a 20-hour CCP nonviolence training in Mansfield, OH back in November, 2013. The viewing of a segment of a Civil Rights-era nonviolence campaign from the documentary A Force More Powerful had had, according to Horton, a particularly strong effect on several of the teenagers in the training group. "They saw themselves in those kids."
Horner has recently built upon the success of the November training by landing a grant from The Cleveland Foundation to fund a series of CCP trainings in Cleveland. He is particularly interested in opening up the training for individuals in his neighborhood who are involved in 12-step programs. "Some of our hard edges have been softened," said Cleveland resident Bruce Jones of his experience in the November training.
The CCP nonviolence training program, developed some ten years ago at FOR by Janet Chisholm, is currently shepherded by a team of nine national board members who met in February in Aliquippa, PA. The unique attraction of this training, says board member Toni McClendon, is the "popular education" process of action and reflection that CCP uses in partnership with community-based groups. She and the other board members are especially excited about a renewed interest by local groups to hold CCP trainings across the country over the coming months, from Coast to Coast and beyond.In the West, Jeremy Lucas and Janet Chishom are teaming up with the Episcopal Peace Fellowship to plan future trainings in Portland, Oregon and Hawai'i. In Minnesota, Dwight Wagenius, T. Michael Rock, Kathleen Remund, Joan Haan, and Katherine Wojtan are facilitating two basic trainings over the summer in the Twin Cities area. Partners for these trainings are the United Church of Christ and the St. Paul Interfaith Network. And in the East, CCP facilitator Christy Gordon is offering a basic training connected with Pax Christi in Derwood, Maryland, June 6-8.
One option for further training for those who have already completed the basic training, as well as for past facilitators who would like a refresher course, will be a four-day "training for trainers" currently in the planning stage for November 20-23, 2014 in Cleveland.
Further details on registering for these trainings can be found on the "calendar of upcoming trainings" on the CCP website: www.creatingacultureofpeace.org.