While some might consider their act of giving in May to be walking from door-to-door hanging gift baskets, at Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis you will find a whole different type of altruism this year. On Saturday, May 21, Friends for a NonViolent World (FNVW), an organization with the vision of creating a world free from violence and the threat of violence, will be hosting a Walkathon that circles the lake in hopes for pledges.
Participants are asked to strap on their tennis shoes and stroll for a cause, with the goal of raising $4,000 to help fund their programs which teach alternatives to violence and champion nonviolent social change. At the end of the walk, partakers will be given food, water and prizes as a thanks for coming out.
Says FNVW volunteer Bridget Doak, "FNVW gives us a place to start. It gives us a point to look at different sides to understand ourselves, others, and the community... To have a nonviolent community, you have to learn and listen to each other.”
Friends for a Nonviolent World actively runs Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) conflict transformation workshops in communities, prisons and jails. AVP Workshops empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, building and enhancing of community, cooperation and trust. 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. Individuals who successfully complete the training can become workshop facilitators themselves.
“This past year has reminded me how much we need social interaction. I realized how much [FNVW] brought out of me and revitalized my joy, happiness and love. I look forward to paying it forward.” says Shiny Shea, an Incarcerated AVP Facilitator.
"By supporting the Friends for a Nonviolent World Walkathon you help promote a more peaceful and inclusive community," said FNVW Executive Director Leah Robshaw Robinson. "A donation of $20 will fund an Alternatives to Violence workshop for one incarcerated person."
FNVW is especially driven to get the message out about their work, given the high need for their services and their ambitions for reducing violent crime in the Twin Cities area. In addition to running AVP workshops, FNVW produces the "Everyday Nonviolence" podcast that highlights people using the tactics and principles of nonviolence to transform the world around us. "Their stories deepen our understanding of the impact of violence and the many ways nonviolence can be used for healing and social change," said Robshaw Robinson.
FNVW also runs a week-long intergenerational peace and justice themed summer camp available to the community called People Camp. People Camp is a unique experience of cooperation, community living, peacemaking, and the exploration of ideas and issues. People Camp 2022 will take place Aug. 7-13 at Northern Pines Retreat Center in Park Rapids. Learn more at fnvw.org


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