Creating a Culture of Peace

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May 2015 CCP Training, Cleveland, OH

In May, 2015, new CCP Facilitators offered their first three-day, basic training in active nonviolence to 25 members of the Cleveland community.

They worked hard to prepare themselves to give back to their city! They had attended two previous CCP basic trainings, then a 4-day Training for Trainers.  They had studied the CCP Facilitator’s Manual, practiced their presentations, recruited participants from community groups and created newsprints and other materials.

There is a need for more people who can respond to violence and injustice using the inner and outer power of active nonviolence to make change. CCP Cleveland is helping meet the need. For more information and to contact CCP Cleveland: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Coast to Coast: CCP Trainings Planned in 2014

"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:


"I told him to put the gun down on the table."

"In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, NRA head Wayne LaPierre famously quipped that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I guess no one told Antoinette Tuff, who just yesterday prevented a standoff with a gunman from turning into another tragedy using only the power of her words."  Read more of the blog post here. New York Times article here.


Strategies for Peacemaking

Rev. T. Michael RockMost everyone, Christians and people from all faiths and no faith, know the line from the Beatitudes in the Gospel According to Matthew, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Mt. 5:9) It has been a scripture lifted up by those committed to making peace for over two thousand years. Sometimes people forget that is the seventh step in what former executive of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Jim Forest called, “The Ladder of the Beatitudes”. For Jim, these passages were in a specific order for spiritual work. The belief lies in that all journeys must start with powerlessness. Whether you are taking the first step in recovery and realizing you are powerless in relationship to addiction or sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing, “Blessed are the poor in the Spirit.” (Mt. 5:3) Becoming a peacemaker does not happen overnight or even at will in the right moment. Peacemaking is deliberate and designed. Peacemaking is organized and strategic. Peacemaking is purposeful and positive.


Circle of Truths: Role-Taking and Active Listening

Circle of TruthsThe CCP circle of truths exercise is a transforming experience that engenders surprising respect and understanding toward opponents. It also is an effective tool for planning nonviolent actions. We know that a growing child eventually develops the cognitive and emotional maturity to conceptually "put herself in someone else's shoes." It is this ability to role-take that is practiced and refined in the circle of truths exercise.

Role-taking is a skill that oppressed people master in order to deal effectively and nonviolently with their oppressors. This same skill can help us develop humane responses in situations where there are inequalities of power--through knowing the heart and mind of others, a concern for how we will appear to them, and a motivation for cooperation.


Program Overview

CCP FacesCreating a Culture of Peace (CCP) is a nationwide program for community-based peacemaking. The innovative design of CCP provides a holistic and practical foundation in spiritually-grounded active nonviolence. Participants come to recognize their own power for making personal and social changes without violence and improve their skills for respectful engagement with opponents, instead of confrontation that polarizes and demonizes.

Unlike trainings that focus only on anti-war protest, CCP training is an incubator for participants to raise issues which most concern them--group controversy and conflict, neighborhood violence, domestic violence, climate change, war and militarism, discrimination, video games, homelessness, peace education, and health care.

The training is highly participatory and does not depend on reading a book or lectures. It draws upon the wisdom, experience and talents of all the participants and on the skills and knowledge of trainers. Mutual learning occurs through storytelling, meditation, small group sharing, brainstorming, role plays, thought-provoking exercises, music and movement. CCP offers training on nonviolence principles, analysis of social change and community-building, skills for peacemaking, and resources. Every group chooses and plans concrete projects for change.

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Phil Stoltzfus, Interim Executive Director
Creating a Culture of Peace
P.O. Box 22217

Robbinsdale, MN  55422

phone:  847-790-4CCP (4227)