To provide education and resources to help people in the Worcester Area to understand nonviolence and peacemaking as a way of life and to reject the use of violence in resolving conflict.
Driven by a vision to create a culture of peace within the Worcester community, the founding members of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions (CNVS) began meeting in 2008 to discuss ways to educate Worcester’s residents about the history and efficacy of nonviolence, how to transform conflict, and nonviolent communication skills. With persistence and dedication to achieve its mission, CNVS gained recognition as a nonprofit organization in July 2010 and hired its first part-time Executive Director in May 2011. Soon afterwards the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers met for an inaugural retreat. At the retreat, CNVS decided to pursue education (youth and adult), establish Community Mediation Services, and host a resource center and speakers’ bureau as the main avenues through which they could build a culture of nonviolence in Worcester. Since inception the Center for Nonviolent Solutions has delivered on it mission to provide education and resources to help the Worcester community to understand nonviolence and peacemaking as a way of life and to reject the use of violence in resolving conflict.
Since the 2010 incorporation, CNVS has been busy with many achievements:
- Public launch of Community Mediation Services (June 2011-January 2015)
- Two 10-week Teachers Institutes on Nonviolent Social Movements for local K-12 teachers and administrators
- Development and implementation of 7 distinct peace education programs and academic enrichment tools/strategies within 3 Worcester Public Schools
- Three Way of Nonviolence community education/social/fundraising events
- Film screenings such as “How to Start a Revolution” and “Five Broken Cameras”
- Mediation trainings and conflict resolution workshops for community members
- Peer mediation training and support at 3 Worcester Public Schools
- Sponsorship/participation in multiple community fairs/vigils/events
- Summer and afterschool programming in social-emotional learning, conflict assessment and transformation skills
- Community partner on state-funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant to deliver educational programming afterschool to 60 students for 32 weeks of the 2013-2014 school year and to 50-60 students for 30 weeks in 2014-2015
- Refined core education curricula and program evaluation
- Achieved numerous goals in finances; marketing; member engagement; and leadership/operations
Moving forward, the Center will build on its broad base of community support and key partnerships to collaboratively pioneer and deliver peace education at the K-12 level, provide resources for the Worcester community, ultimately to foster a culture of peace. Working towards this vision, a dedicated team of staff and Board members, interns, and volunteers continue to execute operations of strategic planning, financial stewardship, evidence-based program development, and evaluation to ensure that the Center’s vision is realized. As a young and growing non-profit, the Center is committed to helping make Worcester a city steeped in a culture of peace whose youth and greater community are known for their skills in nonviolent resolution.