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peaceful genesee

December 18, 2012 - 8:55am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, peaceful genesee.

Peaceful Genesee held its first award ceremony on Monday afternoon at the YWCA.

Angeal Natalizia, a local student was recognized for her award-winning essay. Lisa Barrett received the first “Peaceful Genesean Award." The award acknowledges the contribution of a local citizen whose work has made the world a more compassionate, peaceful and sustainable place to live.

Care-A-Van Ministries was cited as an "exemplar of mission, philosophy and ideals in action," "taking its mission to the people, where the people live and play, and where people can hear and feel their drive of peace, love, support and hope. They make the world more peaceful by being the active example of peace and love, nourishing individuals and families within our community with food, clothing, encouragement, prayer and the assurance that their presence among the people is one of sincerity."

Peaceful Genesee is a partnership among government, schools, nonprofits, faith groups and individuals who envision a community without violence in any form, where all are treated with dignity and respect, and which develops the means to transform conflicts peacefully. Peaceful Genesee recently completed a "Community Commitment to Peaceful Living" and an action list which are available at its Web site: PeacefulGenesee.com.

Angela Natalizia

Lisa Barrett

Paul and Bridget Ohlson, founders of Care-A-Van Ministries

September 24, 2012 - 3:26pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, GCC, peaceful genesee, nonviolence.
Submitted by Beth Stich:
Peaceful Genesee is offering a four part-series entitled “Path to Reduce Community Violence.”
The series will be held at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road in Batavia from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 17, 31 and Nov. 14 in the Conable Technology Building.
Admission is free for students. A $10 donation per session is suggested for adults. Beverages will be provided, and participants can bring their lunches.
On Oct. 3, “The Root Causes of Violence” will be presented by Professor Barry Gan, director of the Center for Non-Violence at St. Bonaventure University.
On Oct. 17, Gan will discuss “Non-Traditional Approaches to Reduce Community Violence.”
On Oct. 31, “De-escalating Heightened Tensions” will be presented by Duke Duchscherer, a certified trainer with the International Center of Nonviolent Communication.
On Nov. 14, Kit Miller, director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Rochester, will present “Creating the Community Commitment.”
Following each speaker, a panel of local experts will lead discussion. Each program will conclude with an interactive workshop.
Pre-registration is appreciated. Please call Sue Gagne at 344-2611 or email [email protected] For more information, visit peacefulgenesee.weebly.com.
September 21, 2012 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in peaceful genesee.

Submitted by Dr. Beth Allen, DVM:

As you read the heading of this essay you are probably asking yourself, “why what?” What do I need to ask about that is so important to my life, my future, my family and my community? I am asking everyone to ask themselves:

“Why would I want to be involved in an organization like Peaceful Genesee?”

I am asking that we each as individuals truly and honestly take a few moments to ask ourselves how deeply we care about ourselves and others. We can glide through life so quickly -- especially in the busy circles of life we surround ourselves in, and never truly take the TIME to examine and explore how we all affect and touch one another.  

It’s easy to vent to our family and friends when things don’t go well at work or when we have personal troubles with others. But more often we don’t take the time to reflect on how it all could have been avoided. Or perhaps we feel distressed when we read about crime rising in our community, but helpless to know what to do about curbing it.  

Perhaps we read about someone that has been assaulted or injured in our community, but we feel powerless to know how to help that person or prevent it from happening again. Perhaps we know a child that has been a victim of bullying, yet we don’t feel we have the skills or tools to help them properly. Perhaps the old messages of “we shouldn’t get involved in other people problems,” or “that would never happen to me” comes into our minds. Perhaps it is fear or comfort in our segregation from other populations or cultures that keep us feeling more sheltered and we don’t want to change or grow away from those comfy boundaries.  

You may be asking, why should I try to be more tolerant when others are not tolerant of me? And around and around we go in the never ending cycle of “me or us vs. them." Perhaps we have not been taught the skills to aid us in “peacekeeping” methods like understanding healthy boundaries, regulating our emotions, or understanding the kinds of things that we do that break down healthy communication with others. Perhaps you have been a victim of violence in the past, yet you don’t feel supported enough in your community or support system to break free of its chains and long-term effects.    

Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to have not been affected by violence, but you would like to keep it that way for yourself and your family. Peaceful Genesee is devoted to all these issues and many, many more. But Peaceful Genesee cannot create real and lasting change or growth in our community without each person making it a priority in their lives. We need to develop short-term and long-term goals for ourselves and our community.

For example, a short-term goal may be to commit to being involved with Peaceful Genesee on a level that we can fit into our lives. But again, it must be on some level of priority from each of us. Let Peaceful Genesee help you to define that level that is workable and comfortable in your life. An example of a possible long-term commitment may be in working on projects for our schools or communities that increase a child’s ability to feel empathy.  

Did you know that empathy development happens very early in their development? It takes continuous and consistent reinforcement through humane activities for years in family, church and school life to make it sustainable and part of their natural nature?  

Children need cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, and socialization skills through many sources to achieve this. Wouldn’t it be a worthwhile dream to envision a community and world where most of us were capable of feeling empathy, and compassion? Let us build a future where we appreciate the roots of kindness automatically and we don’t have to examine the roots of violence so often.  

I can see it, can you? And I have been a victim of violence. But it took a lot of work on my part to NOT permanently fall into the easy path of recycling my anger or frustration onto others. I’m not perfect. None of us are. I have hated. I have given up at times. But building a supportive system to help me learn new skills and process those wounds saved me.

It is a goal of Peaceful Genesee to offer those solutions to each of us.

Begin by renewing your commitment to fighting violence, but also the flip side of that which is building a foundation of skills, support, and tools to enrich our lives with kindness. Can you think of a grander goal for ourselves and our children?

Please check out the Web site www.peacefulgenesee.weebly.com for further information on our upcoming educational series beginning Oct. 3 at Genesee Community College. Also, we are having essay contests for both high school and college students in which there is a chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Details will be following soon or can be viewed on the Web site or call Sue at 344-2611 to register now.

May 14, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, peaceful genesee.

A two-part series focusing on current events in the Middle East is scheduled in the Gallery Room of Richmond Memorial Library on Wednesday May 25 and on June 1.

It is sponsored by Peaceful Genesee and will be led by Barry L. Gan, Ph.D, professor of Philosophy and director of the Nonviolence Program at St. Bonaventure University.

Both sessions run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They are free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The series is titled "Peacemaking in Turbulent Times: Making sense of current events in the Middle East."

On May 25, the topic is "Peacemaking in the Middle East." On June 1, the topic is "Nonviolent Peacemaking -- Why it Works."

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

May 2, 2011 - 9:02pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, workshops, peaceful genesee, nonviolence.
Event Date and Time: 
May 3, 2011 - 12:00am to May 6, 2011 - 4:00pm

Peaceful Genesee is inviting people to an AVP (Alternatives To Violence Program) workshop to be held on May 13-14 at First Presbyterian Church, at 300 E. Main St. in Batavia.

May 2, 2011 - 8:12pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Announcements, workshops, peaceful genesee, nonviolence.

Peaceful Genesee, a coalition dedicated to making Genesee County a nonviolent community, is inviting people to an AVP (Alternatives To Violence Program) workshop to be held on May 13-14 at First Presbyterian Church, at 300 E. Main St. in Batavia.

AVP is a program that gives participants the chance to bond through creative and fun exercises, learn peaceful methods of resolving conflicts and transform conflicts into opportunities for personal and societal change. It is based on the belief that there is good in every person and that all people have the potential to find positive and peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

Attendees are expected to participate, but may opt out of certain exercises if they are uncomfortable participating in them.

According to the notice submitted by Peaceful Genesee, the upcoming workshop will consist of  "a basic introduction to the philosophy and skills of nonviolent conflict resolution." It will last from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The cost of the workshop is $30 per person and includes 2 meals -- dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday. Scholarships are available -- contact Audrey Mang at 716-633-1140 for more information.

A $10 registration fee is due to Lisa Wittmeyer, c/o Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020 by Friday. A $20 balance is due at the workshop.

Make checks payable to Peaceful Genesee.

Contact Lisa at 343-7798 or Vivian Waltz at [email protected] for further details.

November 8, 2010 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, peaceful genesee.
Event Date and Time: 
November 17, 2010 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Peaceful Genesee, a coalition dedicated to making Genesee County a nonviolent community, will hold the last workshop in a three-part series on nonviolence at the Office for the Aging on Wednesday (Nov. 17).

It is free, open to the public and runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The office is located at 2 Bank St. in the City of Batavia.

It will be led by Barry Gan, Ph.D, a philosophy professor and the director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University. He is also the co-editor -- with Robert L. Holmes -- of the book, "Nonviolence in Theory and Practice."

November 8, 2010 - 12:59pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in religion, peaceful genesee.

Peaceful Genesee, a coalition dedicated to making Genesee County a nonviolent community, launched the first in a three-part series of workshops on nonviolence last week at the Office for the Aging.

Each workshop is taught by Barry Gan, Ph.D, above left. He's talking to Rev. James Renfrew of First Presbyterian Church of Byron, and Ed Minardo, center, of Genesee Justice.

Gan is a philosophy professor and the director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University. He is also the co-editor -- with Robert L. Holmes -- of the book, "Nonviolence in Theory and Practice."

Outside of academia, Gan's experience includes taking part in a nonviolent protest in New York City about 10 years ago, after the police officers who shot and killed Amadou Diallo were acquitted of murder.

He also participates in conferences and interfaith dialogue groups, and has travelled around the world to places that are, for one reason or another, important in the history of nonviolent philosophy.

Recently, the whole violence/nonviolence issue hit somewhat close to home. One of Gan's students -- interestingly, a student in his course on the peaceful philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi -- was beaten up recently by a group of thugs.

"I was talking to him (in the last week)," Gan said, "and I asked him, 'Do Gandhi's words still ring true for you after what you experienced?' He said: 'Yes, because I would have made it worse by resisting them.'"

Questions not only of how to end community violence, but also of how to deal with violence when it occurs are very important to Peaceful Genesee (see April 29 article).

William Privett, a Peaceful Genesee member and regional coordinator for Pax Christi, talked about his hopes for Gan's workshops this way:

"I hope we have a movement expand, over time, where the primary way of thinking (in Genesee County) is to be peaceful and nonviolent. In other words, it wouldn't be just a secondhand thought -- we would like people to look to nonviolence, instead of dominating other people, as a way of transforming society."

How people do this is not an easy question to answer. Gan told everyone, in so many words, right at the outset that he did not intend to oversimplify such a complex matter. 

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