Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Active Nonviolence for Social Change

Workshop Number: 
Arnie Alpert, Maggie Fogarty
Who may register?: 
Open to All
Experiential Activities: 
only full time attenders (participants should attend all week)

An interactive workshop to help us increase the impact of our campaigns and movements through exploration of the why, what, and how of active nonviolence, including spiritual and practical grounding for our actions, awareness of racism and privilege, and the meaning and use of civil disobedience.

Workshop Description

Active Nonviolence as an approach to social change is not one that comes naturally.  Like other approaches, it benefits from study, training, and practice.  Our objective for this workshop is to help Friends deepen their understanding of nonviolent action theory and how to apply it in campaigns for more justice and more peace.  Each day will begin with a period of silent worship, followed by interactive exercises and discussions starting with an exploration of nonviolence at the personal and social levels. The second day will focus on ways to recognize privilege and how to ground our work in the spirit of overcoming racism, sexism and other forms of oppression within our organizations.  The third day will focus on development of nonviolent campaigns using case studies from historic and current movements.  The fourth day will explore the use of civil disobedience.  The fifth day will take up challenges to the nonviolent approach.   

Participants should come prepared to share their own experiences and listen to others. 

Leader Experience

Maggie Fogarty and Arnie Alpert are the Co-Directors of the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program.

From the time he joined the Clamshell Alliance in 1977, Arnie has been leading interactive workshops on active nonviolence for whomever is interested, often including Friends and members of other faith communities.  He has experience with other forms of popular education which emphasize participation, reflection, and democratic process.

Maggie has experience leading workshops exploring racism and privilege and has worked especially with Quakers and Roman Catholics. She is co-clerk of the Puente de Amigos Committee of New England Yearly Meeting, a project that fosters interchange between Cuban and New England Quakers.