The Nonviolent Activism 101 workshop presented by the Peace & Justice Center focuses on recognizing and dismantling the various systems of oppression in our society in order to navigate the path towards peace and social justice. This program teaches participants about the various types of violence, the effects of oppressive systems, coupled with the nonviolent strategies needed to combat said groups. Some techniques explored during the workshop are CLARA (Calm, Listen, Affirm, Respond, Add Information), the Coordinated Nonviolent Response to Systems of Oppression, and discussing various systems of privilege and oppression in small groups.
Past participants in this workshop found the realizations and honesty brought on by discussing their role in systematic oppression to be particularly meaningful. The tangible tools and visual representations of violence throughout this presentation give attendants the elements needed to clearly articulate and present what they learned to their peers and especially to those with opposing perspectives. In conjunction with those who have differing views, the de-escalation techniques explored here, such as CLARA, are integral in constructively and peacefully discussing contentious subjects. This program challenges and reconstructs many misconceptions regarding oppression and privilege which some participants found to be the most difficult yet essential part of this experience.