The School of Social Work is the new location for The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN), which is housed in the office adjacent to the Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction (IVPR). CTCN provides leadership in nonviolence education, bringing people from diverse communities together in dialogue and creative expression to explore the root causes of violence and learn constructive methods of developing and applying alternative solutions. Founder and Executive Director, Victoria Christgau and a six-member board of directors lead the organization. Board Vice President, Dianne Jones was a key collaborator with IVPR in its early focus on gang violence in Hartford, CT.
CTCN promotes a comprehensive framework for conflict reconciliation and coalition building rooted in the philosophy and practices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. CTCN uses a proactive approach and a comprehensive nonviolence curriculum developed by the legendary civil rights activist and scholar, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., former strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the past five years, CTCN has introduced 10,000 citizens and civic leaders to the practice of Kingian Nonviolence. The center tailors its programs and projects for each group it works with and continues to develop sustainable long-term partnerships that allow nonviolence to grow.
In the coming months CTCN will begin acquainting themselves with the faculty on campus. The Center is interested in working with students and faculty in learning more about the effects of trauma in vulnerable communities where high levels of violence (in all its forms) is a part of daily life.
In addition, CTCN has been invited to share information about their work in a variety of classes on campus. Social Work students are encouraged to attend the Kingian Nonviolence sessions and CTCN is providing guest passes for a certain percentage of students at every training session. This summer, CTCN is honored to be housing the ThinKING Youth Nonviolence Leadership Academy on campus. Last summer Dean Raheim, presented a daylong workshop for the youth and we are eager to continue with that collaboration this season.
View video here: https://vimeo.com/56736668
Current Projects include:
- Two-week Nonviolence Education immersion called: ThinKING for all youth at Culinary Arts Academy at Weaver High School, through the Social Studies program. With monthly follow up throughout the school year.
- After school Peace is Possible, children’s program at Burns Latino Academy in Hartford in partnership with Hartford Symphony Orchestra
- Ongoing partnership with Institute of Municipal Policy and Research at CCSU and will conduct a three credit course on Kingian Nonviolence in the fall with State Rep. Billy Dyson.
- Working with many Hartford organizations to build nonviolence leadership training programs.
Partial list of partners/collaborators include: American Experience—PBS Boston; Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Hartford Performs; Hartford Public Library; Culinary Arts Academy at Weaver High School; Blue Hills Civic Association; COMPASS; CPTV; Mount Holyoke College—Office of the President; University of Hartford; Central Connecticut State University—Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy; Office of Black Catholic Ministries and Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese Hartford; Northend Church of Christ; PaxEducare; L.E.V.A.S. Community Gospel Choir; Stowe Center; Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative; Rev. Henry Brown and Mothers United Against Violence; Burns Latino Studies Academy; Our Piece of the Pie, University of Connecticut School of Social Work; Wisdom House Conference and Retreat Center; Dwight Hall at Yale—Center for Public Service and Social Justice.
Victoria Christgau, Founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) is a Teaching Artist with the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism/Arts Division, and a Peace/Arts Educator for over 27 years. Victoria is a Level III Kingian Nonviolence trainer. Founder of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday Commemoration of Litchfield County, and Peace is Possible Chorus, which completed its 20th year. She presents, produces, and conducts peace/arts and nonviolence programs, lectures, workshops and residencies across the nation. Victoria a recipient of the Hartford Courant’s 2010 Tapestry Award and Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 Community Partnership Award. She works closely with civil rights icon, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., former strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Honorary Board Chair of CTCN.