2018 Pre-Conference Events

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience/Direct Action Training

We are offering conference attendees a Nonviolent Civil Disobedience/Direct Action Training, hosted by a team of talented trainers–Arnie Alpert, Shateeka Phillips, and Joanne Sheehan (biographies below) of the American Friends Service Committee and the War Resisters League–and focused around discussing, practicing and improving upon tactics and strategies for contemporary social movements. Trainers will bring copies of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns for purchase ($12). This is an entirely interactive training involving active participation. Participants should dress comfortably and bring snacks. Coffee, tea and lunch will be provided to registered attendees.

Topics covered may include:

  • History and philosophy of nonviolence
  • History of nonviolent action training
  • Practicing nonviolence in intense moments
  • Campaign planning and strategic thinking
  • Affinity groups, spokes councils and division of roles within a group
  • Consensus/horizontal decision making, communication, conflict resolution, and rapid consensus for street actions
  • Street tactics including blockading, protecting and grounding
  • Legal ramifications, noncooperation, and jail solidarity
  • The role played by privilege, oppression and identity in our movements and actions

For more information on War Resisters’ International’s approach to nonviolence training, visit: https://www.wri-irg.org/en/story/2014/nonviolence-training and https://www.warresisters.org/nonviolence

The training will run 10am-5pm (with a 30 miniute box lunch included) on September 27, 2018. Registration will be limited to 30 people so please remember to buy your tickets to ensure availability. If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add this pre-conference session email us at info@peacejusticestudies.org and we will send your ticket over. 

Trainer Biographies

Shateeka Phillips is a recent graduate of Northpoint Bible College with a Bachelors of Arts in Christian Education. Her work with youth, through church and local youth programs, has given Shateeka skills and experience in facilitating workshops with youth. In 2016 she was a Bilezikian Intern with the War Resisters League/New England, working with Joanne Sheehan on nonviolence training. Her work included designing and co-facilitating workshops in nonviolent action for middle schoolers and trainings on the History and Practice of Nonviolence Training for Hearing Youth Voices, to prepare people for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Shateeka attended a Training for Trainers at the Voluntown Peace Trust in 2017.  Her interest in the history of nonviolence training lead to her work this summer with the War Resisters League on a short film on the history of non-violent direct action training. She also designed a workshop on the involvement of youth in the Civil Rights Movement. Shateeka lives in New London, CT.

Arnie Alpert is Co-Director of New Hampshire office of the American Friends Service Committee, where he has worked since 1981. Prior to joining the AFSC, Arnie worked as a volunteer and staff member with the Clamshell Alliance, the organization that popularized nonviolent direct action to halt nuclear power plants. Arnie began leading training sessions on the philosophy and methods of active nonviolence with the Clamshell and 1977 and never stopped. As Communications Coordinator for the Martin Luther King Day Committee from 1988 to 1999, Arnie played a central role in the campaign for a state holiday honoring Dr. King. He was also the lead organizer of a group that became known as the “Footlocker 8” after they were arrested for distributing antisweatshop leaflets inside a shopping mall in 1998.

In 2011, Arnie sparked the organizing of the Interfaith Voices for a Humane Budget, a group that was ejected from the State House during deliberations over Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien’s budget. Since 2011, Arnie has published a weekly “State House Watch” newsletter while the legislature is in session. Since 2013, he has also co-hosted a weekly radio show of the same name on WNHN-FM. He has published numerous opinion articles in New Hampshire newspapers, as well as in The Progressive, Dollars and Sense, Friends Journal, and The Street. Arnie blogs at http://inzanetimes.wordpress.com and tweets @arniealpert. He has received awards from groups including the NH Women’s Lobby, the Martin Luther King Coalition, the NH AFL-CIO, the ACLU-NH, and Rivier University. He is an active member of his union, which is part of the UNITE HERE New England Joint Board. Arnie Alpert received a BA in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University in 1977 and an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University in 1995. He lives in Canterbury, New Hampshire.

Joanne Sheehan has been an organizer, nonviolence trainer and educator for over 45 years. She has been involved in many nonviolent campaigns, including as a participant in nonviolent direct action which resulted in arrests and jailings. She has been involved with War Resisters League since 1973 and co-founded the New England Regional Office in 1985. Joanne has facilitated nonviolence trainer for actions and campaigns including the Occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plan in 1977 and the recent Poor People’s Campaign. She has teamed up with trainers in New England to provide training for trainers and mentors new trainers.

Joanne was elected to the War Resisters International (WRI) Council in 1983, convened WRI’s Nonviolence Trainers Working Group 1986 – 1998, and served as WRI Chair 1998 – 2006. In these roles she has worked with nonviolence trainers around the world, organizing and attending international gatherings of trainers and working with local trainers. Joanne was a co-editor and contributor to WRI’s “Handbook for Nonviolent Action” (2009 and 2014). Joanne has served on the AJ Muste Memorial Institute’s International Nonviolence Training Fund Advisory Committee since 1994. She taught courses in Nonviolent Social Change at the University of Connecticut and is a Research Fellow with the Resistance Studies Initiative at the University of Massachusetts, focusing on the history of nonviolence training. She is Chair of the Voluntown Peace Trust, formerly the Community for Nonviolent Action, an education and resource center dedicated to nonviolent social change in Connecticut. Joanne lives in Norwich, CT.