Nonviolence in action since 1981


Note from the Executive Director
Peace through Play

During this holiday season I've spent a fair amount of time just playing with my family and friends. Turns out the brain circuitry for play is situated in ancient regions of the brain, and for good reason. Play is what wires our brains to interact with others in positive ways.

"The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain," says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. "And without play experience, those neurons aren't changed," he says. It is those changes in the prefrontal cortex during childhood that help wire up the brain's executive control center, which has a critical role in regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems, Pellis says.

A childhood filled with play has been closely tied to healthy brain development as well as better social-emotional and cognitive skills. Play in adulthood also has a range of benefits, including stress relief and increased creativity. On the flip side - a lack of play can have dire consequences.

Psychiatrist Stuart Brown began researching the importance of human play nearly 60 years ago. After discovering an absence of play in the life of Charles Whitman - the man who committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history - Dr. Brown led teams that did further investigation. One team researched men who were jailed for murder, and another studied men who were killed while driving drunk. In both cases, the research revealed that the subjects had experienced a lack of play in their lives.

Peace and play go hand in hand. Play develops our curiosity, imagination and creativity - all core elements of nonviolent problem solving and direct action campaigns. FNVW's experiential programs incorporate play in big ways. Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops embed playful "light and livelies" throughout every workshop. And People Camp offers ample opportunities for unstructured free play time for children and adults alike.

As I look to the New Year ahead, I am going to prioritize play. I invite you to do the same! Maybe you'll sign up for the AVP workshop happening at the end of January. Or even come to People Camp in August! Whatever form play takes, taking time to play together will not be wasted time.

With revolutionary love,

Play develops optimism, resiliency and well-being.

The brain's play circuits are centrally located in the midbrain.

Play is built into AVP Workshops.

Kids enjoy free play time at People Camp.

Please consider making an End of Year gift to FNVW.
We need your financial support to keep our organization going in 2024.
Will you help move FNVW's mission forward by making a generous donation today?


Save the Date for People Camp 2024!

People Camp is a unique, one week, intergenerational community living experience run by FNVW and open to all. 

At People Camp you'll discover: 

  • Shared community life and work
  • Opportunities for recreation and connection
  • Inspiring social justice themed workshops and action opportunities

3-day and 7-day camp options will be available again this year!

Check out the People Camp Guide or Video to learn more about what People Camp is all about!

"At People Camp I enjoy time together in shared community. I enjoy the trees and creative spaces and watching my kiddos be independent and enjoying free play!" 


In-Person January AVP Workshops - New Dates!


Workshop registration is now open for individuals interested in continuing their journey towards becoming an AVP workshop facilitator. We're especially dedicated to developing our team of youth workshop facilitators. Register today!

January AVP Community Workshop
Training for Facilitators (T4F) Level 

The three day in-person workshop schedule is:  

Fri, Jan 12th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Central Time)

Sat, Jan 13th, 10:00 am - 8:00 pm - lunch & dinner included
Sun, Jan 14th, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm - lunch included

sign up today to reserve your spot

January AVP Community Workshop
Basic Level 

The three day in-person workshop schedule is:  

Fri, Jan 26th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Central Time)

Sat, Jan 27th, 10:00 am - 8:00 pm - lunch & dinner included
Sun, Jan 28th, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm - lunch included

sign up today to reserve your spot


🎙 New Everyday Nonviolence Podcast Episode 🎙

Available wherever you get your podcasts: 

PodBean     Spotify     Apple Podcasts    


Poet and Activist Kyle Tran Myhre


Kyle Tran Myhre - Creating Social Change Through the Power of Poetry

Kyle Tran Myhre (aka Guante) is a poet and activist whose work explores the relationships between narrative, power, and resistance. He’s performed at the United Nations, been a member of two National Poetry Slam championship teams, and visited countless colleges, conferences, and festivals, using spoken word and storytelling as doorways into critical dialogue.

In this episode, host Emily Roe speaks with Kyle about his work in the social justice space, discussing the importance of community, art, and engagement when working to facilitate change. 

Learn more about Kyle at
Find Kyle’s latest book at Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing, But Enough

This episode was hosted and produced by Emily Roe with audio engineering by PJ Hoffman. Music generously donated by


Show Your Support for Peace with an End of Year Gift

There is a dire need for FNVW's violence prevention programs.

The number one cause of death among children in Minnesota is firearms.

In 2021 and 2022, suicides rates in Minnesota increased to the highest level ever recorded.

In 2022, hate crimes in Minnesota increased to 238 incidents motivated by bias.

The list goes on.

FNVW's programs offer alternatives to violence and injustice. We know through decades of work in the community and in prisons that nonviolence provides a successful foundation for lasting positive change. That is why we are courageously expanding our work to a larger scale than anything we've done before! This requires both an increased investment of volunteer time and energy as well as an increased financial investment from our community.

FNVW still needs to raise $13,000 by December 31st to cover our 2023 expenses.
We can only do it with your help.

Now is the time to invest in youth. Now is the time to advocate for nonviolent solutions. Your end of year gift today of $25 or more will help FNVW meet the challenges of this pivotal moment in history.


Upcoming Events


FNVW works to promote and create peace and justice in our community by using the principles and practices of nonviolence to transform conflict and to address the root causes of violence. Your financial support will help us move our mission forward into the future!


December 28th, 2023

Friends for a NonViolent World
P.O. Box 4564  | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
651-917-0383 |

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