Saturday, May 17, 2008

Engendering Peace

via impulsive acts
on gender and violence

development in process with the students at New Horizons

Session 1:
What is Violence?
silent writing to music- what is a time that you have been hurt?

Definitions: facilitator asks the participants what their definitions of violence are. What are some examples of violence that people you know have experienced?

Dictionary definitions:
1 Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.
2 The act or an instance of violent action or behavior.
3 Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado.
4 Abusive or unjust exercise of power.
5 Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.
6 Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

Breakout groups: (each group presents on their definitions of the following terms)
Gang Violence
Violence Against Women
Domestic Violence
State Violence

Collectively write a definition of violence.

Session 2:
follow-up segment...silent writing to music: What is your relationship to violence?

What is gender?
Definitions: The facilitator asks the participants their definitions of man, woman, boy and girl. (All of these get written on the board.)

Discuss: What is the difference between a boy and a man? A girl and a woman? A boy and a girl? A man and a woman? A girl and a man? Do these words describe everyone? What if I am neither a girl nor a boy nor a man nor a woman?

The facilitator brings definitions of gender and sex. Volunteers read the definitions out loud. The participants discuss what’s the difference between gender and sex?

How do people experience violence differently because of their gender? Age? Sex?

Session 3 Recognizing Violence:
follow-up segment—how do you identify
Music video clips, magazine/newspaper clippings, photographs, song lyrics as examples for breakout groups.

Each group presents their clip....etc and presents answering the questions “Is this violent? If so, who is it violent towards? What is violent about it?

screening of short film on the after-effects of assault on black women (by Bonita Walker)
debriefing discussion.

Session 4 Engendering Peace
silent writing to music- (this is a free write to Common’s “Heaven” on the Electric Circus Album)

visualizing exercise: facilitator has the participants close their eyes and visualize what a peaceful day would look like for them...from when they woke up to when they went back to sleep

partner interviews: what does peace look like to your partner (try to arrange partners across gender). use only verbs to respond.
(e.g. sleeping, loving, eating, hugging, swimming, struggling, listening, leaning, healing)

create a collective definition of peace (do people experience peace differently based on gender?)

individually writing: what are 3 things that you can do to create peace as we’ve defined it in your life?

collective discussion: what are things that we can do as a group to create peace for members of our community?

what are demands that we have from our communities (schools, parents, government) that would make our lives more peaceful?

(possibly have participants do their writing about peace on a photocopied hand portrait)

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