International Communities for Active Nonviolence
ICAN is an all-volunteer initiative that builds nonviolent communities in neighborhoods, cities, and institutions around the world.
By “violence” we mean any action that goes against the freedom and happiness of others or oneself. Violence is not only physical, but can be economic, psychological, racial, religious, sexual, moral, etc.
Active Nonviolence involves the following steps at the personal, institutional, and social levels:
- recognizing the many forms of violence in our daily lives
- identifying the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that generate violence
- getting in touch with our deepest aspirations for a peaceful and nonviolent world
- adopting new nonviolent attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, strengthened and empowered by our common aspirations
As we participate in building a Community of Active Nonviolence, we find ourselves changing our basic beliefs about the human being. Contrary to the common belief that we must be self-centered, possessive and competitive in order to be happy, we discover that we are happiest when we look out for others, when we treat each other with nonviolence, caring and compassion.
In this way we begin to move from individualism toward caring for each other; from possessiveness toward freely giving; from fear of those who are different toward celebrating diversity; from ruthless competition toward cooperation and whole-hearted celebration of the success of others. And it is this journey that can ultimately lead us from formal democracy to a true participatory democracy that can open a future of harmony among all peoples and with the earth.
The ICAN Active Nonviolence Training brings together individuals from different institutions and localities, backgrounds and beliefs, for a series of sessions. Working both individually and in small groups, participants experience the real possibility of change, both personally and socially. Between sessions they return to their own environments – their workplace, their school, their religious center, their neighborhood, their city, their family – and share their new skills and understandings. Forming new Communities of Active Nonviolence they begin to work on transforming specific situations of violence in their daily lives.
Where this Proposal is Being Developed
This proposal is currently being implemented in city and state governments, educational institutions, social and political organizations, health organizations, family programs, cooperatives, prisons, etc.
Over the last few years, virtual classrooms via internet have been offered free for individuals interested in bringing the proposal to different cities and countries, and the manual is being translated into other languages. It is currently available in full in Portuguese, and translations into English and French are in process.
Research was begun in Greater Buenos Aires in 2003 by educators inspired by the New Humanist current of thought. The began to expand mainly in the field of education in different cities around Argentina and Brazil where network nodes of the ICAN/CPNVA Network exist today. The course has been translated into English, French, Portuguese, and Italian.
Since 2008 the Training for forming Communities of Active Nonviolence (Consejos Permanentes de No-Violencia – CPNVA) in institutions and networks has been offered at several universities in Argentina (UBA, UTN), and has been approved for continuing education credits.
Trainings are carried out in person or online at a distance.
Cities, Countries, and Individuals
To date, ICAN or Three-Level Change activities are underway in eleven countries and thirty five cities. Two hundred and ten facilitators are developing the project around the world. Many collaborators are participating in the different networks, and their numbers continue to increase.
City of Buenos Aires: Pina Greco; Juan José Pescio; Ricardo Lucero; María Eugenia Montemurro; Verónica Torres; Fabián Scorpino; Gustavo Vilares; Ángel Crego.
Training Centers: National Technological University, Buenos Aires region. (Offering training for educational institutions and neighborhood organizations).
Buenos Aires Province:
Lomas de Zamora: Patricia Nagy, Graciela Alderete and some 20 other individuals.
Training Center: National University of Lomas de Zamora (training for educational institutions and educational psychology networks).
Leandro N. Alem (Vedia district): Mirta Gatica; Ludmila Mikota and five others.
Training Center: L.N. Alem Municipality (training for their own personnel and for social workers).
Olavarría: Cristian Delpiani; Silvana Valente and eight others.
Training Center: Olavarría Municipality, Social Development Department (working on violence prevention, with the participation of local organizations for health, education, justice, safety, communication, etc.)
Tigre: Gabriela Balbuena and seven others.
Training Center: National Technological University, General Pacheco region. (training for educational institutions and political and social organizations).
Bahía Blanca: Carlos Romero; Karina Zukerman; María del Carmen Quintana and seven others.
Florencio Varela: Cintia Gónzalez and four others.
Tandil: Liliana Cachela, Rodolfo Cachela.
Necochea: Juan Carlos Parson.
Córdoba. Irene Aciar; María del Carmen Kaiser and two others.
Training Center: IPEM 43 Hipólito Yrigoyen School.
Neuquén. Lorena Píccoli; María Inés Podestá, Violeta Gallardo and three others.
Training Center: Neuquin Initiative Association Cultural Center. (training for social organizations).
Río Negro Province:
Allen, Villa Regina, General Roca. Néstor Zaninelli, Juana Rosa García and 32 others.
Training Center: National University of Comahue (training for educational institutions and citizens of Comahue and neighboring cities)
Teachers’ College Nº 70: (training for their administration, professors, students, staff, parents).
Salta: Alejandra Vittar; Celeste Peiró and five others.
Training Center: Ministry of Social Development: Provincial Women’s Council (training for social organizations, university social work students, and police personnel).
San Miguel de Tucumán. Liliana Lobos; María Eugenia Madrid and six others.
Training Center: Public Administration: Tucuman Ombudsman’s Office (training for social organizations, their own personnel, and police personnel).
Lima, Borja, Arequipa, San Mateo, Victoria, San Juan de Miraflores: Enrique Zegarra Víchez; Ciro Guevara Flores; Pilar Orrego Tapia; Francisco Carpio Jordán and 30 others.
Borja, San Mateo, San Juan de Miraflores, Arequipa: working in educational institutions.
Training Center: Lima: School of Psychology. (training for educational institutions and anyone associated with the School of Psychology anywhere in the country).
Minas Gerais, San Lorenzo: Amelia Batachés and six others.
Training Center: San Lorenzo City Prison (training for prisoners and administration).
Río de Janeiro
Maricá District: Ana Paula Souza; Maroly Penteado and six others.
Training Center: Department of Education (trained teachers in 51 Middle/High schools).
Austin District: Elizabeth Teles and eight others.
Training Center: San Judas Tadeu School. (offering training for the Nursing School and local families).
Brasilia: Valeria Muñoz and one other person.
Santiago: Marcelo Castillo Duvauchelle.
Montevideo: Verónica Rodríguez Maresca; Fernanda Margini Trinidad; Ana María Mahserdjian.
Training Center: High School Nº 54. (training for the educational community).
San Francisco Bay Area, Janet Shirley; Trudi Richards; Katherine Raymond; Marcelo Pont; Ken Dickinson; Walt Feigenson; Laura Mankikar; Carol Sanderson.
París, Isabel Comte; Therese Neroud, Anne Thiebaud.
Brussels, Tatiana De Barelli and one other person.
Working in educational institutions.
Mallorca: Gustavo Frías and one other person.
Working in educational institutions.
Düsseldorf: Marita Simón.
Uganda: Janet Shirley