Addie Wyatt Center presents summer peace week

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

The Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence (AWC) is gearing up to host non-violence training later this month at the Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E. 60th St.

A variety of training workshops will be held starting Monday, Aug. 21. All training workshops are $25 per day, and high school students can attend for free. The training includes lunch and a Kingian Nonviolence Training Manual.

AWC hopes to expand nonviolence training in middle and high schools through a citywide pilot project. The organization adopted nonviolence principles and practices from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pat Smith, coordinator and one of four co-founders of the AWC, said in a previous article in the Hyde Park Herald that non-violence training can empower young people to make informed choices that do not resort to violence.

“Nonviolence is a very important tool that is an active, not a passive response [it can] teach them that there are ways and there are alternatives to violence,” Smith said.

Other founders of AWC are Mary Lou Finey, Sherri Bevel, and Gail Schechter. The project is an extension of a book written in collaboration with Smith, Finey, Bevel, and Schechter entitled: “The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr., and Civil Rights Activism in the North.”

Each of the founders also had some involvement in a phase of the Civil Rights Movement.

At the center of AWC programming is an emphasis on reducing in-school conflict and violence among middle and high school students.

Training and the models used at AWC are based on Six Principles and Six Steps of Kingian Nonviolence, tenets of King’s philosophy that are detailed in his first book, “Stride Toward Freedom.”

AWC is named after Chicagoan Rev. Dr. Addie L. Wyatt a noted laborer, and civil rights leader. Wyatt fought for equal pay and equal work and leadership roles for minorities and women. She was the first president of a local chapter of the United Packinghouse Workers of America.

Wyatt also worked with King in the Chicago in the 1960s and was also a member of the Action Committee during Chicago Freedom Movement. She and her husband were founding members of Operation Breadbasket, a part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

To find out more information call 312-719-3740 or email contact info to addiewyattcenterchicago@gmail.com.