Following the call of activist and organizers to reimagine community safety, we are beginning to apply what we have learned in protection work in the Global South, to the context of the United States. Grounded in the strengths and needs of local community partners, NP is building relationships with community members, leaders, and organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to identify gaps and approach safety and security from a holistic perspective. Our work is informed by understanding what communities need to feel safe and secure—to feel affirmed and a sense of belonging— which includes and goes beyond physical safety.
We are seeking to equip communities with actionable skills to be better prepared to respond to potential violence in their neighborhoods and demonstrate care for their neighbors & community members. Together, we can reduce and prevent direct and immediate threats to the safety and security of BIPOC communities and people involved in demonstrations.
Community Safety Team
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Our Volunteer Program Goals:
1. Reinforce Nonviolent Peaceforce Mission through Volunteers Opportunities and activities that reduce and prevent direct and immediate threats to the safety and security of unarmed civilians in predominantly BIPOC and vulnerable communities.
2. Build the capacity of local actors in the prevention of violence by training Volunteers in UCP methodologies.
3. Develop and strengthen unarmed civilian protection networks locally and internationally through training opportunities, field experience and program engagement.
Benefits of Volunteering with Nonviolent Peaceforce:
1. Volunteers will receive immersive skills-based trainings on community safety and mutual protection.
2.Volunteers will be participating and supporting innovative programming that is grounded in Unarmed Civilian Protection in a US context.
3.Volunteers will grow and develop their leadership and teamwork skills.
Community Safety Training
Unpacking our principles:
Our work is grounded in the principles of nonviolence, nonpartisanship and primacy of the local actor.
Nonviolence is not passive. It means that we actively interrupt violence and protect everybody's safety and dignity. When we intervene, we do so in a way that does not cause bodily harm. We believe that we can interrupt cycles of violence in this way and maintain the space for generative conflict. Conflict is inevitable. Violence is not.
Nonpartisanship means that while we stand for human rights and safety, we maintain our independence and do not take sides in a conflict. Adhering to nonpartisanship protects our volunteers and relationships.
AT AN ACTION, this means we are not wearing logos or messaging that support any single side, and we are not chanting or singing.
Finally, primacy of local actors means communities know best how to protect themselves. We take the lead from the organizers, organizations or other stakeholders who have invited us to an action, event or neighborhood.
We do not tell organizers or participants how they should protest, proceed or protect themselves. For instance, though we choose nonviolence for our work, it is not our place to demand any other actors operate nonviolently.
We are not policing. We are facilitating community safety.
We will ask you about your thoughts and reflections on these principles, so please take a moment to consider how they align with your values and capacities.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities:
1. Capacity Builders
Capacity Builders assist with non-program related tasks. These volunteers help office staff with various projects, from videography to fundraising. Capacity Builders are tasked and supervised by office staff across projects and managed by Volunteer Coordinator.
2. Program Builders
Program Builders assist with program related-tasks such as: research and building relationships through outreach. Program Builders are tasked and supervised by Program staff across projects and managed by Volunteer Coordinator.
3. NP-Community Safety Team Members
Primary duty is providing direct protection for historically marginalized communities at risk of violence by state and non-state actors. This can look like providing accompaniment at civil resistance actions, such as (but not limited) to: protests, rallies, patrols.
Community Safety Team
Volunteer Training consists of:
☐ Volunteer Orientation
☐ Self-guided tool on NP strategies & methodologies
☐ 2-day Community Safety Training
✓ Live in the community
✓ Value the human dignity & safety of others
✓ Have a deep desire for personal growth
✓ Are committed to nonviolence, non-partisanship, the primacy of local actors & mutual protection
✓ Are at least 21 years of age by their Volunteer Orientation
✓ Commit to at least 15 hours during a 4-month quarter
Ready to take action?
We’re not currently accepting new volunteers at this time [updated: 1/7/22]. To be considered for the next cohort please indicate your interest here. We will notify you when applications re-open.