The Mike Yarrow Peace Fellowship is a year-long program, from July 1st to June 30th each year, and begins with an intensive training program for Peace Fellows in the summer. This year, the intensive training section will be online due to COVID-19, and will be referred to as the “Core Training”. Once the academic year begins in September we will switch to online “Elective Trainings”. Both of these are described further below. In addition to the online training, Peace Fellows may benefit from ongoing support from mentors and experienced activists.
The Core Training will cover 3 fundamental elements using 2 learning formats.
First will be Online Video Trainings via Zoom.
On July 23-25, 2021 former civil rights activists who worked with Martin Luther King will train participants in about 10 hours of Kingian Nonviolence (learning from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement). On August 6-8,2021 another 10 hours will be devoted to Nonviolent Leadership: Personal and Interpersonal Nonviolence.
Second, we will utilize individualized and small group learning to have each MYPF develop his/her/their social change program of choice and to learn about Social Action Nonviolence: Strategic Planning and Campaign Development. Led by experienced non-violence trainers, including the 3 MYPF Directors, the training will give each Peace Fellow a toolkit to help design and shape their own non-violent social change project. The training will also give Peace Fellows the opportunity to meet other activists and build community amongst a group of passionate young organizers. The Core Training will only involve the Peace Fellows, the Directors and guest trainers.
Leadership: Personal and Interpersonal Nonviolence: 8/6-8,2021
To be a good organizer one must develop your leadership potential and learn to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk”. In this first section of the Core Training we start with looking at ourselves and how we relate to others. Topics include intersectionality and oppression; “calling out”; community building; how to be a good ally; dealing with conflict; and more.
Kingian Nonviolence: July 23-25, 2021
This year the Peace Fellows will receive 10 hours of training in Kingian Nonviolence that introduces participants to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy and strategies of nonviolence.
Peace Fellows will meet and learn from experienced nonviolence activists and trainers, including: 1) Sherri Bevel, co-founder of the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training in Chicago and daughter of James Bevel and Diane Nash, 2 of King’s key leadership circle, and 2) Mary Lou Finley, 1 of the 3 MYPF Co-Directors, who worked with King in Chicago in the Chicago Freedom Movement of the mid-1960’s, the subject of her recent book.
Social Action Nonviolence: Project Development; Strategic Planning and Campaign Development
The final section of the Core Training will utilize individualized and small group learning modalities to work with participants on developing their individual social change projects. Participants will plan their projects in the context of learning an overview of Strategic Planning, Key components include the design of campaigns that recognize the stage a movement is in and plans carefully how to move it forward toward success. This section will cover “MAP: the Movement Action Plan”, detailed in the book “Doing Democracy” by Bill Moyer with Mary Lou Finley, et. al. and will utilize The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns This curriculum was developed by Ivan Marovic, one of the leaders of Otpor!, the group that nonviolently toppled the genocidal rule of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in October 2000, which then served as inspiration for the many nonviolent uprisings in the Arab Spring of 2010.
After the Core Training the Peace Fellows are provided with additional elective online training for the rest of the year. Each Peace Fellow is required to attend at least 3 of the sessions from a wide variety of topics on organizing skills and nonviolent direct action theory. We will poll the Peace Fellows as to the topics of most interest and then develop the programs to meet those with the highest interest.
As an illustration, here is a graph showing topics and levels of interest from the 2019 Peace Fellows.
After the Intensive Training the Peace Fellows are expected to work on their own project or campaign. The program provides ongoing support to the Peace Fellows by hosting Strategy Support Groups and by offering each Peace Fellow 1 or more Mentors of their choice.
Volunteer PAT alumni and other seasoned activists form a pool of Mentors. Each Peace Fellow may choose one or more Mentors, who stays in touch with the Peace Fellow and provides support and guidance to the Peace Fellow as s/he designs and executes his/her chosen project or campaign.