OPI De-escalation and Bystander Intervention Training the Trainers

The trainers of the Oregon Peace Institute offer a training in de-escalation and another in bystander intervention. This training may be operationalized at the training-the-trainer level. Trainers receive electronic and written curricula, including simulation instructions.

De-escalation curricula begins with the CLARA method, an approach to conflict/emotion de-escalation developed first by Love Makes a Family and later enhanced by Nonviolent Peaceforce. These methods are standard for national and international nongovernmental organizations who work in conflict zones.

Bystander intervention curricula includes realistic synthesis of interrupting oppression and conflict communication methods that are proven techniques to soften or end an oppressive targeting attack without prompting a transfer of attack onto the intervenor. While there are never guarantees, it is crucial to instill the prime directive, Create no new victims, even as the oppressive attacker loses focus and interest. This synthesis interrupts oppression without simply refocusing the attacker upon the interrupter.

For inquiries, you can reach us at PeaceProfessionals[at]gmail.com

OPI Post Election Statement

Portland, OR

November 16, 2016


After one of the most intentionally divisive election campaigns in United States political history, we begin the work necessary to ensure the explicit and covert appeals to alterity – xenophobia, white nationalism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all other markers of identity where there is social inequity – are definitively repudiated and neutralized.

On the macro level, there are tremendous concerns about Trump’s access to the nuclear codes, his disdain for the Iran Nuclear Deal, his temperament coupled with the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF), his denial of climate change, etc. These are very real fears and challenges which may, to some extent, be abstract and not immediately personal but require constant vigilant and sustained action to prevent our worst imaginings coming true.

Closer to home, many people in our communities have fears that do not affect people of certain privileged identities. Will immigrant families be torn apart? Will Muslims be oppressed and persecuted? Will already existing racism become more acceptable and institutional through emboldened white nationalism? Will we turn back the watch on women’s roles in our society and punish them for choices over their own bodies? The LGBT community fears the GOP control to make discrimination institutional again. These fears are real, immediate and traumatizing.

Now is the time we must begin to develop genuine community partnerships and collaborations to effectively counter the results of the divisive ideas heightened in the past eighteen months; to recognize our areas of privilege and intentionally engage in solidarity with those who might be adversely impacted. We must create avenues of sustained and sustainable actions with imaginative strategy and systemic awareness. We must also find ways to positively engage with those who would disagree and seek to rationalize policies and ideas which negatively impact marginalized groups and foment hate; to simply make them the subject of ad hominem insults and dismiss their concerns have proven to be counter-productive.

We at OPI stand guard against injustice and in clear solidarity with all who seek peace.

The Board of Directors of the Oregon Peace Institute


PeaceVoiceTVa collaborative effort between PeaceVoice and The War Prevention Initiative, offers positive peace (peace and justice by peaceable means) scholarly content in a brief format (less than three minutes). These commentaries are by peace and social justice professionals, including scholars and professional advocates in the fields of conflict analysis and transformation. These unique teaching resources are intended as supplementary curriculum material for peace educators, and as vital information for use by activists and public policy makers.

OPI at 2012 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

The OPI attendance at the October 2012 PJSA Conference in Boston, Massachusetts included Board of Directors members Tom Hastings, Riya Kaphle, Terri Shofner, Patrick Hiller, Paloma Ayala, and Gina Mason. They were accompanied by Erin Niemela and Joy Henry (Portland State University Graduate Students) who assisted in the filming phases of PeaceVoice’s new YouTube channel presence, PeaceVoiceTV.

Tom Hastings participated in the Media and Conflict session with ‘Conflict Change and Conflict Management’, which discussed the consequences of conflict management choices on climate and examined the link between resource consumption and militarization.

Terri Shofner presented ‘Ghandi Calling: Is He on a  Smart Phone’ in the Rights and Responsibility session. Her paper discussed the methods that Gandhi used to spread the word of his campaigns juxtaposed against a cost/benefit analysis of smart phone technology for organizing social change movements.

Ambika (Riya) Kaphle (OPI) and Zuzana Molcanova (Portland State University Graduate Student) presented ‘Sustainable Peacebuilding Activities at Local Schools in Meru, Kenya’ during the session on Students and Schools. Their project presentation focused on the role of peace education in promoting sustainable peacebuilding outcomes and programs in Kenya.



PeaceVoice is a peace and justice public intellectual US op-ed free distribution service. It is a program of the Oregon Peace Institute. We are devoted to changing U.S. national conversation about the possibilities of peace and justice and the inadvisability of war and injustice. We believe that nonviolent conflict transformation from destructive to constructive —peace and justice by peaceable means—can help shape public discourse and thus, ultimately, public policy.

Visit by Mexican Peace Movement Leader

In the first half of February 2012, the Fellowship of Reconciliation will host Mexican peace movement leader Olga Reyes, who has seen six members of her family killed in the last two years. The Oregon Peace Institute will organize local events in the Portland in the realm of longer-term work to change the militarized drug policy of the United States in Mexico, cross-border gun trafficking, and/or solidarity support for addressing the human rights crisis in Mexico. Click here for more information.

OPI at 2011 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

OPI Board of Directors members Tom Hastings, Riya Kaphle, Terri Shofner, Rhea DuMont, Patrick Hiller and Paloma Ayala Vela attended the 2011 annual conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and the Gandhi King Conference in Memphis, TN.

Tom Hastings and Rhea DuMont chaired the session ‘New Voices: Expertise from the margins’, a panel which discussed a forthcoming book that expands the field of Peace and Conflict intentionally more in the direction of non-state actors, capacity builders, indigenous methods of conflict management, and strategic nonviolent civil society asymmetric struggle. Among others, Terri Shofner, Patrick Hiller and Paloma Ayala were discussants on their respective chapters.

PeaceVoice Conference

Latest Posts:
Nonviolent Indigenous Struggles in Okinawa
OPI and Two Wheels in the Community

PeaceVoice held a one-day conference at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on August 1, 2009. The conference featured presentations throughout the day from peace academics from across the US. The event wrapped up with the keynote address from Barbara Wien, peace scholar and PeaceVoice Advisor. The conference closed with a rich performance by the Sartori Men’s Chorus, a local group that sings about peace.

Following are some photos from the conference showing presenters and their topics:

Michael Sonnleitner - Gandhi�s Use of Media‘Michael Sonnleitner – Gandhi’s Use of Media’

Ksenia Gorbenko - Violent Face of Nonviolence: Civil Disobedience in British Suffrage Movement ‘Ksenia Gorbenko – Violent Face of Nonviolence: Civil Disobedience in British Suffrage Movement’

David Smith-Ferri - Battlefield Without Borders and The Rivers, a film of Iraqi refugee interviews ‘David Smith-Ferri – Battlefield Without Borders and The Rivers, a film of Iraqi refugee interviews’

Thomas Pynn - Philosophy of War and Peace in Daodejing ‘Thomas Pynn – Philosophy of War and Peace in Daodejing’

Ako Yamakawa - Challenge to US military bases in Okinawa‘Ako Yamakawa – Challenge to US military bases in Okinawa’

Gina Ronning - Justice in the Eyes of Others plus Building Peace through Economic Bill of Rights ‘Gina Ronning – Justice in the Eyes of Others plus Building Peace through Economic Bill of Rights’

The Benin Project

The Benin Project is an outgrowth of work done in Cobly, Republic of Benin, by Stephanie Van Hook. Its goals include promotion of education of orphans, creation of a school resource center, and preservation of local traditions.

Nonviolent Indigenous Struggles in Okinawa

Ako Yamakawa, a a graduating masters student in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University, is involved in nonviolent indigenous struggles to close U.S. military bases on Okinawa. She has been working closely with the indigenous leadership on Okinawa to help Americans understand the wishes of the Okinawan people. Please find more information — and how you can help — at Ako’s blog, http://usmilitaryinokinawa.blogspot.com.

OPI Presents: For you were once strangers …

For you were once strangers: A Catholic response to immigration.
With Siovhan Sheridan-Ayala.
Played on PCM Cable Access

  • Sat Dec 1, 2007Ch 22 at 1 PM
  • Tues Dec 4, 2007Ch 23 at 5 PM
  • Sun Dec 9, 2007Ch 11 at 8 PM
  • Sat Dec 15, 2007on Ch 22 at 1 PM
  • Tuesday Dec 18, 2007on Ch 23 at 5 PM

Video taped at the Annual Tobin Lecture held at All Saints Church in Portland, Oregon
Nov 10, 2007.

For more informationabout the lecture seethe
Archdiocese of Portland’s Office of Justice & Peace

More »

International Day of Peace and Global Mala Project

YTribe, a yoga community in St. Johns, celebrated and put into action the U.N. International Day of Peace as part of the Global Mala Project.
On Friday, Sept 21, 2007, YTribe held an event in St. Johns, including practicing 108 sun slutes to celebrate the arrival of fall; and a drum Circle. Afterwards, snackswere provided by Proper Eats. The Oregon Peace Institute waschosen as one of the beneficiaries of YTribe’s fund raising.

Thanks YTribe!

Nicholas Kristof – Report from Darfur

This talk, “First Genocide of the 21st Century: Report from Darfur”, was given July 22, 2007 at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland by NY Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

Introduction by Robert Landauer

Keynote Presentation

Questions from the Audience


Darfur Action Items by Marty Fromer

(coming soon)



For more information on Darfur and genocide see the Portland Coalition for Genocide Awareness’s website


Resist War, Troops Out Now!

A discussion Forum on Wed, July 11, 2007. Agustin Aguayo and his wife spoke about his experience as a Army medic and conscientious objector to the Iraq War.

From the poster: Agustin Aguayo, a 35-year old Army medic and conscientious objector, was convicted of desertion and missing movement March 6, 2007 in a U.S. military court in Germany. Although faced with a maximum of seven years in prison, Augustin was sentenced to eight months in the brig for following his conscience and refusing to participate in war. He had been imprisoned pending trial since September, 2006; he was released from the brig on April 18th, 2007.Nearly three years ago, Agustin applied for a conscientious objector discharge from the Army and later served a full year in Iraq, all the while refusing to load his weapon. The Army insisted he serve in a combat zone and was eventually forced to go AWOL. All the while Agustin’s wife Helga, mother Susana and his two 11-year old daughters, Raquel and Rebecca, led a grassroots campaign for freedom and justice for him and all the GI war resisters.

Sponsored by the PDX Peace Coalition, Students united for Nonviolence and many others.

See the following websites for more info:

Former “School of the Americas” (SOA)

In June, 2007 the U.S. House narrowly missed approving an amendment that would have cut the funding for WINSEC, the infamous “School of the Americas” at Ft. Benning, Georgia by 6 votes. 26 Representatives voted against the amendment, but all of the Oregon Delegation voted for it. Each year there is a push to cut funding for the “SOA”. Each year the vote gets closer. Many thought that this would be the year. Hopefully next year. If you are interested in more information, or would like to learn how to fight to close the “SOA”, go to the SOAWatch website at www.soaw.org

You can also watch several OPI Presents Videos on the “SOA” here.

Iraqi Refugee Children

A Iraqi social worker from Baghdadspoke at the 18th Ave Peace House in late June, 2007, about the problems refugees face, especially in Jordan. She focused on refugee children, who are paying the price for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She asked that her name and image not be used. The video includes slides of injured children. This program aired on Portland Community Media and Comcast Channels 11, 22 and 23 during July, 2007. See www.pcmtv.org for more scheduling info.

Center for Intercultural Organizing

The CIO (formerly known as the Community Culture and Language Bank) has been an unoffical partner of OPI for several years. OPI has videotaped / photographed a number of events with the CIO. See this post:

Judith Armatta Speaks on Genocide

War Tax Resisters

3 local war tax resisters spoke about what they do. Watch the video here

For more information see the War Tax Resisters website.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Tax Day Burma Shave Protest from April 15, 2005
See the latest news on Google News about “War Tax Resistance” (Be sure to return here after viewing the news!)

Chanrithy Him Video

Chanrithy Him spoke at the Genocide Awareness Week event: 32nd Anniversary of Khmer Rouge take over in Cambodia at Portland State recently. Her speech also aired on OPI Presents during May, 2007 on PCM channels 11, 22 and 23. You can also watch her here:

Chanrithy also wrote the book When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge

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