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Families Against Violence Advocacy Network




In 1996, the Institute for Peace and Justice’s Parenting for Peace and Justice Network (PPJN) and the PPJN Advisory Board convened a gathering of US and Canadian leaders to explore how to respond to the escalating violence in families, communities, and our world.  From this gathering emerged the Families Against Violence Advocacy Network (FAVAN) and the Pledge of Nonviolence as the primary tool for educating and organizing families and communities to challenge violence at all levels and to live more nonviolently.  FAVAN is a broadly based network of organizations, families and individuals committed to violence prevention and the promotion of alternatives to violence in our families, schools, faith communities, youth groups, colleges, workplaces and prisons.   Among the programs that have emerged from this FAVAN program are the Teens Acting for Peace (TAP) Program teaching youth to live and teach the Pledge of Nonviolence with younger students.


Our Manifesto states that we come together "to express a moral voice, a voice of outrage, that calls all families and our whole culture to reject violence and violent 'solutions' to problems. We will break the cycle of violence by creating a circle of families who can be strong and bold because we stand together. We say 'NO!' to violence in our homes and 'YES!' to countering violence and promoting alternatives to violence in our communities and world."


Our goal was to involve 1,000,000 families and 10,000 classes/schools, each a circle of peace committed to the “Five Steps to Break the Cycle of Violence:” 

  • Taking the Family Pledge or School Pledge of Nonviolence.

  • Supporting one another in living out the Pledge.

  • Spreading the Pledge in the community.

  • Collaborating locally to challenge the violence of poverty, racism, and war, domestic  violence, media violence, hate violence, school violence, and gun violence.

  • Participating in national advocacy efforts to counter these forms of violence.


At the beginning of the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Sake of the Children of the World (2000-2010), we were about 30% of the way to that numerical goal and we hope to surpass it by the end of the Decade.


The Family Pledge of Nonviolence continues to be an important framework for family peacemaking efforts in the US and internationally.  Our leaders in Nigeria translated the Pledge in 3 native Nigerian languages.  Collaborating groups in the Philippines (Christian Parenting for Peace and Justice) and South Korea (People Creating Circles of Peace with Justice) have been particularly active in promoting the Pledge among families in these countries.



The Pledge of Nonviolence

The Pledge of Nonviolence has been the centerpiece of the FAVAN program.  Formulated originally as a “Family Pledge,” the Pledge has been adapted as a Preschool Pledge, a Kids Pledge, a Classroom and School Pledge, a Youth and Youth Group Pledge, a Campus Pledge, a Parish and Congregation Pledge, a Workplace Pledge, and a Prison Pledge.  The Family Pledge has been translated into 14 languages, while the School and Youth Group Pledges have been translated into Spanish.  Check it out!



Resources for Supporting the Pledge

Books and booklets for families, kits for schools and faith communities, advocacy packets for individuals and organizations, and workbooks for children and youth have been developed to help individuals, families, and groups put the Pledge into practice.


Check out our Catalogue for descriptions and ordering information for these resources.



“Five Steps to Break the Cycle of Violence”

Implement these five strategies




Kathy and Jim McGinnis and other leaders do a variety of workshops and retreats on implementing the Pledge of Nonviolence: for families; students and faculties in elementary, middle, and secondary schools; colleges, workplaces, community leaders and organizations; and faith communities, including Catholic religious communities.


Check out our workshops on the following topics:

  • Parenting for Peace and Justice

  • Educating for Peace and Justice (including Francis the Clown presentations and Peace Camp programs)

  • Teens Acting for Peace

  • Faith & Peacemaking

  • Community Organizations & Other Constituencies



Networking and Partner Organizations

Season for Nonviolence 64 Ways in 64 Days


PPJN and go to “Networking and Partner Organizations”