Peace Education Program representatives Valerie Hamilton and Leonie Small at the APPA Winter Training Institute.

Thank you to the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) for recently welcoming Peace Education Program representatives to the Winter Training Institute, one of the premiere gatherings of community supervision professionals.

This year’s institute took place from January 30 through February 2, with in-person attendees meeting in Atlanta, Georgia and virtual attendees joining from across North America.

10 Peace Education Program representatives joined in both formats and were met with enthusiastic interest from a growing number of APPA members who see the program’s potential to contribute to their clients’ well-being, as well as their own.

The program has been proven to help diverse groups of people in over 70 countries discover their own inner strength and personal peace, including 75,000 participants from correctional, probation and parole systems.

APPA Communications Executive Director Veronica Cunningham (left) with Leonie Small, at the Peace Education Program booth
Thanks to APPA Executive Director Veronica Cunningham (left) for visiting the Peace Education Program booth!
As a virtual attendee, I was delighted to learn the focus of this training institute was on the well-being of probation and parole staff and their clients. I heard terms like ‘hope,’ ‘dignity’ and ‘choice’ used in the presentations and it confirmed to me that this sector of the community is an excellent partner for the Peace Education Program,” says Llee Sivitz, a long-time volunteer for the program. “If I had to give a title to the APPA training, it would be ‘Kindness Matters.’ My respect and understanding of parole and probation officers grew immensely. I met so many men and women that truly love their jobs and want to see the industry change for the better to help the individuals they support even more,” says Valerie Hamilton, a volunteer for the Peace Education Program who lives in Atlanta and who attended the training in-person. “Bryan Stevenson’s talk was life changing and Eric Suttle’s workshop was fun, uplifting and inspiring. Kudos to the entire APPA staff for putting on a wonderfully inspiring event. I’m excited to see how the Peace Education Program can work together with this organization. I think the results will be astounding.”

Volunteers on the Peace Education Program team regularly attend professional conferences to introduce the program to new audiences and potential partners, playing a key role in its growth.

“It has been a huge pleasure and learning experience to attend international, national and local conferences representing the Peace Education Program since 2018,” says volunteer Michel Klamph. “These conferences are excellent opportunities to build relationships with front line staff, decision makers, vendors and volunteers who attend as conference delegates. Presenting information about the Peace Education Program by having an exhibit booth, writing articles for organizational journals and/or speaking to conference delegates in break-out sessions and workshops has led to the establishment of the program in different sectors, such as education, health and wellness, restorative and community justice, corrections, probation and parole.”

Peace Education Program Director Willow Baker also regularly attends conferences and shares enthusiasm for the training institutes and working with APPA members. Willow serves on the APPA International Relations Committee.

“This was my fourth APPA training institute. Each time I have been impressed by the members’ dedication to investing in people and making a true impact on people’s lives,” she says. “Bryan Stevenson’s opening keynote address set the tone for the underlying theme of ‘changing the narrative’ at this institute. I was shocked by his stories and inspired by his recognition that ‘our hope is our super-power.’ He encouraged us to be ready to do the uncomfortable and the inconvenient. I gained insight into the goals of such outstanding leaders as Veronica Cunningham, CEO and Executive Director, and Brian Lovins, President of APPA. Their clarity compels me to offer the Peace Education Program to all those involved with APPA as a tool for growing self-awareness and inner strength both for their clients and for their teams.”

Thank you to all of the volunteers presenting the Peace Education Program and to all of our new friends at APPA!

 

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