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Source: Susan Allen, 785-532-5343,
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University students are getting the opportunity to learn how to change local and global conditions that can lead to violence -- and get credit for it, too.

K-State's new certificate program in nonviolence studies teaches nonviolence strategies, tactics and tools to help resolve problems without violence. The 15-hour program is open to all K-State undergraduates and is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

Learning to respond to problems nonviolently should be primary education in today's world, said Susan Allen, director of nonviolence education at K-State.

"Why are we violent but not illiterate?" Allen asks. "The answer is because we are taught to read."

Allen said through the certificate program, K-State students are learning how to create sustainable relationships by practicing nonviolence in their daily lives.

"Conflict is inevitable because life moves and changes, but how we respond to it is a choice," she said. "Nonviolence is not passive; nonviolent strategies, tactics and tools are practical actions we take to correct the course of an unhealthy, imbalanced relationship -- and we try to do this before the crises."

Allen said the earning the certificate could give students from all career fields an advantage in the job market, including such fields as law and policy, education, violence prevention, community service, social work, and foreign service and diplomacy.

"Having the certificate shows employers that a potential employee has made an effort to understand the complex world in which we live and, thus, will be better able to maintain healthy work relationships and to be a more thoughtful and thorough problem-solver," she said.

Courses in the certificate program include core nonviolence training and applied nonviolence. Cross-listed courses include conflict resolution; prevention and intervention of violence; women and environmentalism; global problems; conflict across cultures and contexts; international development and social change; peace communication; and more.

Allen is teaching the introductory course, Do Nonviolence, Be the Change, 2:30-5 p.m. Mondays this spring. Students may still enroll. More information on K-State's nonviolence education program is available at