Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit

The Stony Point Center, an FOR affiliate organziation in Stony Point, NY, has announced the seventh-annual “Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit” Peacemaking Summer Institute for Young Adults, ages 19 to 29.

The program, May 31 to Aug. 7, is free to those who are accepted.

The Stony Point Center Summer Institute is seeking Jewish, Christian and Muslim young adults, who are grounded in their religious tradition, serious about spirituality and the state of the planet, and excited by social activism in a multireligious context.

They offer a rich opportunity to live in a supportive community with peers. The community they form will be “nested” in the larger multifaith Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center (SPC), an intentional, residential community of Muslims, Jews and Christians who help run SPC and engage in hospitality, study, and nonviolence and social justice activism.

Apply online — deadline Feb. 15, and space is limited!


The Summer Institute is multi-dimensional. Students will:

  • engage in multifaith study and dialogue
  • grow in their relationship to the land and to each other through farming
  • live together in community
  • study nonviolent approaches to justice and peace

Throughout the program, students will have opportunities for one-to-one mentoring sessions for spiritual and vocational guidance.

Watch a video about the Summer Institute at Stony Point Center

SPC believes that the religious traditions of the world have interrelated lessons to teach us all about welcoming “the other” and caring for the earth. Together, they constitute a spiritual ecology. The welfare of humanity now requires that we consciously rebalance that spiritual ecology — acknowledging the precious uniqueness of each tradition while strengthening their mutual relations. Working in the SPC gardens is an integral part of the program.


There are two sessions. Students can attend one or both, but are encouraged to come for both.

Session 1, May 31 to July 3, will focus on the strong thread of peace and nonviolence that runs through Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Students will use what they learn to explore the social justice issues of immigration, gender and sexuality, race and mass incarceration, and religious conflict and peace building. This session will include the Muslim observance of Ramadan and the Jewish observance of Shavuot.

Holiday break, July 4 to July 9, is optional for those attending both sessions. Students may stay over the break and celebrate Eid as well as the July Fourth holiday. It will be a week of fun, rest and relaxation.

Session 2, from July 10 to August 7, will focus on what the three Abrahamic traditions, and some Indigenous faith traditions perspectives on Earth-care. During this session, students will explore the areas environmental justice, climate change, and food justice.


Visit the Stony Point Center website for more details — including a growing list of scholars, teachers and activists who will be coming to teach.

Remember, the deadline is Feb. 15, and the Summer Institute is free to those who are accepted. Apply online now.

If you have questions, please contact We encourage you to forward this message or share this video on social media with young adults or others you know who work with young adults.

Re-Entry supports 1 Billion Rising!

Last Thursday, February the 14th, One Billion women danced and rose to end violence against women! This movement was started by OneBilionRising, an organization founded to make an end to the atrocity, that one of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

Proud to be part of these one billion women (and those who love them), the women of CRC’s Re-Entry Support Program met at the Palisades Mall, West Nyack and participated in the dance, with happened across the globe on the same day.

Have a look and enjoy watching One Billion Women (and those who love them) rising to end violence against women.

Look in Youtube!

An Article about CRC in a German Newsletter

Each year, the German Peace Organization Eirene sends out volunteers who want to help in Organizations all over the world. Since the last three years, CRC was glad to welcome the volunteers Christopher Ohnesorg, Malte Greiner-Petter and Johannes Glatz from Germany to work with Creative Response to Conflict.

In their Newsletter they always feature articles about the work their volunteers do, all around the globe. This time, it’s an article about Johannes Glatz and his work for Creative Response to Conflict.

The Original article is in German, but we are also providing an English version of the article.

To read the English translation, please click here.

To read the original German article, please click here.


CRC presents at an Early Childhood Conference in India

Executive Director Priscilla Prutzman was invited recently to present at an Early Childhood Conference in Mumbai, India. Over two hundred Educators mostly from private schools in many parts of India attended. Priscilla’s topic was “Peace Education, Conflict resolution and Early Childhood.” There was a lot of discussion about Inclusion, diversity, and bullying prevention at the conference. Priscilla hopes to return to India next year to present CRC’s programs to colleges through her Fulbright in Peace Education and Conflict resolution.

Rockland County Re-Entry Support – A Program Report

The United Way of Rockland provided a grant for women and children to participate in three 14-week programs a year for three years. The women are formerly incarcerated and attend a program that includes life skills, conflict resolution, dealing with abuse, drug and alcohol issues and self-esteem. Their children attend a program with an age-appropriate focus at the same time the women attend their program.

While the main organizers are Creative Response To Conflict and the Rockland Parent Child Center, the program also is a collaboration of Rockland Community College (in-kind space and services, and use of RCC’s Fun and Learn Center), Retired Senior Volunteer Program (provides several volunteers to handle food preparation and work with the children), and Cornell Cooperative Extension (provides financial literacy programs).

The Children:
The children range in age from newborn to 16 years. The Rockland County Re-Entry Support Program for children is extremely successful. They gain confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to speak in front of a group. The themes covered in the children’s program include: cooperation; communication; affirmation; conflict resolution; bias awareness; bullying prevention; and intervention and problem solving. The children have lots of fun and are now modeling many healthy lifestyle choices, such as eliminating soda and drinking juice, water and seltzer and eating at least one vegetable at every meal.

3 rounds of 14-weeks of the re-entry program have been completed and the fourth round starts on January 19, 2012.

Out of 34 women, 2 returned to jail for a short time. Once released from jail, the 2 women completed our program and are now employed.

Out of the 34 women, 24 have fully and successfully completed our 14-week program and 21 children have graduated from the program.

9 women out of 13 received certificates, 12 children and a host of volunteers.

2 women have regained custody of their children.
7 women are now gainfully employed.
1 woman applied to Rockland Community College and is starting the RCC nursing program.
2 women have applied to BOCES.
10 are researching how to obtain their GED so that they can move on to college.
1 woman is off of parole as of December 5, 2011.

2 women returned to jail out of all of the participants. This 2:34 ratio is dramatically better than the recidivism rate of 8 out of ten formerly incarcerated return to prison. With this remarkable accomplishment, we are very proud of our re-entry program and exceptionally grateful for the support of the United Way of Rockland.

Stories of Courage, Hope and Compassion by Richard Deats

Stories of Courage, Hope and Compassion is an easy flowing little book full of insights and wisdoms from everyday heroes. Their stories will inspire readers to find the positive side to life’s most challenging lessons.

Richard Deats first writes about Della Stauber of Bozeman, Montana. Stauber, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King would type out inspiring little messages on paper, carry them everywhere she went and then hand them out to people she talked to. The little messages were messages of hope in the face of King’s proclaimed three evils: poverty, racism and war.

There is a quote found in the chapter – Visiting the Land Of The Enemy that sums up the meaning behind the stories found in this little book. “ You don’t make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemies.” This was Yirzhak Rabin’s response to criticism whenever he would meet with Palestinians. The stories in this book exemplify Rabin’s sentiment and the unlikely heroes in this book act on his very words: the Daffodils For Peace in the wake September 11; anti-apartheid Rommel Robert’s growing friendship with his jailer in South Africa; one woman’s work to transform an American president’s Cold War view on Russia; Margaret Cornelia Morgan Lawrence’s unwavering strength and faith in the face of racism and sexism and the Weisser’s love and compassion for KKK leader Larry Trapp.

Richard Deats is a firm believer in the power of humor and incorporates the use of it in many of his writings. In the chapter The Power of Humor, there are many examples of how bringing humor and laughter to an unpleasant or negative situation can bring light to that situation to make it more hopeful. A brighter outlook can make problems feel less like a lost cause.

When one reads Stories of Courage, Hope and Compassion, Mahatma Gandhi’s often spoken words come to mind – “the impossible…ever becoming the possible.” Every chapter in this book is a little life lesson how never to believe good is impossible; it can triumph over all, including evil.