Our Work

The CT Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) promotes a comprehensive framework for conflict reconciliation and coalition building rooted in the philosophy and practices of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights Movement.

CTCN uses a proactive approach utilizing a comprehensive nonviolence curriculum developed by the legendary civil rights activist and scholar, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., former strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the past five years, the CTCN has introduced 10,000 citizens and civic leaders to the practice of Kingian Nonviolence. The center tailors its programs and projects for each of the groups it works with and continues to develop sustainable long-term partnerships that allow nonviolence to grow.


Origins

Victoria Christgau

Victoria Christgau

Victoria Christgau is a lifelong peace and nonviolence educator. She is the founder and producer of the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Commemoration of Litchfield County, CT, completing its 20th year. Ms. Christgau is a Master Teaching Artist for the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism, Arts Division and has led Peace-Arts Residencies in schools throughout Connecticut for over twenty years. She served as the first director of the World Peace Prayer Society’s Peace Pals program and coauthored the International Peace Pals Activity Guide.

Ms. Christgau received her Level Three Certification and in 2007 founded the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence at the request of legendary civil rights leader, educator and activist, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

CTCN has worked with hundreds of people to train and implement the philosophy and strategies of Kingian Nonviolence across racial, social, economic and generational divides. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Hartford Courant and numerous private periodicals. She is the winner of the Hartford Courant’s 2010 Tapestry Award for her work building bridges and understanding. In 2012 the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence received a Community Partnership award from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for their collaboration with the Peace is Possible program with the ongoing CityMusic project at Burns Latino Academy, in Hartford. Since 2003, Ms. Christgau has worked with renowned civil rights strategist Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

 

Bernard LaFayette

Dr. Bernard LaFayette

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. was a Freedom Rider and an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was appointed by Dr. King as national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. Dr. LaFayette is the co-author of the “Kingian Nonviolence Curriculum” which is used by CTCN as the foundation for its training curriculum. Dr. LaFayette has conducted programs on Kingian Nonviolence at state, national and international levels, in countries such as South Africa, Colombia, Nigeria and throughout the Middle East. He currently serves as Distinguished Senior Scholar in Residence at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.


Board & Advisory Counsil

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jane Lehman
Board Chair

Debbie Helck
Treasurer

Debby DeGuire
Secretary

Melinda Alcosser

Sonya Green

Warren Hardy

Dianne Jones

Deacon Arthur Miller

Victoria Christgau
Founder/ Executive Director

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Captain, Charles Alphin
Senior Nonviolence Trainer, King Center, Atlanta GA
Retired Police Captain, St Louis Missouri

Gabriel Boyd
Youth Advocate
Director of Youth Development, Blue Hills Civic Association
Certified Trainer for CTCN, Hartford, CT

Carolyn Burton
Executive Director of Lift Every Voice and Sing, Community Gospel Choir, Hartford, CT

Dr. Sarah Diamond
Founder of Diamond Consulting Services, West Hartford, CT

Amy Goldbas
Associate Director for Programming at Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools, Hartford, CT

Rosemarie Greco
Ex. Dir. Wisdom House, Conference and Retreat Center, Litchfield, CT

Pastor James Lane
Founder/ Minister, Northend Church of Christ, Hartford, CT

Diane Lucas
President of the Board, Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative, Glastonbury, CT

Steven Harris
Concerned Community member, Hartford, CT

Dr. Daniel Hansen
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, South Windsor, CT

Lorenzo Jones
Executive Director, A Better Way Foundation, Hartford, CT

Deacon Arthur Miller
Executive Director Office of Black Catholic Ministries, Archdioceses, Certified Trainer, Hartford, CT

Dr. Marylee Morrison
Founder, PAX Educare, Hartford, CTDr. Lynn Pasquerella
President, Mount Holyoke College, Certified Trainer, Mount Holyoke, MADean Salome Rahiem
Dean of the UConn School of Social Work, West Hartford, CT

Dr. Arthur Romano
Professor of Conflict Studies, George Mason University, Washington, DC

Richard Tarlaian
Senior Nonviolence Trainer, former Police Captain, Providence, RI

Dr. Jacob Werblow
Professor of Education, Central CT State University, New Britain, CT

Robin Wildman
Teacher, Nonviolence curriculum advisor, Wakefield, RI

John H. Motley
Principal, Motley Consulting

Dr. Lisa Worth Huber
Academic Dir. of MA program in Conflict Transformation at The Graduate Institute

TEACHING ARTISTS ADVISORS:

Fre Atlast
Founder Elders Drum Project/ Teaching Artist, Rosendale, NY

Leslie Bird
Teaching Artist, Composer, Educator, Hartford, CT

John Marshall
Percussionist, Composer, Educator, Washington, CT

Kathleen Sartor
Teaching Artist, Educator – Sirius Coyote Music, Watertown, CT

Caru Thompson
Musician, Rosendale, NY


Collaborators

Community Collaborators

Hartford Partners established since 2009

  • University of Connecticut- School of Social Work
  • Blue Hills Civic Association
  • Culinary Arts Academy, at Weaver High School
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra
  • Hartford Performs, Hartford Public Schools
  • CPTV
  • CT Commission on Culture and Tourism/ Arts Division
  • Hartford Public Library
  • University of Hartford, Design Global Change
  • Office of Black Catholic Ministries, Archdiocese Hartford
  • Northend Church of Christ
  • PaxEducare
  • L.E.V.A.S. Community Gospel Choir
  • Men of Color Initiative
  • Rev. Henry Brown – Mothers United Against Violence, Hartford, CT
  • Dianne Jones- New Birth Ministries
  • Burns Latino Studies Academy
  • Diamond Research Consultants

New Britain, CT

  • Central CT State University- Office of Education and
  • IMRP- Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy

Glastonbury, CT

  • Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative

New Haven, CT

  • COOP Arts and Humanities, High School

Litchfield County since 2007

  • Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT
  • Litchfield Montessori School, Litchfield, CT
  • Curtis Hanson, Fine Paintings, Cornwall, CT
  • ST Anthony’s Church, Litchfield, CT
  • Workman Memorial AME Zion Church

Massachusetts

  • Mount Holyoke College, Office of the President, South Hadley, MA
  • American Experience, Boston, MA