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Alternatives to Violence Course

Alternatives to Violence Course

The lion and the lamb is the artwork used for the honorary pin which was given to graduates of the Alternatives to Violence course.

Photo: AFSC

Developing leaders for peace, justice, and nonviolence.

John Looney, 1916-2005

The Alternatives to Violence Training Course originates from materials collected by John Looney, the first director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. 

John Looney's life may be best summarized by the motto, "to see what love can do". John was a tireless, committed, and joyful educator, advocate and organizer for peace nonviolence and justice who was also a dedicated husband, loving father, and devoted friend. He and his work with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was known and respected across Ohio and the nation. To him, love toward others was not sentimental or naive, but the most moral, ethical and practical means toward personal fulfillment and fundamental social change. One of his common responses was "what good is faith if not put into practice."

In the 1960s, John's love of people found social justice outlets in scheduling and hosting AFSC speakers and peace caravans around Ohio, working on fair housing, church integration, racial justice training and full funding for public education in Wadsworth. With his wife, Adele, he joined Summit County Coalition for Peace. Stirred by his son Mark's anti war  efforts and daughter Marcia's work on the cause of equal access to health care and their attendance at a massive demonstration against the war in Vietnam, John sold his business and began working full time
for AFSC out of his home in 1970.

In 1973, he helped establish the Northeast Ohio AFSC as part of Humanity House, and incubator for start-up and local community groups, including the National Organization for Women, including the National Organization for Women, NAACP, battered women's shelter and others. He helped organize over 200 peace groups across Ohio during the height of the nuclear weapons freeze movement. He was also instrumental in developing and teaching "Alternatives to Violence," a comprehensive curriculum on nonviolent conflict resolution. 

In 1986 after "retiring" from AFSC, he started Peace GROWS (Grass Roots Outreach Works), which focuses on spreading the ATV philosophy, materials and course throughout Ohio and beyond.


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