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City of Portland and Portland Peace Team Holding De-Escalation Trainings With a Focus on Peaceful Protest

Press Release
Portland Peace Team is partnering with the City of Portland to hold seven free two-hour training sessions on de-escalation and peacekeeping this spring and summer
Published
Portland Peace Team, Since 2012

The City of Portland is partnering with the Portland Peace Team to host seven training sessions on de-escalation and peacekeeping for events including protests, marches, and rallies.

The Portland Peace Team was founded by Tom Hastings, a conflict resolution professor at Portland State University, and others. The organization provides nonviolent de-escalation at local events, where peace team members wear blue vests to identify themselves.

The Portland Peace Team also provides training in peacekeeping, including de-escalation, bystander intervention, facilitation, and more to community groups.

“The Portland Peace Team offers unarmed public safety assistance to any nonviolent organization or event and has done so since 2012,” Hastings said. “The Portland Peace Team wants to join with all Portlanders to restore our culture of nonviolence, no hatred, and activism for justice.”

The City of Portland has contracted the Portland Peace Team to hold two-hour small-group training sessions, free of cost, for community members interested in learning de-escalation skills. Those interested can choose to attend one of seven trainings, which will take place in May, June, and July.

The trainings utilize the global standard for de-escalation, the CLARA (Calm & Center, Listen, Affirm, Respond, Add) method, which was originally created in Portland in the early 1990s by Reverend Cecil Prescod, Bonnie Tinker, and Love Makes a Family, Inc.  This method is now used globally by Nonviolent Peaceforce and others.

The trainings are part of the City of Portland’s goal to support our city’s long-held tradition of effective peaceful protests. This effort hopes to uplift the diverse community of Portlanders who are working toward nonviolence and safety for all. These trainings will not certify skills in peacekeeping but are intended to introduce community members to de-escalation techniques.

“We appreciate that the Portland Peace Team is working with the City of Portland to offer de-escalation trainings to the public,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “Portlanders are passionate about peacefully practicing their First Amendment rights, and many want to do their part to keep events safe. This is an opportunity for community members to learn proven de-escalation techniques that help achieve that goal.”

To ensure a small-group environment, the trainings will be capped at about 50 people.

Those interested in attending can sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/de-escalation-training-tickets-151121756241. The training dates are May 14, May 20, June 1, June 11, June 17, July 6, and July 16, with some in the evening and others in the afternoon.