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Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Through Forgiveness

Breaking the Cycle presents award-winning assemblies that feature personal stories of overcoming conflict through forgiveness. Our assemblies, whether in-person or live online, support your schools' social-emotional learning goals – and can come at no cost to your school, although donations are welcome. Our speakers present examples of core competencies such as  social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making from their own lives, which readily elicit discussion opportunities in the classroom.

“Mutual respect! That's what it takes to be friends.”

—Hugo Chavez


Social-emotional learning

A panel of dynamic speakers present solutions to:

  • Counteract school violence, bullying and racism
  • Recognize depression and suicide
  • Promote self-respect and respect for others

Schedule an Assembly


What is Breaking the Cycle?

Let our speakers help your students develop the foundational emotional skills needed to resolve conflict and build healthy relationships in today's challenging social environment.


How We Got Started

Colleen McVey of CFN Live interviews Heinrich Arnold, son of the founder of Breaking the Cycle, who speaks of his father's legacy.

Responses from

Paterson NJ School #8



The Haledon School

On September 26, Breaking the Cycle will be returning to the middle school in Haledon, NJ, speaking to 200 7th and 8th grade students. Hashim Garrett and Pat & AnnMarie D'Aliso will be addressing peer conflict resolution, responsible decision making, and suicide prevention.



Our September 19th assembly was at the East NY Arts and Civics High School in Brooklyn. Isa Islam and Hashim Garrett spoke to 200 9-12 grade students in the auditorium. Both speakers are survivors of teenage trauma, and told their stories to the students.

Subway surfing could have cost me my life but I'm grateful to be alive. It's not worth it please don't do it...think about your mother, your father...

—Isa Islam


SNYPJOA Conference

Breaking the Cycle discussed substance abuse and family addictions at the State of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association Conference in Syracuse on August 29, 2023. In our morning slot we introduced four speakers: Patti Ann McDonald, widow of NYPD Det. Steven McDonald on Breaking the Cycle of violence, Randi Kelder, co-founder R.Y.A.N. on substance abuse and overdose, Charles Williams, former Police Chief of Cornwall-on-Hudson on alcoholism and youth, and Jim Whittel, NYSP First Sergeant on mental health and suicide.


Passaic High School #12

The 2023-24 school year got off to an early start at Passaic High School #12 in New Jersey, where Hashim Garrett spoke to 200 9th grade students for their freshman orientation on August 18. Hashim spoke at Passaic High School in 2019, and a student remarked:

I was so inspired by your stories. I got emotional and cried a little. I learned so many amazing life lessons. Thank you!


Eastside High School

Eastside High School in Paterson NJ hosted a Breaking the Cycle assembly on June 20th. Hashim Garrett and Chief Charles Williams presented solutions to counter substance abuse, violence, and bullying to 550 9th grade students. This was our last assembly of the 2022-2023 school year, making a total of 32 assemblies. Thanks for all who have helped us bring the message of forgiveness to 13,315 middle and high school students this year!