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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.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  

—Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail


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

NJ High School Students



Woodrow Wilson Middle School

Breaking the Cycle will be at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Clifton NJ, tomorrow, January 24. Chief Williams and Pat & AnnMarie D'Aliso will speak on conflict resolution to 400 6th grade students in person, and 800 7th and 8th grade students by video.


Greenburgh Eleven UFSD

Hashim Garrett and Pat & AnnMarie D'Aliso spoke with 7 - 12 grade boys at Greenburgh Eleven Union Free School District in Dobbs Ferry NY, on January 12. The school services troubled youth from a The Children's Village, a residential treatment facility, as well as day students from the area.


PS 346 Abe Stark Elementary

5th grade students from Abe Stark, and 6th grade students from Frederick Douglas Academy listened to Sergio Argueta and Isa Islam talking with the students about bullying, conflict resolution, courage and resilience.


Brooklyn High School for Law & Technology

November 17 Breaking the Cycle was at the Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology, speaking to 80 juniors and seniors. Pat & AnnMarie D'Aliso and Isa Islam told their stories to spark discussion about forgiveness and solutions other than violence to problems in life.


Newburgh Free Academy

November 9 is an assembly for 1300 Newburgh Free Academy 11th and 12th grade students. Pat & AnnMarie D'Aliso and Sergio Argueta will speak on the power of forgiveness. This is a clip of Sergio speaking at NFA on October 25 to the 10th grade.

YouTube clip


Street Corner Resources

Isa Islam's first speaking engagement for Breaking the Cycle was on November 4, 2022, at the Peace Plex run by Street Corner Resources to a group of youth from Harlem.  After severely injuring himself in a subway surfing accident Isa found peace and positivity by forgiving himself and those that left him to die.


Newburgh Free Academy Main

On Tuesday November 1st, Charles Williams and Hashim Garrett encouraged 650 sophomores in Newburgh, NY.

"I woke up this morning and I so desperately wanted to give you hope. I have no idea what it's like to live in your neighborhood and be your age...and it's possible that you are thinking what can he say... But pain, trauma, feeling worthless....I have been there, too." Charles Williams

"The majority of people in gangs have troubled homes. When you talk to the right people about your problem you'd be surprised how they can help you. Everyone wants to be a shooter no one wants to be shot... Gentlemen, it takes more courage and maturity to be non-violent than to be violent.” —Hashim Garrett