If we are successful...

 “If we are successful in building a peaceful world – a good world of work and love and fun and fellowship and fulfilling self-expression – it will not feel like “violence prevention.” But, incidentally, it will be so.”  – C. Collyer & I. Zepp, Nonviolence: Origins and Outcomes, 3rd ed.


I hear one line in Chuck Berry’s song Roll Over Beethoven as “Try for further.” Check it out. Some people say the words should be “a trifle further,” and that’s OK. I’ll stand corrected on the song, but I still like the phrase try for further. So… that’s how this website got its name.

Trying for further seems to mean going beyond the familiar and working on something new. I guess that is what education, research, and art are all about. Also learning, innovation, training, healing, rehabilitation, and reformation. Trying for further is the opposite of settling or giving up. 

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I’ve always been a reader and a writer, always fascinated by ideas and their implications. Over the past twenty years, I’ve also been involved in putting ideas into action. So, very broadly, that is what this website is about – writing about ideas and activities that I think are significant, putting stuff in front of you that has taken me a little further, and that might have similar value for you.

My education was in human experimental psychology – perception, cognition, research methods, and engineering psychology. So one blog on the website has roots in that background, under the heading “Science and Thinking.” I still teach an online research methods course for Masters students, and that work generates current issues for the blog.

Without leaving psychology, I underwent a mid-career shift toward nonviolence education back in the 1990s. After meeting and working with Dr. Bernard LaFayette, who was once on Dr. King’s staff, I began to recognize strong connections between the academic research I knew and the accomplishments of nonviolent social change movements. But there seemed to be few people who worked back and forth between these two worlds. Trying to bridge the gap between those worlds has been one way of going further for me. So another blog on the website is titled “Violence and Nonviolence,” and is fed by ongoing work with several organizations and community groups.

Exploring this website will introduce you to The Ira and Mary Zepp Center for Nonviolence and Peace Education, and to the Civil Rights Tours that the Zepp Center sponsors. The Zepp Center’s parent organization, Common Ground on the Hill, puts on a traditional music and arts camp each summer, and a concert series through the winter, both in Westminster MD. I’ll also have news from time to time about Silver Oak Academy, the Green Valley Samaritans, the Adjunct Faculty Union at McDaniel College, the Carroll County MD NAACP, the local Public Schools’ ETM Council, and an agency called The Shepherd’s Staff.

However you got to this website, my hope is that what you find here will interest you, and can be of potential use to you. To paraphrase Andy Rooney, you have no idea how much I hope you like what I write. Well … maybe now you do.


Charlie Collyer

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