The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence is an organization committed to providing nonviolent solutions to violent issues. The solutions we seek to create are based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles and steps of nonviolence. On the day dedicated to honoring his legacy, the Institute,in conjunction with Ginny Fox and the Peace Flag Initiative, hosted a two-hour discussion about the state of nonviolence in Rhode Island. Continuing discussions about nonviolence and social justice started at the AmeriCorps MLK Day event, our Corps got to participate in the discussions at the Institute along with state senators , librarians, city and police officials, parents, teachers, religious leaders, college students and those who fight violence every day by working with at-risk youths. The discussion focused around current methods being used to promote nonviolence in Rhode Island and ways that we could all come together to make RI more peaceful. One of the top recommendations was the need to incorporate nonviolence training curriculum in schools. This would expand the Institute’s current practices of teaching nonviolence in schools around Providence (Bailey, Del Sesto, Carnevale, and Moses Brown) and Central Falls High School by ensuring that all schools were incorporating nonviolence into their curriculum. Further discussions and steps towards solutions among community members and those present at the meeting are to follow in the coming months.
In addition, the Institute most recently introduced an education component to further expand its reach to the community.
Beginning January 14, 2013, The Institute launched its first pilot Nonviolence GED Program. Initiated by AmeriCorps member Mai Nguyen and further co-developed with Mary Teuscher, a devoted volunteer adult educator, collaboration across organizations has made this program possible. Before class began, Nguyen sought much needed guidance from a variety of existing programs in Providence such as English for Action, Providence Skills Center, The Indian Council, Genesis Center, Building Futures, and YouthBuild. Continuing the spirit of collaboration, Teuscher, who previously worked as an ESOL teacher at Dorcas Place, has also reached out to her former employment for further insight as well Rhode Island Adult Education Professional Development Center.The GED program is starting with a cohort of 10 students and is set to continue in sessions.
With the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. alive at the Institute, we are heading into February with hope and drive to make Rhode Island a safe and peaceful place. As Abraham Henderson, the Institute’s re-entry case manager said, “ Don’t forget to commit a random act of kindness.”