HISTORY & MISSION OF THE RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE
WELCOME TO THE RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE
The Resource Center for Nonviolence, founded in 1976, is a peace and justice organization promoting the practice of nonviolent social change. Located in Santa Cruz, California, we cultivate relationships with allies around California, across the United States, in Latin America, the Middle East and elsewhere. Our primary mission is to support the growth of nonviolent activists. The Center hosts activists and analysts from nonviolent struggles around the world. And the Center is a venue for social change groups and non-profit organizations to conduct meetings and public events in its 200-seat Scott Kennedy Hall or its Community Room.
Invitation to Participate
Check out our programs, events, workshops, trainings, conversations, celebrations. We would like to meet you! We welcome everyone exploring activism and nonviolence, asking questions, seeking allies. We welcome volunteers and interns. Please explore our website and take the time to discover what we feel activism means.
Building for the Future Campaign to Renovate RCNV at 612 Ocean Street
Mission and History:
Since 1976 RCNV staff and volunteers have worked to make the practice of nonviolence a means of affecting personal change and creating a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.
The Center was born amidst the anti-nuclear movement. Staff conducted trainings for nonviolent direct action by the Abalone Alliance at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and the Stop Trident/Convert Lockheed campaigns at nuclear weapons manufacturing facilities in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. From the beginning, Resource Center staff led interfaith delegations to Israel and Palestine and advocated US foreign policy that substantially supports two sovereign and viable states, and human rights for all in Israel and Palestine. Center staff co-founded Witness for Peace, training North Americans to accompany human rights workers in Nicaragua in the 1980’s. Staff members also co-founded Neighbors of Lower Ocean in Santa Cruz to conduct neighborhood organizing for community safety and responsible landlord practices. The Center supported the La Liga de la Comunidad, soccer leagues for immigrant youth for many years. Until 2017, the Center sponsored the GI Rights Hotline, trained volunteer counseling service for people experience trouble in the military.
In 2011, RCNV interns founded Project ReGeneration, encouraging activism for youth and young adults. Center staff have participated in national and international networks of nonviolent activists, serving on boards and committees of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters League, Interfaith Peace Builders, California Peace and Justice Centers network, and more, plus local committees for peace, justice and human rights. RCNV takes seriously the admonition to think globally and act locally. We endeavor to introduce nonviolent methodology into the work of political activists and community organizations.
Beginning in 2017, Sarah Durant Smith and Drew Glover now offer Kingian Nonviolence Trainings.
Consider renting our facility for your events and celebrations. Scott Kennedy Hall, capacity 200, Community Meeting Room, capacity 60, Conference Room, capacity 10-12; Huddle Space, capacity 2, are available at very reasonable rental rates, for community groups, conferences, performances. A kitchen is also available. The Center is wheelchair-accessible. Contact Tom Monahan for more information about rentals: 831.423.1626, extension 106.
(1) Nonviolence Education and Training: Speakers, Conversation groups, Films, Organizer training. For Kingian Nonviolence Trainings, contact Sarah Durant Smith- extension 102, or Drew Glover- extension 103, at RCNV- 831.423.1626. For general nonviolence programming, contact Peter Klotz-Chamberlin,, 831-423.1626 extension 104.
(2) Project ReGeneration: Engaging the next generation of activists through Intentional support groups, Nonviolence Trainings. Sarah Durant Smith is available to Speak in Classrooms, and she blogs on various dimensions of personal practice and social organizing for nonviolent social change. Contact Sarah, 831-423-1626, extension 102.
(3) Palestine Israel Action Committee: Public education and advocacy for human rights, equality, and sovereignty for Palestinians and Israelis, in co-existence. Contact Peter Klotz-Chamberlin,, 831-423.1626 extension 104.
(4) Internships: Opportunities to work with RCNV programs, or develop other nonviolence-related programs and activities. Contact Drew Glover- 831-423-1626 extension 103.
(5) Bookstore and Library: Nonviolence resources; the Roy C. Kepler Library on Social Change features a special collection of books by and about Gandhi.
Anita Heckman: Administration and Communications
Anita joined the Center as a volunteer in 1981, and joined the staff soon after.. She designs the Center’s publications, coordinates volunteers, and initiates projects like the Good Food Festival.
Peter Klotz-Chamberlin: Nonviolence Education and Training; Property Administration
Peter is a co-founder of the Center, and rejoined the staff in 2012. He develops programs, leads management of the Center’s properties, and cultivates relationships with allies.
Drew Glover: Volunteer Coordinator, Program Coordinator
Sarah Durant Smith: Nonviolence Education and Training, Project ReGeneration
Tom Monahan: Facility Rentals and property oversite
The Resource Center for Nonviolence is the primary program of the Eschaton Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Policy and vision of the Resource Center are determined by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee makes final personnel decisions and affirms our budget and program direction. The Center also has an active Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and a Buildings and Grounds Committee.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence has no executive director. Staff and Steering Committee make decisions by consensus. All staff members share administrative and fundraising responsibilities.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence is supported primarily by individual donations, and by grants.
Building for the Future Capital Campaign:
The Center has renovated part of our 50-year old facility. It is a vital community center for nonviolent social change and community groups. Improvements to Scott Kennedy hall will be completed in 2017. Donations to support the remodeling efforts are welcome.
Since 1976, RCNV has hosted thousands of conversations among activists, including these speakers, performers and workshop leaders. A variety of those are listed here:
Gihan Abouzeid (Egyptian feminist activist)
Pietro Ameglio (Gandhian Mexican activist)
Bettina Aptheker (feminist, professor, author)
Uri Avnery (Gush Shalom)
Mubarak Awad (Nonviolence International)
Phyllis Bennis (Institute for Policy Studies)
Daniel Berrigan (Jesuit priest/activist/poet)
Helen Caldicott (physician/anti-nuclear activist)
Mandy Carter (National Black Justice Coalition)
Dorothy Cotton (civil rights leader)
John Dear (activist, author, former priest)
Danilo Dolci (poet/Gandhi of Sicily)
Jim Douglass (“Resistance and Contemplation,” “The Unspeakable,” activist),
Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin (Israeli/Palestinian Bereaved Families Circle)
Paul Engler, co-author of “This is an Uprising”
Adolfo Perez Esquival (Nobel Peace Prize laureate)
Norman Finkelstein (author/activist/political scientist)
Robert Fisk (journalist)
Arun Gandhi (M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence)
Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, author)
Myles Horton (Highlander Center)
Kenneth Kaunda (former President of Zambia)
Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix (Tariq Khamisa Foundation)
Naomi Klein (author/economist)
James Lawson (civil rights, nonviolent action trainer)
Barbara Lee (Member of Congress)
Michael Lerner (rabbi, Tikkun)
Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams (Nobel Peace Prize laureates)
David McReynolds (War Resisters League)
Camilo Mejia (military resister/activist)
Michael Nagler (Metta Center for Nonviolence, author)
Daoud Nasser (Palestinian farmer)
Grace Paley (poet)
Miko Peled (Israeli author “The General’s Son”)
Afif Safieh (Palestinian diplomat)
Ahmed Salah (Egyptian activist)
Ira Sandperl (Gandhian, founder Institute for Study of Nonviolence)
Gene Sharp (“The Politics of Nonviolent Action”)
Lee Swenson (anarchism theorist, war resister)
Jim Wallis (Sojourners, author)
Nomika Zion (Israeli leader Other Voice)
Stephen Zunes (peace studies professor, author)