Save the Date: Friday, October 9: RCNV Annual Dinner and Program to feature Pietro Ameglio, one of the most important practitioners of nonviolence in Mexico
SAVE the DATE:
Friday, October 9, 2015
Resource Center for Nonviolence
Pietro Ameglio, one of the most important teachers and practitioners of active nonviolence in Latin America today.
AT: Peace United Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz
5:00-6:00p.m.- Social Hour and Silent Auction;
7:00 Program with Pietro Ameglio
More details coming soon.
Announcing a Partnership between the Resource Center for Nonviolence and Senses Cultural
for a Collaboration on a series of Photography Exhibits–
Enduring Power: the Middle Eastern and Iranian Woman’s Story–
See interview with Anita Heckman about the partnership between Senses Cultural and RCNV: http://sensescultural.org/2015/07/02/a-new-collaboration-with-rcnv/
Enduring Power’s 44 images represent a wide range of experiences, aspirations, fears and realities of Middle Eastern and Iranian women from Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Iran and Kuwait. A collection of work from seven female photographers of Middle Eastern backgrounds, Enduring Power shows an intimate and unique perspective of an otherwise private world to the American audience.
Opening Reception: Monday, September 21, 2015:
Enduring Power: the Middle Eastern and Iranian Woman’s Story–
AT: The Art Gallery, San Francisco State University,
1650 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
Includes Live Music performances
Senses Cultural and the Resource Center for Nonviolence are collaborating on Senses Cultural’s traveling photography exhibition, Enduring Power: the Middle Eastern and Iranian Woman’s Story. The exhibit is scheduled at San Francisco State University from September 21-October 15. The exhibit will travel to Santa Cruz later in the fall, 2015 or 2016.
On Thursday, September 24th, 5:00p.m.
The Art Gallery, San Francisco State University,
1650 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
There will be a Keynote speech from Ms. Karen AbuZayd followed by a Panel Discussion among guests and SFSU faculty. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the photographs as well as dig deeper into the issues they highlight and larger statements that they make regarding the Middle East.
This San Francisco exhibition is dedicated to Ms. AbuZayd for her life-long and unwavering devotion to humanitarian causes. Ms. Karen AbuZayd, a former American Diplomat who served the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 19 years, first started started her career in humanitarianism in Sudan in 1981. She was theCommissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East from 2005-2010. Currently, she is one of four Commissioners for the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and serves on the boards of the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, UNRWA/USA and Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (AVPE).
Produced by Tata Monfared, Senses Cultural’s founder, and curated by Sina Araghi, a Los Angeles based photographer,Enduring Power was previously exhibited at UC Davis.
RCNV is in the NEWS: We’re getting closer to our goal for our Building for the Future campaign!
RSVP now for the Design Unveiling, Sunday, July 19, 2015, 3:00-5:00, 612 Ocean St. to see our plans for revitalizing and renovating the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and learn how you can get involved.
Speak Out: A Zine Exploring Gendered Violence, is a new project by Resource Center for Nonviolence interns: graduate students Mary Mykhaylova and Julia Fogelson from Smith College is now available for purchase Online, for $3.00 each.
The zine is focused on gathered stories on “gendered violence,” a term that includes everything from violence against women to homophobic verbal or physical assaults.
“We want to raise consciousness,” said Mykhaylova, “but also give voice to those who have experienced gendered violence as a way of empowerment, and as a mechanism for educating people on the issue.”
See their website For more information
Sunday, July 19: You are INVITED: Design Unveiling- preview of the RCNV Building for the Future Renovation Project
See PDF: INVITATION 7.19.15 unveiling
IN BRIEF: You are INVITED to a Design Unveiling-a preview of the Resource Center for Nonviolence Building for the Future renovation project.
Time and Date: 3:00-5:00p.m., Sunday, July 19, 2015. Includes ice cream social, music and more: 831-423-1626.
Place: Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA (across from Hotel Paradox) Parking: 612 Ocean parking lot; overflow parking at the County Building lot.
RSVPs requested by July 12: 831.423.1626, email@example.com
YOU ARE INVITED: Special Invitation
to the Design Unveiling for the
Resource Center for Nonviolence:
Preview will Reveal Plans for a New Look
The Resource Center for Nonviolence is raising its profile! RCNV’s Building for the Future campaign is excited to share plans for improvements to its 50-year-old building that are coming this Fall.
Just confirmed: Michael and the Faster String Band will be performing! https://www.facebook.com/
We invite the community to join us for the Design Unveiling: a Preview of the New Design for the Resource Center for Nonviolence remodel by Nielsen Studios architects, on Sunday, July 19, 3:00 – 5:00p.m., at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. RSVP’s requested by July 12 for the event, which features an ice cream social, music and more: 831-423-1626, rcnv.org
Architect Christian Nielsen and designer Timerie Gordon will outline their designs for a lively and user-friendly community center for nonviolence. RCNV will present a glimpse into its future as a flexible and affordable hub for active local participation. The renovation will improve access for all, provide multiple meeting and performance accommodations for two to 200 people, and add a kitchen as well as art exhibit space.
More than 400 supporters have donated to the Resource Center’s “Building for the Future” campaign so far. The Center has $720,000 towards its goal of $900,000. The Resource Center seeks $140,000 more to fulfill remodel plans, and $40,000 to put solar power on the roof.
Ocean Street is primarily known for its motels and access to the beach for tourists. . The building at 612 Ocean Street was formerly a Christian Science church, built in 1963, and was vacant for two years before the Resource Center bought it in 2011.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence improvements will contribute to City of Santa Cruz plans to revitalize the Ocean Street corridor. This area has few locations for public and neighborhood gatherings. The renovation will provide affordable meeting and event space for the whole community. The Resource Center joins Encompass Community Services and the Paradox Hotel as community-oriented enterprises transforming the 600 block of Ocean Street.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence is re-purposing and reinventing an existing building, a project more environmentally sustainable than new construction. Already centrally located, these improvements will make RCNV a greater asset to the city of Santa Cruz.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) has been leading the Santa Cruz community and beyond for nearly 40 years. The Center has been at the forefront of major movements for justice, peace and social change and is known for galvanizing the power of the people. In times of crisis and opportunity, advocates for peace and justice locally, nationally and internationally look to the Resource Center for Nonviolence for leadership and constructive engagement for positive nonviolent change.
Since the move to the 612 Ocean building in 2011, RCNV has greatly expanded its collaboration with local community organizations: from the United Way to spiritual communities. Even in its current state, the building has been used for widely diverse uses by more than 100 different organizations, including film showings, memorial services, concerts, speakers, and workshops. The renovations will open possibilities for more varieties of uses by more people, and further develop RCNV’s core values as a community center, public forum, and training center where diverse groups and individuals address social problems by life-affirming, nonviolent means.
We invite all those who care about building community and uniting together to move toward a better future to join us on Sunday, July 19. RSVP’s requested by July 12: 831-423-1626, rcnv.org
What people are saying about the Resource Center for Nonviolence and the need for renovation of 612 Ocean St.:
“Architecturally, the building has its back to the community— which is the complete opposite of what the Resource Center for Nonviolence represents. Our goal is to design changes that bring attention to the building as the true community resource that it is.” — Christian Nielsen and Timerie Gordon, Nielsen Studios
“New energy flows through the Resource Center for Nonviolence. The Center hosts and collaborates with an amazing array of local groups and events. They are building the future of democratic activism and community engagement with this reinvented and renovated community center for nonviolence.” — Don Lane, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz
“The need is very clear. The Resource Center for Nonviolence facility was used for over 400 gatherings in 2014, including 60 different workshops, 42 public events, and over 6500 visits. Local people working for positive change deserve an updated, attractive and welcoming venue to work, meet, and join together to make our world a better place.” — Herb Schmidt, RCNV Building for the Future campaign committee
“The Resource Center for Nonviolence has been a great location for our United Way Speakers Bureau training events. We appreciate the collaboration and support RCNV has offered for justice issues in the county. The Resource Center is centrally located and near public transportation, which is important for our events. Once the remodel is completed, the facility will be even better resource for all. — Teela Williams, United Way of Santa Cruz County, and RCNV Steering Committee member.
“We love using the Resource Center for Nonviolence- it’s so centrally located: but the facility needs updating. We have managed to make-do with the existing space for Kids on Broadway productions, but we are excited that theBuilding for the Future renovation will make the space even better for local children’s theater and make it more accessible to the wider Santa Cruz community.” — April Burns, Kids on Broadway director and RCNV GI Rights Hotline counselor”
“We’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities for facility rentals because our building currently lacks a kitchen and private conference rooms. By providing improved and more flexible spaces for more kinds of uses, the renovation will more fully serve our community’s needs.” — Tom Monahan, RCNV Facilities Manager
“The Resource Center for Nonviolence was instrumental in our “Book to Action” kick-off event “Prison USA,” by offering their location and off-street parking lot. Because RCNV offered their facility for our use with short notice, our event, co-sponsored by thirteen local organizations, was a success. The Resource Center for Nonviolence is a vital resource for the Santa Cruz community.” — Mailé McGrew-Frede, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, and RCNV Steering Committee member
“We know the importance of a place for the community. This is a chance to reinvent the Resource Center for Nonviolence. Our improved facility will strengthen and sustain our work by providing ample room for a wide variety of uses.” — Scott Kennedy, co-founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and former Mayor of Santa Cruz
“We want to turn the Resource Center for Nonviolence into the “NextSpace of activism. We want to create a new generation of activists. We’re expanding our ideas of what nonviolence-in-action can be.” — Sandino Gomez, former Resource Center for Nonviolence staff member
The Nonviolent Palestinian Activists Working for Peace in the West Bank
May 3, 2015
By Batya Ungar Sargon.
Excerpts below. Link to FULL ARTICLE.
My silent guide was taking me to meet Issa Amro, his longtime mentor and the founder of Youth Against Settlements, a nonviolent movement in the heart of the West Bank city of Hebron…..
Amro is one of dozens of leaders across the West Bank and East Jerusalem who are using nonviolent tactics, civil disobedience, and direct action to challenge Israel’s occupation.
The work of these activists has gone nearly unrecognized, with most of the international media attention focusing on rockets launched from Gaza and the increasing dominance of the right wing in Israeli politics.
But for the past eight years, the group has been working to instill the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in the hearts of Hebron’s Palestinian youth, even if no one is watching.
Amro was a university student studying engineering when he first became aware of the power of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance. It was 2003, and the West Bank was deeply mired in the bloodshed of the Second Intifada. The Israeli army closed the University of Hebron and Palestine Polytechnic University, reportedly welding shut the doors and preventing students and faculty from entering.
Amro was part of a group of students who formed a committee in order to figure out how to restore their right to an education. They began to study other examples of nonviolence throughout history. They read about Ghandi, the South African anti-Apartheid movement, and Martin Luther King Junior. They read the works of Gene Sharp, and they protested. And eventually, Israel reopened the university.
The struggle left a lasting impression. “From that time, all my life is in this way,” Amro told me in the center in Tel Rumeida.
Though he has a full-time job working in development at the vocational training centers in Palestine, Amro has devoted every moment of his spare time—he estimates about 70 hours a week—to nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, with the belief that it is the most effective means of resistance….
It’s not easy cleaving to his values. Amro, who is known by name and face to many of Hebron’s soldiers, is frequently stopped. He remembers a time when the frequent detentions would infuriate him, and can still call up those feelings. “Sometimes I feel that I want to be exploded from inside,” he said. But his mission is about transformative power, a lesson he learned from other organizations and which he now passes on.
“We give training to our activists how to transform our power from negative to positive,” he explained.
Whereas once he would get angry at soldiers for detaining him, now he has a new tactic: He jokes with them, engaging them in conversation, about food, family, the weather, sex. “We embarrass them with personal interaction. We embarrass them by inviting them to eat,” he explained. When settlers insult him, Amro says “Thank you very much. It’s not good to say these things on Shabbat.”
Amro opened the center for Youth Against Settlements in 2007…..
Youth Against Settlements partners with Breaking the Silence to make videos, which are often used by Palestinian and Israeli media alike to report on the West Bank. On Fridays, international and Israeli delegations come to listen to Amro. He takes them on tours to increase awareness of the situation in Hebron, to show them Palestinians “as we are.” The center has a hotline, and provides support and lawyers for people who get arrested. Youth Against Settlements also offers Hebrew classes, leadership training, and film screenings.
Homes were falling into disrepair. Families couldn’t get basic services. So Amro organized a group of volunteers to go from house to house, family to family. Amro would assess the home, and others would paint, clean up the soldiers’ “leftovers,”—their shit—and fix what needed fixing. They would play with the children, and invariably, the families would invite them to eat, and relationships would develop. People began to ask after each other. The first family serviced joined the group, and went to the second family to help them.
In the beleaguered neighborhood of 250 families, Amro had fostered a community.
Next, he established a kindergarten. With hundreds of volunteers working in shifts, he restored another house. All the materials—including toys and batteries—were smuggled in through the graveyard, “as if we were smuggling guns,” Amro recalled. One person would watch the soldiers, another the settlers, and the group would sneak under the cloak of darkness into the house. They were sometimes caught, their materials confiscated. They started again. Eventually, Amro had his kindergarten.
“It’s the only public space created in 20 years,” he said proudly. “We control our kids’ education.” He teaches the children—there are 30 of them—about nonviolence. They have yoga on Mondays.
He has bigger plans ahead: He wants to convert an abandoned army factory into a cinema, and someday he’d like to be be minister of education for all of Palestine, where he would teach civil disobedience from the first to the tenth grade. Civil disobedience and the power of nonviolent resistance isn’t something that comes naturally, Amro says. You need training, and a culture of nonviolence that suffuses into schools and other places where young people congregate. Until his dream is realized, Amro goes from school to school in the West Bank, teaching kids not to throw stones, not to give soldiers and excuse to shoot.
From Rev. John Vaughn and Isaac Luria at Groundswell:
Our hearts beat for Baltimore this week as the city and the nation react to the horrific death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
While we’ve been sickened yet again by the interlocking plagues of poverty, inequality, racism, police brutality, and criminal injustice, we saw a video this week from the ground in Baltimore that raised our spirits:
At the height of the protests this week, hundreds of Baltimore clergy linked arms to stand between the militarized police and the protesters, telling a reporter:
“There has been a State of Emergency way before tonight in Baltimore City, an emergency in poverty, lack of jobs [and] disenfranchisement from the political process.”
We hope you’ll consider sharing the video as an example of the prophetic calling of our faith traditions to be on the front lines with the suffering, and to speak out and condemn injustice.
If you’re looking for more insight and inspiration, here are articles from faith leaders in Baltimore and around the country that help us mourn and chart a way forward.
MoveOn and ColorOfChange have collaborated to create a website that collects voices from on the ground in Baltimore. As they state, “Instead of relying on major news networks for news and commentary, MoveOn and ColorOfChange are teaming up to help amplify the voices of local activists, organizers, and residents.” Check it out here.
Rev. John Vaughn
Executive Vice President
Remembering Nan Fitch: Our condolences go out to family and friends of Nancy Fitch- she was a long-time supporter of RCNV and active member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal in Aptos. We will miss her!
Couple wages 60-year fight for rights of others
No violent thoughts, no violent words, no violent actions.
Good overview of a lot of nonviolence history in 12 1/2 minutes:
Executive Producer John Greene. Filmed in the Chad and Stacey Emgholz Studio, Indianapolis.