One of the main focuses of the Resource Center for Nonviolence is our numerous programs and their administration.
The Middle East Education and Awareness program is coordinated by Scott Kennedy and seeks to educate and inform the general public about people working for nonviolent solutions on all sides of the various middle east conflicts. Through speaking events from noted authors, activists, and academics as well as film screenings, discussion groups, and educational travel delegations to the middle east the program works in solidarity with numerous national and international groups involved on promoting a message of dignified nonviolence.
The GI Rights Counseling Team which meets weekly at RCNV is part of the larger national GI Rights Hotline project, a 1 800 number designed to quickly connect soldiers from all branches seeking assistance and answers with trained professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and PTSD counselors. In addition, the team assists soldiers who are questioning the legitimacy of war and their own role in the Military Industrial Oil Complex. This sometimes means even assisting them with filing the necessary paperwork for conscientious objector status. When people say “Support The Troops” we do more than talk the talk, we walk with them in the quest for their solutions!
Marciano Cruz is the coordinator of La Liga de la Communidad or Community Soccer League. Through his weekly meetings with coaches and players, Marciano passes the message and techniques of nonviolent conflict resolution and good sportsmanship to hundreds of league participants and spectators every week at the games. With over 30 adult teams divided into two divisions and 29 youth teams in various ages groups there’s a bit of something for everyone. The action is quick and skilled with games happening every weekend throughout the county. In addition to his work with the league, Marciano also has provided a free summer activities program for disadvantaged youth in the beach flats and downtown areas known as Kids Kamp. Activities include trips to local parks, bowling alleys, the Simpkins Swim Center pool and local beaches as well as art and music projects. Our goals are not only to safely have fun but also to learn about our local world, get some exercise, and build self confidence.
Sandino Gomez heads up the Youth Empowerment program and works with numerous youth activist groups in Santa Cruz County as well as closely with the GI Rights Counseling Team in counter recruitment and military education presentations in schools and community groups. He seeks to ally himself with youth led initiatives in local high schools and colleges for nonviolent social change and racial and economic justice. If you know a good youth led project or group working on peace and justice issues, please let him know or conversely, if you know a young person seeking to get involved with other like minded youth do please let him know and he’d be happy to help.
Immigrant Rights Watch is a newer program formed after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties in September of 2006. Our community was particularly impacted because of the arrest and deportation of several players and family members of our soccer league. In response we formed Immigrants Rights Watch to help inform our undocumented community members about their rights in the US and to document any future abuses of those rights if and when ICE returns to our community. We are part of the Migrawatch and Stop the Raids Coalitions here in Santa Cruz County along with numerous other non profits and NGO’s. In a broader ideological sense, we seek to reshape the debate surrounding immigration from one of nationalism, xenophobic scapegoating, fear, and even racist hatred to a more empathetic understanding that is full of compassion for all human beings regardless of national origins or other supposed differences.
Our New Society Bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 12 – 5 pm and is located downstairs at 515 Broadway in Santa Cruz near Ocean Street. Our store contains tons of books focused on equality and justice, stickers, buttons, yard signs, pamphlets, T shirts, posters, children’s books, fair trade items from Palestine, (olive oil, keffiyehs, pottery, spices), as well as a community bulletin board and a VHS and DVD lending library for use by donation. In addition our upstairs meeting space is available for social justice and community groups to use for meetings or events such as film showings, guest lecturers, intimate concerts, dinners, benefits or fund raisers. Please contact Barbara to arrange use of the space.
Please click on the links to the right side of our website for more info about each program.