Resource Center for Nonviolence History

Table of Contents: RCNV History

A History of the Resource Center for Nonviolence:

Grassroots Community, Emancipatory Internationalism, and Long Haul Commitment to Nonviolence and Antiracism

The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) was founded in 1976, on Awaswas Amah Mutsun unceded lands of Santa Cruz, California, by a dozen young people who wanted an organization and a place to advocate for nonviolent social change.

Those who co-founded the RCNV were white university graduates, women and men in their 20’s, seeking to live a counter cultural response to institutional violence. They grounded themselves in multiracial movements for liberation in India and the U.S. They supported People of Color liberation movements in Palestine, Vietnam, Latin America, South Africa, and the United States. They sacrificed reputations, careers, conformity to peers, jail time, and economic stability to serve the sanctity of life and dignity of all people in an experimental organization that has been changing ever since. 

Some of the co-founders had met in a reading group of Eknath Easwaran’s “Gandhi the Man,” at the Thomas Merton Unity Center in Isla Vista, CA in 1972, and formed an intentional community devoted to nonviolence there. Eight members of the Thomas Merton Community moved to Santa Cruz in 1975, continuing as the Redwood Nonviolence Community. 

They learned from movement mentors that mass protests alone cannot sustain fundamental change. Physical centers and intentional communities enable people to dig in for the long haul. Grassroots centers support personal growth in nonviolence practices, shared analysis of our roles in systemic violence, mutual accountability for changing life practices, and a place for many communities to organize action for peace and justice.

1976: RCNV cofounders retreat at UCSC Farm and Garden. The first RCNV staff members were Scott Kennedy, lower center, and Diane Thomas, immediate left of baby Peter Kennedy. Long time board members Peter Klotz-Chamberlin and Tom Helman are standing on the right

Santa Cruz County activism

RCNV co-founders built upon local peace and justice activism already rooted in Santa Cruz County. Quakers Ellie and Herb Foster led Vietnam War protests on the downtown Post Office steps beginning in 1960. UCSC students organized mass anti-war protests beginning in 1966. The NAACP, United Farm Workers Union, and the Black Panther Party organized in Santa Cruz County in the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1975 members of the Redwood Community and other local organizers supported the national War Resisters League Continental Walk for Disarmament and Social Justice, where activists walked from Ukiah, CA, through Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and across the continent to Washington, DC., promoting connections between racial and economic justice and military disarmament. 

RCNV Ancestor: Institute for the Study of Nonviolence

In 1975 Scott Kennedy joined the staff of the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in Palo Alto, directed by Joan Baez, Ira Sandperl and Lee Swenson. The Institute closed in 1976. The Resource Center for Nonviolence was founded in Santa Cruz in June, 1976, by Scott Kennedy, Institute co-worker Diane Thomas, Redwood Nonviolence Community members Tom Helman, Peter Klotz-Chamberlin, Liz Klotz-Chamberlin, Kris Kennedy, Alice Cato, and Faith Whitmore, and Santa Cruz activists Catherine Lowe and Snow Mountain. 

Folksinger Joan Baez pledged $900 a month for 3 years to support Scott and Diane Thomas as part-time staff members. UCSC professors Page Smith and Paul Lee offered desks in the downtown Santa Cruz office of the William James Association. Volunteers, interns, and individual donors combined to support the organization. Soon Scott and Diane split their salaries to bring the first intern from UCSC, Jane Weed, onto the staff, with each earning $300 per month. Scott Kennedy brought practical organizational skills from his family’s small business, and his thirst to learn from many mentors.

The Center received the Roy C. Kepler Nonviolence Library from the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the Basement Roots Library from the Santa Cruz nonviolence collective. Ira Sandperl led the first “Conversations in Nonviolence” in San Lorenzo Park. Priest, poet and civil disobedience activist Daniel Berrigan was the first resident mentor, followed by Wally and Juanita Nelson, black counter-cultural war tax resisters from the Community for Nonviolent Action in New England.

1977: Radical Catholic resister, priest and poet Father Dan Berrigan leads “Conversations in Nonviolence” in San Lorenzo Park

First RCNV home at 515 Broadway

The Resource Center purchased a house at 515 Broadway in 1977, with $20,000 in down payment funds from the closed Institute for the Study of Nonviolence. RCNV raised donations and no-interest loans and applied do- it-yourself labor and frugal spending to create its offices by adding a second story. They had the house lifted and they constructed offices on the new first floor. RCNV purchased a barracks at the Ft. Ord Army base. Volunteers and staff dismantled the barracks, and transported lumber, siding, and windows in Darrell Darling’s truck to the new Resource Center for Nonviolence, then did much of the carpentry, sheetrocking, painting, and wiring to literally transform swords into plowshares.

1977: RCNV volunteers dismantle a barracks at Fort Ord, arranged with contractor Eric Stolzberg at no cost. Wood and windows were used to construct the remodel of 515 Broadway. “From Swords to Plowshares!”
The house at 515 Broadway is lifted high by Fresno House Movers to construct RCNV offices on the new bottom floor, with meetings in the large living room upstairs
515 Broadway, RCNV’s home from 1977 through 2011

In the early 1980’s, RCNV purchased the house nextdoor at 511 Broadway, and it was rented to a progressive Christian ministry at UCSC, then a series of intentional communities and programs supporting peace and justice, including an anti-racist community in the 2000’s, the first generation of the local international hostel, and a household for UCSC Dreamers in 2013-2016.

In the first 30 years, RCNV created minimal stipends for part time work, and some staff members raised financial support from their friends and families. Many lived in cooperative households and paid rents of $100 and $200 a month. All staff were paid the same living-but-minimal wage for half time work for most of RCNV’s history. Anita Heckman came to RCNV as a volunteer in 1981, joined the staff as a graphic designer and later administrative coordinator, becoming the longest tenured staff member. Phil McManus, Deena Hurwitz, Kimlin McDaniel, Betsy Fairbanks, Darrell Darling, and Ian Thiermann started as core volunteers in the first years. Doug and Matilde Rand came as volunteers in the early 1980’s and Doug became RCNV’s office and volunteer coordinator for 16 years.

Roots in Multinational Movements for Liberation

While they inherited assets and mentorship from the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, the young activists drew inspiration and skills from multiracial movements for liberation — from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and what John Lewis named the Nonviolent Movement for America of the 1950s and 60s, from draft resisters and christian radicals who sacrificed years in prison for nonviolent resistance to the Vietnam war and resistance to nuclear weapons threatening the planet, and from union organizers in the United Farm Workers movement. They learned from Latin American liberation theology, Base Communities, cultural revolutionary Paulo Friere (Pedagogy of the Oppressed), and human rights activists in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico. They partnered with Palestinians using nonviolence to seek emancipation from Israeli military occupation. RCNV staff and volunteers sought out activists and trainers from the War Resisters League, Movement for a New Society, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Modesto Peace Life Center, Catholic Worker and Christian resistance communities, Quaker groups, and successful anti-nuclear movements in New England and Germany. 

Support for Nonviolent Action

As RCNV developed, staff and volunteers were committed to nonviolent action as well as education. Staff supported volunteer action groups that were independent of RCNV, providing training, organizing expertise, and a place to meet. RCNV created spin offs, took in fiscal sponsorships, and worked actively with other organizations.

RCNV staff and volunteers served as organizers and trainers for People for a Nuclear Free Future (PNFF) in Santa Cruz. Outside RCNV, many were active in the statewide Abalone Alliance campaign seeking to prevent nuclear power plant construction. RCNV staff and volunteers conducted nonviolent action trainings and took part in civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. PNFF members joined the national Stop Trident/ Convert Lockheed campaigns of education, weekly vigils, and civil disobedience, seeking to stop production of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. In 1980 PNFF organizers, led by Dan Haifley, Jane Weed Pomerantz, and Peter Klotz-Chamberlin, qualified a Santa Cruz County ballot initiative to prohibit the manufacture of nuclear missile parts at Lockheed on Empire Grade Road and elsewhere, and achieved 40% of the vote in the County.

1977: RCNV staff and volunteers conducted nonviolent action trainings and, as members of People for a Nuclear Free Future, took part in civil disobedience at the Bangor, Washington Trident nuclear submarine base in 1977 (above), and at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant near San Luis Obispo, CA in 1978.

Ian and Eric Thiermann brought The Last Epidemic film project about the threat of nuclear annihilation into RCNV as a national education project in 1980. In 1982 Peter Klotz-Chamberlin joined a Fellowship of Reconciliation peace journey to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Peter and Tom Helman joined with Patricia Schroeder to initiate the City of Santa Cruz Sister City relationship with Alushta, Crimea. In 1987, former RCNV intern Jane Weed Pomerantz, then Mayor of Santa Cruz, led the first city delegation to visit Alushta.

In the late 1970’s RCNV, through its 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Humanitas Foundation, supported Joan Baez in operating the Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, contributing to human rights organizers in Argentina, Mexico, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. Later the human rights committee formed its own nonprofit with the Humanitas name, and RCNV’s nonprofit was renamed the Eschaton Foundation.

In 1979 UCSC’s Coalition Against Institutional Racism (CAIR) organized 1000 demonstrators to demand that the University of California divest from South Africa’s Apartheid regime. In early 1980’s Peter Klotz-Chamberlin, Mike Rotkin and others in RCNV and Santa Cruz joined in a civil disobedience at the UCSC administration building demanding UC Divestment from South Africa. 

Palestinian Liberation Advocacy

Cofounder Scott Kennedy joined with Jewish activist Allan Solomonow in 1975 to lead a delegation of US Jews and Christians to meet Palestinian nonviolent activists Mubarak Awad and Zougbi Zoughbi and others. In RCNV, Scott Kennedy, Deena Hurwitz, Darrell Darling, Herb Schmidt, and many volunteers worked on education about the Israeli occupation, hosting Palestinian and Israeli speakers and films, speaking in local schools, and working in national and multinational organizations for an end to Israeli Occupation and creation of a Palestinian nationstate. Scott and RCNV were among the first North American progressives to voice the two-state solution sought by Palestinians in the 1970s and 80s. Scott cultivated many relationships with Palestinian civil society leaders who continue to work with US peace and solidarity groups for Palestinian rights and changes in U.S. policy to stop funding the Israeli occupation.

Scott led 40 delegations of North Americans to support Palestinian human rights from 1975 to 2011, through RCNV and the national Fellowship of Reconciliation, American Friends Service Committee, and the organization he co-founded, Interfaith Peace Builders, now named Eyewitness Palestine.

2007: Scott Kennedy in the occupied West Bank with Palestinians during an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation, one of 40 he led to Palestine and Israel

From 1976 to 2020, RCNV brought key Israeli and Palestinian leaders to Santa Cruz including Israeli general Matti Peled, his son Miko Peled, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to the US Safia, American Jewish Israeli critics Norman Finkelstein and Mark Ellis, Israelis Nomika Zion and Jeff Halper, and Palestinians Mubarak Awad and Zoughbi Zoughbi–Zoughbi visited again in September, 2020 via zoom. In 2008 RCNV co-organized a forum at Temple Beth El with Congress member Sam Farr seeking his explicit support for a Palestinian State, and publicizing the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Scott Kennedy also trained activists in the Peace Flotilla seeking to break the Siege of Gaza in 2008 and 2011. 

In 2016 RCNV and Peace United Church co-hosted a conference on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of the Israeli Occupation with Friends of Sabeel North America, presenting Palestinian, Israeli and Palestinian-American speakers. In 2018 RCNV’s Palestine Justice Coalition initiated a delegation of 7 Congressional aides to visit Palestine and Israel and learn about the Occupation first hand, with Rebuilding Alliance. PJC supported Tom Helman and Peter Klotz-Chamberlin to accompany the delegation.

May 2021: The Palestine Justice Coalition demonstration when Israel was bombing Gaza, killing 65 children. RCNV has supported Palestinian rights actively since its founding

Latin American Liberation Support

Scott Kennedy, UCSC Latin American History professor David Sweet, and volunteer Phil McManus organized the national Witness for Peace in Nicaragua in the early 1980’s. Witness for Peace brought North American peace intervenors to accompany Nicaraguan human rights workers in 6 month terms of service, during the US financed Contra war against the legitimately elected progressive anti-imperialist government of Nicaragua. US volunteers applied their American privilege to protect Nicaraguan community organizers when the US government was funding armed “Contra” guerilla warriors in the country.

Phil McManus continued out of RCNV to develop key relationships with indigenous and nonviolent human rights activists in many countries of Latin America through the Servicio Paz y Justicia network, and through Liberation theology and “Base Community” movements. Phil continued this work through the Appleton Foundation and Fund for Nonviolence, both based in Santa Cruz. John Lindsay-Poland worked at RCNV with Fellowship of Reconciliation funding to staff FOR’s Task Force on Latin America. Judy Bloomgardner organized a campaign in solidarity with Brazilians resisting oppressive World Bank lending practices. In the 1990’s RCNV staff member Peter Lumsdaine led delegations to learn from Zapatistas organizers in Chiapas, Mexico. Also in the 1990’s Rev. Sharon Delgado organized funding from local churches to support her community organizing against the World Trade Organization for its predatory lending practices that produce poverty in Latin America and Africa. 

Anti-war and anti-militarism organizing

From 1980 until 2016, the GI Rights Collective worked out of RCNV. Connected with the national movement to support Conscientious Objectors, members counselled people refusing to register with the Selective Service agency, and those seeking to leave military service. This team spoke in schools for counter-recruitment and participated in a national hotline for military troops seeking counselling for their difficulties in military service. April Burns, Carl Stancil, Bob Fitch, Joe Williams, Doug Rand, Don Larkin, and Kit Anderton were core members.

In 1992, local mobilized resistance to the Iraq war was organized by volunteers out of the RCNV office. Staff member Doug Rand and volunteer April Burns counseled military resisters from that war, including Marine resister Erik Larsen and soldies Aaron Ahern and Aimee Allison, assisting them in leaving the military.  Aimee Allison became the Founder and President of She the People, a national network elevating the political power of women of color. Aimee is the President of Democracy in Color. Erik Larsen moved into 515 Broadway and began organizing in the lower Ocean neighborhood vs. slumlords and for community safety and community policing, co-founding Neighbors of Lower Ocean. RCNV facilitated a grant through the Santa Cruz Police Department to fund Zelda Pusey, an AmericaCorp organizer, to support community policing, a program that brought many conflicting views within and outside RCNV, concerning the question of RCNV using funds from police to support reforms for community policing.

Bob Fitch, known nationally as prominent photojournalist for Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights and farmworkers movements, joined the staff as volunteer coordinator in the 1990’s. Bob joined with local organizers on Living Wage campaigns and the GI Rights Hotline. 

2004: RCNV GI Rights team Bob Fitch, Joe Williams, April Burns, and Carl Stancil with national Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors staff Teresa Panepinto (2nd from left)

Latinx community partnerships

Throughout its history, RCNV has supported organizing in Santa Cruz County for the emancipation of immigrants and farm workers. RCNV staff joined in boycott and strike support of lettuce and grape farmworkers in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. In the 1980’s RCNV worked with Watsonville union organizers to support the cannery worker’s strike, seeking better wages and prevention of jobs taken out of the US. Local activist academics Dr. Ann Lopez and Frank Bardacke have documented the crucial role immigrants in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties have played for union rights and well being of those who pick and process our food, many of whom continue to be immigrants without rights to citizenship.

1990: Cesar and Helen Chavez with RCNV and Eschaton staff. Left to Right: Doug Rand, Helen Chavez, Betsy Fairbanks, Anita Heckman, Sandy Sweitzer, Cesar Chavez, Scott Kennedy, Shelley D’Amour

Marciano Cruz brought the La Liga de la Comunidad soccer program to RCNV in the 1990’s and first decade of the 2000’s. La Liga is organized as community for immigrants, at its peak including 800 men, women and children in local teams. Marciano organized league seasons, tournaments, and community meetings for coaches and players.

Marciano Cruz organized La Liga de la Comunidad soccer programs through RCNV from 1992 through 2012

In 2005 and 6 Latinx-led immigrant movements rose up in California and the Central Coast. RCNV staff member Marciano Cruz led thousands from Beach Flats to the Benchlands by the County building in the “Day Without an Immigrant” rallies for immigrant rights. Fernando Suarez del Solar and Pablo Paredes were supported actively by RCNV in their Latino march against the Iraq war, walking the length of California, including thousands as it passed through Watsonville.

2006 Guerrero Azteca Tijuana-to-San Francisco march with Fernando Suarez del Solar, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes in Watsonville

Youth Empowerment

RCNV initiated programs focused on empowering young people beginning in the 1990’s when its co-founders were no longer young. Jasmine Schlafke and Edenilson Quintanilla were successive staff members working with youth, along with Marciano Cruz. Sandino Gomez joined the staff from his experience in the Watsonville Brown Berets in 2004, and worked 9 years as Youth Empowerment Coordinator. Irene O’Connell, Jay Bhukhan, Sarah Durant, and Cipi Espaldon, continued RCNV mentorship of youth activists from 2013 to 2020. Drew Glover joined the staff in 2016 as volunteer coordinator and youth mentor. Drew organized People of Color potlucks, film nights and antiracism programs with young activists, and cultivated interns in organizing the Santa Cruz County Poor People’s Campaign.

Nonviolence and Antiracism Trainings

RCNV has hosted and conducted nonviolent action, antiracism, and community organizing trainings throughout its history. Rev. James Lawson, lead trainer for civil disobedience in the civil rights movement trained RCNV volunteers. In the 1990’s RCNV partnered with Barrios Unidos and Mexican organizations to conduct United for Change, 10 day training and immersion, including visits to organizers on the Mexico border. Scott Kennedy trained volunteers for Witness for Peace, and later for volunteers in peace flotillas seeking to break the Israeli military blockade of Gaza. Joan Marsh and Barbara Hayes brought the Engage nonviolence training program from Pace e Bene. Drew Glover was certified by civil rights icon Dr. Bernard Lafayette in Kingian Nonviolence and led Kingian Nonviolence trainings at RCNV and cultural exchange delegations to Selma, Alabama. Drew conducted an afterschool Kingian Nonviolence program at a local high school.

Drew Glover and Karren Morrer co-facilitated Kingian Nonviolence Trainings in RCNV

Peter Klotz-Chamberlin partnered with Kazu Haga of East Point Peace Academy, Sarah Thompson, then of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Joanne Sheehan of the War Resisters League, Nadine Bloch of Beautiful Trouble and Sharon Lungo of the Ruckus Society to convene a national nonviolent action trainers network gathering in 2018. The team organized a conference at Ben Lomond Quaker Center in April, 2018 with 30 nonviolent action trainers from 20 different movements, including Cosecha, Momentum, Movement for Black Lives, Nonviolence International, and If Not Now.

RCNV hosted the United We Dream Summer of Dreams three-week training program led by Gabriela Cruz and her team in July, 2019.

Antiracism Partnerships

The Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome Racism was founded in the early 2000’s by Simba Kenyatta, Tony Madrigal and others. With Mavel Armijo and Tomas Alejo, they brought SCCCCOR to RCNV for fiscal sponsorship and collaboration for local anti-racism training and education. SCCCCOR trained in schools, nonprofits, companies, and government organizations. In 2014 RCNV joined with the Santa Cruz Public Library to host the film “Race: Power of an Illusion,” and discussion, in response to the Ferguson police killing of Michael Brown. In 2018 and 2019 SCCCCOR trainers Alain Desouches, Leslie Potenzo, Silvia Morales, Marvel Armijo, and Simba Kenyatta trained more than 100 RCNV volunteers and allies in antiracism.

December 2014, National Day of Protest Against Police Violence, Santa Cruz. RCNV staff member Irene O’Connell co-organized the protest

Strong partnerships in 2018 and 2019 included the Unapologetically Black Art Show, The Radical Zine, Muslim Solidarity Group, and Friends of Juristac, and continued cosponsorship of MLK Youth Day with the NAACP, and hosting NAACP Gospel Night.

RCNV has supported the NAACP in organizing the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Day since 2013

2019-2020: Karren Morrer’s art was featured in the Unapologetically Black Art Show

In 2019 RCNV staff member Peter Klotz-Chamberlin partnered with NAACP President Brenda Griffin and Diversity Center staff member Deanna Zachary in co-organizing the Racial Equity Trainers Network (RETN) with leaders from SCCCCOR, Temple Beth El, Nonviolent Communication, and others. The network supported an LGBT antiracism conference and organized book circles with discussing White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, RCNV continued to organize antiracism book circles and cultivate a community of antiracism co-facilitators with trainings by Enid Lee, Muna AlSheikh, and Bhavananda Lodkey.

Pivotal Year: 2011

Scott Kennedy, RCNV co-founder, visionary and organizational leader, died in November 19, 2011, two weeks after returning from Palestine/Israel, and two months after celebrating RCNV and Eschaton Foundation purchase of its facilities at 612 Ocean Street.

In the early 2000’s Scott Kennedy and Darrell Darling led the staff and steering committee in identifying the need for RCNV to move from its house on Broadway to a larger and more accessible facility, to build a stronger base for nonviolent activism for generations to come.

2011: RCNV and Eschaton Foundation purchased a former church at 612 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz. Supporters marched from 515 Broadway to 612 Ocean in September, 2011
The RCNV building after renovations

In September, 2011 the Eschaton Foundation purchased a former church property at 612 Ocean Street. Scott Kennedy died November 19, 2011, weeks after RCNV moved to its new home. Scott was a tremendously gifted community organizer, visionary for nonviolence, national leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, successful fundraiser, and a prominent public voice for RCNV. After his death, RCNV engaged in a listening process to hear from volunteers, supporters and allies, and invite them in to build the next generation of RCNV. Peter Klotz-Chamberlin moved from the steering committee to staff, serving with Anita Heckman, Sandino Gomez, Marciano Cruz, and Tom Monahan.

RCNV organized a capital campaign, led by Ellen Murtha and Herb Schmidt, to remake 612 Ocean Street into a community center. Nielsen Studios designed, Buck Bliden led construction, Anita Heckman chose finishes, Tom Helman managed the budget, Peter Klotz-Chamberlin managed contractors and volunteers and led the electrical work. A new kitchen, accessible entrance and bathrooms, and fresh layout provide meeting and event spaces serving community groups and nonprofits. The purchase and renovation were made possible by RCNV sale of 515 Broadway, a substantial lead gift by an RCNV volunteer, a bequest by radical Christian theologian William Stringfellow, tributes to Scott Kennedy, a concert by Joan Baez, and more than 1,000 individual donations.

2014: Joan Baez performed a benefit concert that supported the remodel of 612 Ocean Street: Staff, Capital Campaign Committee and friends with Tammi Brown (front left), Joan Baez (red scarf) and County Supervisor John Leopold. Photo by Bob Fitch

The purchase and remodel of 612 Ocean Street created a major change for RCNV. In 2019, 100 different community groups and nonprofit organizations rented the RCNV for public forums, music performances, small and large meetings, study groups, and trainings. RCNV is recognized as a dynamic home for many communities’ cultural events and social change projects.

Landscaping was installed by many volunteers, including this crew led by Liz Klotz-Chamberlin (lower left). Staff members Anita Heckman, Sandino Gomez, and Peter Klotz-Chamberlin dug in also

During five years of fundraising and construction the Center continued to conduct nonviolence education and training programs, and welcome community groups to use and rent the new facilities. Staff member Irene Juarez O’Connell led cooperative painting of Dr. Martin Luther King, displayed on the stage of Scott Kennedy Hall. In 2017 family and friends of John McDaniel Keith donated the John Keith Solar System to make RCNV carbon neutral.

Peter Klotz-Chamberlin, Tom Monahan, and Tom Helman did the remodel wiring for the current RCNV location

In 2011, When RCNV moved to 612 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, it invited the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch to conduct its annual Gospel Night in Scott Kennedy Hall. Soon the NAACP and RCNV collaborated in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Day Celebrations in the RCNV parking lot–and inside one year when it rained. RCNV participated in the NAACP in Dr. Martin Luther King marches for the dream since they began in 2016.

When the remodel was completed in 2017 Anita Heckman initiated Art of Nonviolence exhibits, including work by SC Main Jail inmates, Latinx print-makers, a Black Lives in Santa Cruz photo exhibit, Palestinian art, Marciano Cruz’ surfboard art, historic civil rights and farm worker movement photos by Bob Fitch, and local environmental and justice art in collaboration with Artists Respond and Resist Together.

Organization Changes

In 2019, the RCNV formally expanded the role of the Eschaton Foundation Board of Directors to manage the program and organization of the Resource Center for Nonviolence as well. They established strategic goals under the leadership of Board President Jorge Mendez.

2019 RCNV Annual Dinner. RCNV Staff and Steering Committee with featured speaker Enid Lee. Left to Right, Rear: Tom Monahan, Steve Schnaar, Joe Williams, Drew Glover, Peter Klotz-Chamberlin. Front: Darrell Darling, Jorge Mendez, Silvia Morales, Enid Lee, Anita Heckman

In February, 2020, RCNV/Eschaton hired its first full time Executive Director, Silvia Morales. Silvia brings a rich background in antiracism experience and training, and vision for the twinning of nonviolence and antiracism. She also brings a legal background and organizational skills to work with the Board in transitioning the organization to careful stewardship of its fiscal sponsorships, property management, and role as a nonprofit organization.

Silvia organized transition of RCNV programs onto online platforms when the nation entered Shelter-in-Place in March, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April, 2020, Dr. Paul Ortiz, volunteered to lead an online seminar on his groundbreaking revisioned history, “An African American and Latinx History of the United States.” This seminar instantly became a foundation for RCNV’s online curriculum.

The history of RCNV is still being made. During 45 years, these have been RCNV values, practiced imperfectly, still guiding us.
  • Learn nonviolence and antiracism from others 
  • Practice nonviolence and antiracism
  • Be a multiracial organization
  • Center liberation movements of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, Islander People of Color
  • Include volunteers in all aspects of running the center
  • Appreciate and rely on individual donors
  • Independence–do it ourselves/own it ourselves
  • Celebrate community
  • Serve many communities
  • Highlight marginalized voices
  • Art and Music are essential parts of who we are
  • Learn from activists in struggles all over the globe who contribute what Dr. Paul Ortiz names “Emancipatory Internationalism” 
  • Partner with others in Santa Cruz County, the Bay Area, the nation, and other countries
  • Reflect, hear criticism, continually change ourselves and our organization
  • Embrace many definitions of nonviolence
  • Create a lively culture of antiracism, nonviolence and Beloved Community.
Watsonville march for peace and justice, 2006, photo by Bob Fitch, Stanford Library Archives

Addendum: RCNV Staff Members since 1976

In approximate chronological order: Scott Kennedy, Diane Thomas, Jane Weed, Phil McManus, Peter Klotz-Chamberlin, Betsy Fairbanks, Anita Heckman, Deena Hurwitz, Dan Dickmeier, Doug Rand, Judy Bloomgardner, Birdie Hunter, Jean Peterson, Shelly D’Amour, Brittany Boden, Nanlouise Wolfe, Rosalie Pizzo-Strain, Marciano Cruz, Erik Larsen, Lynn Zachreson, Arturo Lopez, Peter Lumsdaine, Bob Fitch, Jazmine Schlafke, Edenilson Quintanilla, Zelda Pusey, Jacob Pace, Carol Aldis, Sherry Delgado, Barbara Hayes, Woody Wood, Sandino Gomez, Tom Monahan, Cai Carvalhaes, Candace Laning, Irene Juárez O’Connell, Jay Bhukhan, Sarah Durant, Drew Glover, Cipi Espaldon, Silvia Morales, Amanda Harris Altice. 

Eschaton Foundation staff since 1976: Scott Kennedy, Betsy Fairbanks, Tom Helman, Silvia Morales

From the archives; A list of RCNV programs from 1976–1985

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