KINGSTON, R.I. – June 12, 2017 – Activists, scholars, clergy and students will gather at the University of Rhode Island this week to talk about how to resolve conflicts peacefully.
Men and women from 17 American states and 15 countries will attend the 18th annual International Nonviolence Summer Institute sponsored by URI’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies.
Among those attending are activists from the United Kingdom, Pakistan, the Congo and Venezuela; a Colombian businessman; a lecturer at the University of Chicago who teaches nonviolence to young people in Chicago; a Tibetan political refugee; a human rights officer from Liberia; and an agricultural expert from Haiti.
Bernard Lafayette, Jr., a friend and confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will lead some sessions. Lafayette is a civil rights activist, minister, educator, lecturer and an authority on nonviolent change.
The institute certifies participants as trainers in the principles and practices of nonviolent conflict reconciliation. The daylong classes are held at the Multicultural Student Services Center, 74 Lower College Road, on the Kingston campus. For details visit: http://web.uri.edu/nonviolencesummerinstitute. Evening programs are open to the public.
“Our participants are studying a unique American-brand of social activism to deal with conflicts in their world,” says Paul Bueno de Mesquita, center director and a URI psychology professor. “They are hungry—and some are desperate—to bring nonviolence methods to change their communities. People can’t thrive and develop without peace. The sessions are not passive learning. People are actively engaged in intensive training activities, all day, every day. Nonviolence is an active process.”
The International Nonviolence Summer Institute has grown steadily since it started 18 years ago, attracting leaders committed to nonviolence, conflict reconciliation and social change.
There are two levels of training. In Level l, participants study the nonviolent methods of King. In Level II, participants study the leadership styles of King and other nonviolent leaders and explore how to organize and mobilize communities to peacefully resolve violence and social justice issues.
In addition to Bueno de Mesquita and Lafayette, the other trainers are Kay Johnson Bueno de Mesquita, an education instructor at URI; Gail Faris, former assistant director at the URI Women’s Center; Thupten Tendhar, a graduate administrative assistant at the center; and Kazu Haga, founder of East Point Peace Academy in Oakland, Calif.
To make coverage arrangements, please call URI’s Office of Marketing and Communications at 401-874-2116.