Posts Tagged ‘teny gross’

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence is an outstanding Providence nonprofit that takes a holistic approach to ending violence in poor communities.

On Thursday, I went to an open house and barbecue organized by the students in the Institute’s work program, and was mightily impressed. I shook hands with Mayor Jorge Elorza and chatted at some length with Chief of Police Hugh Clements and the Institute’s executive director, Teny Gross. Not to mention the retired priest who was a founding member, the youth themselves, and the dedicated staff. I heard some pretty inspiring stories!

The young organizers provided a tour of their headquarters, a lovely converted convent on Oxford St.

It was a great event. But here is something sad. In the five years since I visited the Institute’s old quarters, the vagaries of funding sources have forced cutbacks. They no longer have 17 streetworkers turning youth from violence toward work and better lives. They can afford only four. It seems a shame when the need is still significant.

The Institute is advertising for a development director, and they sure need a way to get more support. A big endowment to protect the work from shifts in the winds would be ideal. Read more here.

By the way, Teny Gross has been called to teach nonviolence techniques around the nation and world. He has received many acknowledgments for his success. An unusual honor this month gave him one of his proudest moments. It relates to a George Washington letter about religious tolerance.

“225 years ago, George Washington wrote a letter ‘To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport,’ which is now known as the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. To mark the historic importance of the letter, the congregation and the Touro Synagogue Foundation conduct an annual ‘Letter Reading,’ around the time that the letter was sent. The setting is the beautifully restored Touro Synagogue, built in 1763.

“The letter was only four paragraphs long, but they were four powerful and significant paragraphs and they are regarded as critical in the history of the Jewish people in the Colonial United States.  The letter reading evolved into today’s two hour event filled with greetings from dignitaries, announcements of scholarships and an award to Teny Gross, leader in the Institute for the Study of the Practice of Nonviolence.”

Goes to show that teaching nonviolence can spread out in many unexpected ripples.

Read the details here.

Photo: Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence

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Teny Gross tweeted this nice story from the Brown University alumni magazine.

Courtney Coelho wrote, “On a snowy December evening, lights were visible through the second-floor windows of List Art Center as the visual arts department’s Critique Intensive held its last session. Mixed with the students in the large studio space were four working artists—Elise Ansel ’84, Chitra Ganesh ’96, Keith Mayerson ’88, and Rob Reynolds ’90—who’d spent sixteen weeks with the class, teaching, critiquing, and discussing art.

“The class was the brainchild of Chair of Visual Art Wendy Edwards, who hopes it will serve as a model for future classes. ‘Alumni bring a generosity to their approach to the Brown students,’ Edwards said. ‘They love coming back here, they love giving, and they’re very professional and committed to helping our students.’ ” More here.

Speaking of art education in Providence, RISD just got a new president, an artisan herself. Meredith Goldstein at the Boston Globe writes, “The Rhode Island School of Design has chosen its 17th president. Rosanne Somerson takes the title effective immediately, the Board of Trustees announced [in February]. Somerson, a RISD grad and furniture designer, has been serving as the school’s interim president since January 2014. The board says it chose to keep Somerson in the job after a nine-month international search.”

The Globe article is here. Disegno magazine has an interview with Somerson, here.

Photo: Mike Cohea
Rose Congdon ’15, left, and her classmates critique work created for the visual art department’s Critique Intensive, a class taught by four alumni artists last semester. 

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