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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies offers training institute

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KINGSTON, R.I. --June 17, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies is offering a three-week institute this summer for anyone struggling to make sense of the violence in the world, in their neighborhood, in their family or themselves. The program runs from July 5 through July 23.

“Individuals, families, communities and nations routinely use force and violence to achieve their ends. Those conflicts and confrontations often devolve into tests of strength and unbridled power,” said Bernard LaFayette, distinguished scholar-in-residence at the University of Rhode Island who directs the nonviolence center. “At the institute, participants will be asked to consider ‘a force more powerful’ – the active, moral force of nonviolence. The goal is to manage conflict in a way, that avoids the destructive aftermath of recrimination and retaliation.”

Seventeen people are already enrolled in the institute designed to put their natural affinity for nonviolence into a philosophical and practical framework. The participants range in age, occupation, and ethnicity. An American doctoral student studying in Dublin, Ireland, a retired Rhode Island social worker, and a minister from Tennessee are among the participants. While the class is nearly full, a few openings remain.

LaFayette, a friend and confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., will be the main facilitator. He will be joined by Charles Alphin, retired captain of the St. Louis Police Department, formerly with the King Center in Atlanta, Ga. and Rich Tarlian, retired captain from the Providence Police Department.

The daytime training will occur on URI’s Kingston campus, with practicum experience occurring off-campus. Optional evening programming will be made available. Although the training will be intensive, recreational events are included. Residential housing is available for an additional fee.

Participants will leave the campus as certified trainers in nonviolence prepared to take leadership roles in creating a nonviolence center in their local community.

The cost to attend the institute is $500. For more information, contact Lisa Lombardo at 401-440-9842 or click on www.uri.edu/nonviolence.