View Quadangles Print Version →


Read Class Notes Online →





Past Issues →




subscribeOnline picture



Advertise with Us →



Bookmark and Share



subscribeOnline picture RSS feed


Jonathan L. Lewis ’00 Social Activist

Nonviolence now: It’s a message Jonathan L. Lewis is tirelessly advocating.

Lewis is the national nonviolence coordinator for The Gathering for Justice, an organization working to end juvenile injustice—the incarceration of youths tried and convicted as adults. The Gathering has a three-pronged approach: to organize conferences to teach (Martin Luther) Kingian Nonviolence Education, to coordinate efforts with existing social action groups, and to support state- and national policy initiatives fighting juvenile injustice.

Lewis, a URI graduate student whose undergraduate work is in human development and African-American history, conducted a Gathering at the University this past July. Students from North Kingstown, South Kingstown, and Central Falls high schools participated, as did a number of “elders,” adult community members committed to nonviolence. The high school students left the two-week program as certified instructors of a program of nonviolence education targeted towards eighth-grade students.

Lewis’s mission is to teach students “to put positive peer pressure on their brothers and sisters, to plant those seeds of positivity and alternatives to violence, and to plant those seeds now.”

“Violence is a choice. It’s not the only option. Conflict is not negative in itself. It’s how we respond to that conflict that creates either constructive or destructive ends.”

Students spent more than 10 hours a day in instruction, Lewis said. “And their enthusiasm has only grown. You should see the synergy that happens.”

Lewis comes from a family committed to social action. His mother conducts violence prevention programs in juvenile facilities. His father ran similar programs for the Mashantucket Pequots. Lewis family members regularly volunteered in soup kitchens and walked in hunger marches.

Modeling social action for youth is imperative, Lewis says. He urges adults to mentor youth in their communities: “Kids are dying for mentors. They want someone to listen to them and to help them figure out what to do. We want to help those kids.”

—Marybeth Reilly-McGreen

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

Hidden Treasure: New Leaves Press at URI

Partners in Service: URI 101 and the Siravo Foundation

Rhody Postcards: Paul DePace

Clarice Odhiambo

Maureen Moakley Web Chat


The Third Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards

Collegiate Crustacean to Queen of Comedy

House Calls

Behind the Scenes at the Palm Beach Opera

Meet Provost Donald DeHayes

URI Film Media Program

News & Views

Historic Lippitt Hall Reopens

URI Makes Explosive News

URI Textile Expert: Mayans Produced Fine Fabrics

Peaceful Lessons

Songs of Social Justice Available on CD

Students Click With Presidential Debates

Public Relations Series Makes Connections

Award-Winning Team Promotes Healthy Relationships

Yes, M’am!

Press Box

URI Athletics Hall of Fame Inductions

Remembering Yngve Ramstad

Casey Pereira Receives ECAC Medal of Valor

Derek Cassidy Earns Gold Helmet Award

Bill Beck Field Upgrades Under Way

Class Acts Profiles

Ray Carroll ’58 World Class Basketball Player

Jean Harrington ’74, M.A.’76 Romance Novelist

Jane Thierfeld Brown ’79, M.A. ’81, M.S. ’86 Naiveté Can Take You Places

George “Hopper” McDonough ’93 & Tim Fitzpatrick ’86 Swim Vacation: Swim. Relax. Repeat.

Jonathan L. Lewis ’00 Social Activist

Josh Blumenthal ’03 Coaching Lacrosse at the International Level

Looking Back

The Story Behind the Shot

Profile In Giving

Norman ’49 and Robert Saute ’50

Back Page

Wooden Animals at Alton Jones Campus

Alumni Chapters →


Homecoming 2008 Wrapup

Big Thinkers Series L.A.

Big Thinkers Series N.Y.C.

Upcoming Events

QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles