- Through education and training, the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island seeks to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence as a process that promotes the establishment of a global beloved community.
- Specifically, the Center engages in activities and projects that foster mutual understanding among people, in which nonviolent processes are used to reconcile conflicts and to build peaceful, sustainable, and inclusive communities that promote human rights, and economic and social justice for all.
- Through the study of nonviolence we learn how to apply approaches that will foster more harmonious relationships at every societal level, from interpersonal interactions to institutional and governmental policy.
- The Center accomplishes this mission by providing educational programs, program evaluation action research, community outreach, and leadership development at the University of Rhode Island, and by helping to facilitate such programs in Rhode Island, as well as nationally and internationally.
- Through these efforts we aim to collaborate with and strengthen relationships with other organizations, agencies, and governmental departments engaged in peacebuilding and nonviolence work locally, nationwide, and globally.
Several nonviolence training options are offered through the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. In addition to introducing various nonviolence concepts and practices to the broader population, the primary purpose of our training efforts is to develop nonviolence leaders and to develop educational programs and training centers that are essential in cultivating a nonviolent society. The trainings are also instrumental in promoting strategies to institutionalize nonviolence within various organizations and agencies.
Trainings include: 1-2 hour presentations, half-day and one-day workshops, 2 day introductory training in nonviolence, Level I and Level II Training of Trainers certification, extended professional seminars, and undergraduate and graduate level credit courses.
Tribute to Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Ed.D.
The URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies was founded in 1998 by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. A Civil Rights Movement hero and nonviolence activist for nearly fifty years, Dr. LaFayette was a co-founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Nashville Sit-ins, a courageous Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. An ordained minister, professor, educator, lecturer, he is recognized nationally and around the world as an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change.
As the founding Director of the Center, Dr. LaFayette led education and training programs in Kingian Nonviolence on state, national and international levels, with successful projects world-wide, in countries such as South Africa, Colombia, Nigeria, the Middle East, and Mexico.
In January of 2009, Dr. LaFayette accepted an appointment at Emory University in Atlanta as a Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, where he now works with their Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding program, and the Religions and Human Spirit Cross-cutting Initiative.
Dr. LaFayette remains affiliated with the URI Center as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar during our International Nonviolence Summer Institute training, and remains involved in program consultation and guidance to our Center.