June 9th was a special evening at Summer Institute when we celebrated with the local community. It is always a nice opportunity for the South Kingstown residents to meet our participants from all over the globe and to catch a small glimpse of the important work they are involved in to make our world a better, more peaceful place.
This year the program began with Grade Reed’s impassioned reading of her essay, “Gandhi Didn’t Just Talk.” Grace’s essay was chosen from nearly 200 submissions from our Annual Rhode Island 8th Grade Gandhi Essay Contest. She is from Winman Junior High School in Warwick, RI. It’s reassuring to see that the next generation is focusing on peace.
For the fourth year, the Tancrell family fundraised and fully supported an international participant to attend the Summer Institute. The Bruce Tancrell Memorial Scholarship for Nonviolence & Peace Education is awarded each year in honor of Bruce Tancrell and his commitment to the philosophy and practice of nonviolence as a way of life. The Tancrell family in 2010 established a scholarship fund through the URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies to inspire and support individuals from around the world to follow Bruce’s example. This year’s recipient is Pastor Eric Sumo from Liberia, a visionary and Executive Director of Village Ministries, which promotes humanitarian projects to the people of Liberia, West Africa. Eric accepted the award and talked about his important work with the Village Ministries. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come to the 13th Annual International Nonviolence Summer Institute to learn new skills in working for peace education in his home country.
Approximately 100 people enjoyed a pasta dinner with many delectable side dishes and desserts that they community contributed. It was a wonderful happening for all of us. Many thanks to all who gave their time and energies to support our Beloved Community.