Nonviolence Trainer’s Award, January 2023

The Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island (URI) congratulates Dr. Art Stein for winning the International Nonviolence Trainer’s Award on January 1, 2023. He is honored for teaching nonviolence and peace on six continents with visionary goodwill for diverse people to thrive together with a unifying ethos of humanity.

Dr. Stein is one of the core founding members known as the Convenors of the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies and a Professor Emeritus of the URI Political Science Department, having served for over fifty years. Since joining the URI faculty in 1965, he has taught nonviolence and peace through various channels, including innovative courses, social activism, journal publications, book writings, and presentations at many esteemed national and global conferences.

Born and raised in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, Dr. Stein has been passionate about peace, equality, and justice since childhood. As a teenager, he was praised for protecting others with love against dehumanization and injustice. He grew up with great intelligence, courage, and warmheartedness. However, he has always been eager to explore and learn more about diverse cultures, traditions, spirituality, and pedagogies that counter human difficulties and shape their lives and living experiences.

Education: Dr. Art Stein holds the highest Level 3 certification in Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation from the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State College in 1959 and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. During his graduate studies, Dr. Stein received a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a doctoral research fellowship in India. He visited more than 25 countries during that time, expanding his understanding, friendship, and empathy with people worldwide.

Teachings: Since joining the URI Political Science Department faculty in 1965, Dr. Stein has created and taught many innovative courses intending to spark positive social change, peacebuilding, democracy, mindfulness, and nonviolence for humans, animals, and the environment. In 1986, the URI Foundation honored Dr. Stein with the Teaching Excellence Award for his passionate commitment to environmental protection and human rights, inspiring thousands of URI students over the decades. Dr. Stein also cotaught nonviolence classes and International Nonviolence Summer Institute in the early 2000s with Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., who served as the first Director of the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. He continues to participate actively and support the Center’s efforts today.

Articles: As a brilliant academician, Dr. Stein writes and publishes his articles in various national and international journals, including the Journal of Transpersonal Anthropology, American Political Science Review, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Culture and Consciousness, etc. However, Dr. Stein wanted to expand his wisdom beyond the boundary of academia. He then started writing and publishing books in addition to journal articles, as it has far greater outreach to the ocean of ordinary people.

Books: To reach and teach nonviolence and reconciliation across racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-political differences beyond URI and USA, Dr. Stein started writing many books, including India and the Soviet Union: The Nehru Era; Bittersweet Encounter: the Afro-American and the American Jew; Kirpal Singh: The Spiritual Path; and Seeds of the Seventies: Values, Work and Commitment in Post-Vietnam America. And his most recent book, “Let There Be Light: Experiencing Inner Light Across the World’s Sacred Traditions,” also enlightens human beings to realize and focus on the commonality among diverse spiritual traditions for interfaith kinship and better religious harmony. 

Training: Dr. Stein delivered talks and presentations at professional conferences on six continents of the world. He conducted workshops and training to educate people on nonviolence and peaceful coexistence. In 1993, Dr. Stein gave his speech at the International Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago. Many dignitaries and respected spiritual masters of the world, including the Dalai Lama, attended the event. Dr. Stein cherishes his memories of the Dalai Lama, saying that each unique flower in the garden is beautiful. But together, they make an even more exquisite bouquet. Dr. Stein agrees that each person, culture, and tradition is valuable, and together they make the world richer and more vibrant. He advocates for unity among diversity. 

Scholarship: It takes more education to widen human minds and improve their positive attitudes and behaviors toward fellow humans and others. Each positive mind and behavior creates significant ripple effects on humanity’s meanings, well-being, and civilization. But only some get enough encouragement or resources to fulfill their pursuit of higher education. Therefore, in 2008, Dr. Stein generously endowed the Art Stein Scholarship at URI to support students interested in furthering their understanding and practice of nonviolence and peace. Over the last decade, the Art Stein Scholarship helped more than twenty local and international students studying at URI.

Awards: In addition to the Teaching Excellence Award by URI Foundation in 1986, Dr. Stein was also recognized with the Peacemaker Award by URI Chaplains Association in 2007. The same year, Dr. Stein was also honored with the Faculty Excellence Award by the URI Multicultural Center for his outstanding academic services and accomplishments.

Admiration: Many students, friends, colleagues, and his family love and respect Dr. Art Stein. Dr. Al Killilea, an Ombud for URI and a Professor Emeritus of URI Political Science Department, who has known Dr. Art Stein for over fifty years, described Dr. Stein as “a man of peace and justice.” Dr. Stein’s wife, Clare Sartori, described him as a “visionary in pursuit of a heart-centered universe.” His daughter Lisa Stein feels grateful for his caring and positive nature, and his daughter Arielle Stein appreciates Dr. Stein for his core values of “love, honesty, and generosity.” 

Dr. Stein’s humility, wisdom, and compassion for all are highly admirable and positively contagious. His simple poetic lessons, such as, “Dawning sun, rising within, to greet the newborn day, it rings the bell, to wake our hearts, with joy,” invoke mindfulness and peace as everyone plays their unique roles living together under one roof of the planet earth. On the desk, he keeps a note to remind himself to “Remember the best and forget the rest” to detox the mind and keep it healthy. Again, we sincerely thank Dr. Art Stein for his peaceful mission and congratulate him for winning the International Nonviolence Trainer’s Award.