When making the decision to leave a place after 23 years of involvement, one doesn’t take the decision lightly—particularly when the mission is so meaningful and critical. But I am grateful for you—and for your steadfast belief in the power of nonviolence
—and for all we have built together toward Dr. King’s vision for a Beloved Community.
I am pleased with what we have accomplished since I became Executive Director, and, therefore, I leave with a sense of comfort knowing the organization is financially sound and the infrastructure is solid. My team now has a blueprint to help them move forward in the form of a five-year strategic plan that lays the groundwork for growth and expansion.
My time at NVI has been profoundly rewarding. It has been a rich
experience and impactful but, admittedly, also challenging. Because the roots of violence are based in trauma—sometimes generational trauma and generational conflict, is difficult to upend. We have also seen the evolution of violence and the rise of social media concurrently, and this has called on us to pivot and evolve to meet our clients’ changing needs.
This evolution has us working in schools to create safe spaces for young people that we believe will help prevent violence and the further eroding of community. I believe what happens in the community transitions to our schools and what happens in our schools transitions to our community. So, we need to work together. We need to help each other, and our young people, recognize the levels of violence in all its forms while giving them the tools they need to live fulfilling lives. We need to be intentional about teaching our young people that nonviolence is the solution. We have a responsibility to the future—all of us: schools, businesses, nonprofits, government entities to ensure that we are doing everything to interrupt violence. This takes work and investment; this takes equitable resources and a commitment from everyone. We need to continue to earmark funds so that everyone has access to the principles and practices of nonviolence.
I am grateful for the support of an engaged Board and to the Founders, Sister Ann Keefe and Father Raymond Malm, for their vision of a world bathed in kindness. The donors, the investors, the community partners have all given us the ability to make good on our promises. Their support made the dream a reality, and our reality is better because of their belief in what we can do. Our dedicated staff members have given their lives to the calling, and I am honored to have worked along their sides for over two decades.
After 23 years of service, I leave NVI with a lightness knowing that the work will continue and that the team will grow and invent new ways to intersect with our community toward the creation of the Beloved Community. Thank you again for all your help over the years. We are poised to make a discernible difference here in Rhode Island and nationally if we make love and kindness a priority. Seemingly simple, it is the pathway to a much bigger ideal—which is a world devoid of hate
bound together by hope in a shared future.
To that end, I challenge each of you to act on your impulses to be kind by sharing and giving each day. One act of kindness per day can create an energy that will generate more energy which will lead to more acts of kindness. This is how we change the cycle. This is how we change the world.