Updated: Mar 11, 2022
The second SEED Cohort, composed of students from The Met School in Providence, was a resounding success. Although members were of different ages and friend groups, with the guidance of the NVI Training Team, they quickly connected and were able to question and practice the Principles of Nonviolence in a safe space. In one particularly thoughtful session members designed a beloved community that would not have a prison system but would have alternatives to crime and violence.
Gerrod Crowell, part of the NVI Intervention Team, said this was one of his favorite SEED Cohorts, particularly the way they participated "from day one," and also looks forward to keeping in touch because they are part of the NVI family. Special thanks went to Tommy Lumpkins, another Intervention Team member and a favorite of the students, who was instrumental in bringing this group together.
Students Recap Their Experiences
Tristan didn't know what to expect on the first day, but NVI teachers and staff created "good vibes every single day and I felt more and more comfortable." He was glad he got to know the cohort better and feels that the training has allowed him a new outlook on his classmates as well.
Rashad said at first he thought it was for "soft people ... but I learned in the first rule that it's not for cowards." He learned how to confront situations so that "you're not being punked."
Ideas for the Future
The two weeks spent in the program produced a shift in thinking and inspired ideas about spreading the Principles and Steps on Nonviolence in their schools and beyond:
After indicating an interest in law and the justice system, one student now wants "to fight in the courts instead of the streets."
Another wants to do a school-wide program based around mental health
A third student wants to introduce mindfulness into their advisory class, which is how each session of SEED begins, lead by Christine King, SEED Mental Health and Wellness Coach, and also Executive Director of the Interfaith Counseling Center.
Congratulations from the Team
Cedric Huntley, Executive Director, was appreciative of the efforts of the Cohort and encouraged the continued efforts to make a difference, and to "take what you've learned ... and begin to have honest conversations about what this means ... to make this world a better place."
Sal Monteiro, Senior Nonviolence Facilitator, gave heartfelt thanks for the work done and to reiterate that nonviolence is an ongoing effort, but "as long as you stay on that path and know that forward is the movement, just like Dr. King said. I have complete confidence in all of you because you've already showed it, you've already started practicing it, just by showing up."
Funding for this program is being provided by the ARPA City of Providence Anti-Violence Investment.