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“Invest in Peace” Fundraiser To Be Held May 9

Thursday, May 08, 2014

 

Teny Oded Gross

Rhode Island's Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence will host their fifth annual "Invest in Peace" on May 9.

Programs promoting peace and nonviolence

Founded in 2001, the Institute focuses on reducing gang or group related violence in the state. The Institute's programs include nonviolence training, streetworkers, education & employment, victim support services, and adult reentry.

Through their Victim Services Department, the Institute stands as the only organization in the country to serve both victims and perpetrators of violent crime.

The Streetworkers Program and Victims Services Department respond to 400 calls to hospitals per year combined. Many of the Streetworkers are former offenders themselves and serve the needs of 3,000 clients annually with advocacy and mentoring.

Invest in Peace

"Our 'Invest in Peace' event is one of the most unique parties of the year," said executive director Teny Oded Gross. "Attendees come from all walks of life. Members of the local community, victims, non-profits, gang members, cops, prosecutors, politicians."

The event, which will be held at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Gardens, includes cocktails, auction, and an awards presentation.

"We try to keep it fun and light," said Gross.

Sister Ann Keefe, who has dedicated years of her life to promoting peace, will receive an award for her service.

While studying sociology at Harvard University, Gross became interested in using education to curb violence. “I was interested in democracy and the opportunity to maximize our lives," said Gross. "Violence is a terrible human waste of capital. It is very expensive to taxpayers."

Past participants in the program have gone on to become law enforcers and serve other disadvantaged communities. Gross continued,"It's beautiful to see troubled young people become parents and start their own families. It's a long journey but the reward is beautiful. Really powerful."

Every year, "Invest in Peace" celebrates the work and future of its dedicated team. "We are united around a common purpose: Leave our kids a safer world," said Gross.

 

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