Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teny Gross moved to Rhode Island in 2001 to lead a new organization dedicated to reducing violence in Providence. Fourteen years later, Gross will work his last day Friday at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. The 49-year-old Israeli native is leaving to start a new nonviolence group in Chicago, although Gross says he’ll continue to spend some time in Rhode Island. He sat down to reflect on his time leading the institute and efforts to reduce violence in Rhode Island.

After being a part of efforts to reduce violence in Providence for 15 years, Teny Gross says it’s time to take on a new challenge.

Gross established and led the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence after being recruited from Boston. The organization has been credited with helping reduce bloodshed in poor city neighborhoods. Gross helped create the institute's non-violence education model, including the "street worker" program, which sends former offenders back onto the streets to mediate conflicts and help prevent violence.

The Elmwood U.S. Post Office in Providence is being officially named for the late Sister Ann Keefe, a beloved Roman Catholic nun who served for more than 30 years at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Providence.

Sister Ann, as she was universally known, died earlier this year after a long battle with brain cancer at age 62.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Congressman David Cicilline introduced a bill in House of Representatives bill Tuesday to name a South Providence post office after Sister Ann Keefe. Keefe was a community activist, who passed away last month from brain cancer.

Cicilline worked with Keefe for many years. She launched at least 22 organizations, including Providence CityArts for Youth and Providence’s Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence.

Don Boorman / RIPR

In the aftermath of last year’s Newtown school shootings, Rhode Island politicians leaped on the gun control bandwagon. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what’s happened since.

After last December’s horrific school massacre in Connecticut, political leaders from the White House to the Rhode Island State House vowed to crack down on gun violence. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed all advocated measures to advance gun control in our state.

Visitors from Chicago and Newark, New Jersey, are completing on Friday a two-day visit examining the work of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

Christopher Mallette heads a three-year-old program called the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy. Mallette says the Chicago strategy, like the one in Providence, utilizes street workers who try to mediate disputes and prevent violent conflicts.

With the rising temperatures comes a spike in crime across the capital city. In a series we’re calling Hot City: Crime in Providence we’re taking a look at summer crime by focusing the month of July.

Last year the area encompassing Smith Hill, Elmhurst and the north end saw the highest number of crimes. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch sat down with Teny Gross, executive director of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence about what’s happening on the streets of Providence.

Rhode Island Nonprofits Feel the Squeeze

Apr 16, 2013
Flo Jonic/RIPR

It’s hard to turn on the news these days without hearing about another nonprofit in financial trouble.  Advent House – the state’s first homeless shelter – is without a director because it can’t afford one. John Hope Settlement House is bleeding $30,000 a month. And the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence has laid off a third of its staff.


The season of St. Patrick’s has already kicked off in Rhode Island. Pawtucket’s annual parade stepped off on Saturday. Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day parade gets marching on Saturday, March 16.  And Providence’s parade takes place next Saturday. Sister Anne Keefe has been named this year’s Grand Marshal for the Providence parade. She’s recognized for her work in social justice and human rights, including chairing the Providence Human Rights Commission and co-founding the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

A lot of news in the run-up to Christmas; debate over how to reduce school shootings; mediation ordered in the pension case; and the march is on toward our next RI campaign season. Happy holidays to all my readers, and thanks for checking in. Lets get to it.