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Keeping the Peace

resourceSANTA CRUZ > Resource Center for Nonviolence gets new digs

Beats from local band Ancestree and the scent of falafel filled the halls of 612 Ocean St. on Sunday, May 20, during the Resource Center for Nonviolence’s open house at the new location. Visitors mingled among freshly painted hallways lined with volunteer sign-up sheets, fare-trade olive oils, scarves from the Middle East, and what may well be the largest collection book written or inspired by Gandhi on the West Coast.

The open house was celebrating the RCNV’s move into what once was the Christian Science Church on Ocean Street. The new building is reportedly a much better space for the organization, which is dedicated to promoting peace and social justice through the principles of nonviolent social change.

The RCNV now consists of a large foyer area, a main hall for talks and events, a library, a bookstore, and an extra building with a meeting area, which can be rented out to others looking for a good space.  The best part? “Parking,” exclaims Anita Heckman, who has been on the RCNV staff since 1981.  Between the resource2plentiful parking and the 200-seat main hall, the new building will be able to host much larger events than at the center’s previous location on Broadway.

Renovations for the new building are still in the works, including adding more flexible seating in the main hall to accommodate a larger variety of events, revamping the old reading room, and more. Heckman says that the RCNV “hopes to add two units of housing above the building so that the next generation of activists can afford to live and do their work in Santa Cruz.”

Events at the RCNV are set to speed up as the new center continues to come together.  “It’s a real blessing to work here,” says Sandino Gomez, who undertakes a multitude of roles at the center, including working on the use of space and on outside networking.  

For more information, visit the RCNV Web site at rcnv.com.

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