Ashland Center for Nonviolence Blog

Poverty Simulation Volunteer Opportunity

Here is an important volunteer opportunity being coordinated by Ginny Telego:

I have been asked to reach out to community members to gather volunteers to assist Hillsdale Middle School with a Poverty Simulation they are putting on for teachers on Monday, August 20th. Volunteers should arrive at 11:00 am for instructions. The simulation will last from noon to 3:00pm. They need of 20 volunteers.

Volunteers will serve at resource stations that represent organizations that people experiencing poverty might interact with in their daily lives — child care, school, grocery store, bank, social services, etc. Your role will be to interact with the teachers who are role playing members of families who are struggling to make ends meet. “Family units” represented include parents and children, single parents with children, grandparents raising grandchildren (some adult family members have jobs, some trying to find work, others unable to work).

I highly recommend participating as a volunteer if you are available — it is very eye opening and can provide insight into how we can provide support and dignity to those who are struggling to keep their heads above water, especially for kids.

Additional information about the simulation can be found here:
"The Community Action Poverty Simulation breaks down stereotypes by allowing participants to step into the real life situations of others. Poverty is often portrayed as a stand-alone issue - but this simulation allows individuals to walk a month in the shoes of someone who is facing poverty and realize how complex and interconnected issues of poverty really are."If you are available to help with this important educational program for teachers, please contact Tim Keib, Principal at Hillsdale Middle School, via e-mail at or via phone at 740-504-6935 by this Thursday, August 16th. PHONE CALLS PROBABLY ARE BEST TO REACH TIM.

Tim would...Read more

Having hard conversations about confederate monuments

Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 2:30pm
Eagle's Landing in the Student Center
Join presenters Dr. Susan Glisson (Ph.D. in American Studies) and Charles Tucker, the co-founders of Sustainable Equity, for an in-depth yet informal conversation about confederate statues, what they mean and communicate, and what alternatives exist. They will share their experiences from over 20 years of working to reduce inequities in the South and their realization that these fights over divisive symbols have become surrogates for the difficult discussions we're afraid to have about how to dismantle racial barriers that have been fortified over generations. 

...Read more

Glitter in the Dirt

By Emily Wirtz

Gathering around the sweet and warm-hearted Israeli woman, the group of 41 adventurous Ashlanders chose their playground seats. Swings, slides, stumps, and low brick walls supported our tired bodies as we sat in the heat to listen to the tragic story of modern Israel.

When we arrived, our tour guide Efrat pointed to the various small concrete buildings scattered around the community. “When you get off this bus,” she explained, “if you hear a siren, you have 10 to 15 seconds to get into one of those buildings.” A few of us giggled and through side glances. She can’t be serious. “You are two and a half miles from Gaza, and that’s how long it would take a rocket to get here.” We shut up.

We were in a region near Sederot, the “bomb shelter capital of the world.” Twenty years from now, I will probably not remember her name, but I will remember what she told us, and I will remember the moment the first tears fell from my eyes in the Holy Land. Nestled in this region of the Negev Desert is a kibbutz in Southern Israel, only a few miles from the border of the Gaza strip. As she reminisced about the horrors of war, and the day she had to pull her son out of bed and into a bomb shelter where they sat on the cold, hard concrete for 36 hours straight, I couldn’t help but notice the details of the scene I was in.

It was a beautiful day--hot and sunny without a cloud in the sky, as were most of the days we spent in Israel. I was sitting on a short, yellow, concrete wall between a powder blue building and a red and...Read more

Collective Violence and Kneeling for the National Anthem

By Craig Hovey

Let’s think about NFL players “taking the knee” in terms of how societies respond to their acts of collective violence. In recent years, I have been shaped in my thinking about violence and nonviolence by the work of the late anthropologist René Girard. According to Girard, societies are sustained by collective violence which they must not only justify but also consider and remember as sacred. “Our violence is righteous and has brought us peace and has brought us together,” will be a typical conviction. There will be fierce opposition to anyone who challenges the sacredness of a society’s violence.

For some, the national anthem of the United States isn’t just about our country, but about our sacred acts of violence: our wars and those who fight in them. Singing the national anthem together in public commemorates not just our unity as a nation, but the means by which we were brought together. Not to stand for the anthem, then, produces a deep anxiety for a society used to marking the sacredness of our violence in a way that goes unquestioned.

When NFL players kneel during the national anthem to draw attention to racial violence, the effect is twofold. First, it has the effect of undermining the unity and peace brought by sacred violence that we thought we were celebrating. The sacredness of this moment with this song cannot withstand dissenters whose actions are meant to say we’re not as united nor as peaceful as most have wanted to believe. Second, kneeling draws attention to forms of collective violence other than our wars (that is, white violence against blacks) and which our society today can usually sacralize only awkwardly and incompletely, usually opting to try to ignore it by drawing attention to other things.

The big professional sports...Read more