7: Aggressive Nonviolence

Teny Gross

In this episode, Rev. Brown speaks with his longtime friend and colleague, Teny Gross. Teny is the Executive Director of the Institute for Noviolence Chicago. Previously, Teny founded and led the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence Rhode Island.

Teny explains why aggressive nonviolence is the only approach that works to sustainably reducing violence and the critical, but complex role that police play in reducing violence.

Teny shares what he learned from being an Israeli soldier, how Dr. King's messages are as relevant today as they've ever been, the experiences that haunt and drive him and how he views himself as one of many committed scientists who are always learning, but never satisfied. 

Rev. Brown and Teny talk about the impact of the presidential election, what Teny's new organization is trying to accomplish in Chicago and what people can do today to make a difference in their communities. 

Here's a few other powerful quotes from the interview (slightly paraphrased):

"If [nonviolence] sounds mushy to some, I'll remind [the listeners] that I'm a Serbian Israeli former Sargent in the Israeli Army who faced guns in both Boston and Providence to my chest. I understand risk and I recognize evil when I see it..."

"...the goals are to see the humanity in both sides [police and gang members]..."

"...just investing in failure through [an] expensive jail system has not worked for any of us - has decimated neighborhoods and made the police even more hated [by the communities they serve]. The rewards of arresting and removing bad guys hasn't...gotten the love from the community because it is really the removal of the children from those communities..."