January 2017
A Word from our Executive Director

Dear Peacemakers,

As we move into a new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what happened in 2016 for ISPN.

First and foremost, we need to remember that nationwide 58,071 people were victims of gun violence in 2016. Although we experienced fewer homicides this year locally, we still lost lives.

ISPN can say very proudly that in 2016, we didn't take our foot off the gas pedal. In 2016 we:

Hired 8 new employees.
- Hired 2 new AmeriCorps VISTAs.
- Added 4 new daily support individuals from SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc. 
- Added 10 new Let's Make This Work program interns.
- Added 6 new Board Members.
- Served 750 individuals.

In This Issue
ISPN Responds

In 2016 the  Nonviolence Streetworker Outreach Team:
  • Responded to RI Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital Emergency Department 70 times.
  • Outreached to 116 victims.
  • 50 were shooting victims. 
  • 64 were stabbing victims.
  • 2 were assault victims.
  • 6 homicides.

In 2016 Victim Services: 

  • Provided hospital response, court support, advocacy, and victim support to 277 clients. 
  • Held Victim Support sessions in January, February, April, June, July, September, and October. 
  • Organized a Spa Day in March, a Peace Walk in May, a summer barbecue in August, a Thanksgiving potluck in November, and a Holiday Celebration in December. 

Noteworthy News:

  • PJ Fox, Executive Director, was called to help mediate the conflict between two Narragansett tribes on Christmas Eve. He used the six principles and steps of nonviolence to work with both sides to diffuse tensions and come to a peaceful resolution. Read the full story here
MLK Day Candlelight Vigil

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: The Chapel @ ISPN

Join us as we honor two of ISPN's biggest inspirations: Sister Ann Keefe and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a candlelight vigil at sunset. 


  • Because of supporters like you, our Annual End of the Year campaign raised $114,000 for our programs and services. THANK YOU!
  • ISPN is pleased to announce we received funding through the Rhode Island Foundation Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence for our "Communicating Nonviolence" project. We will be developing a comprehensive Communications Strategy as part of our strategic plan in 2017.
  • Help us welcome our new Wellness Coordinator, Matthew Fleischmann. Matthew will be developing Wellness programs for both staff and clients. Read what he has planned for January here.
Meet Riccardo

Riccardo is a "Let's Make This Work" intern. We sat down and asked him a few questions.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey that led you to ISPN.
A: I'm 23, born and raised on the South side of Providence. Growing up, I always wanted to move beyond my surroundings, but never had the courage. I thought if I did what I wanted to do, people would look at me funny. I guess you could say I was a follower.

Q: What changed that mindset?
A: I was shot in the leg in 2014. My mom asked me to go to the store one night. I was walking back when a guy in a truck pulled up beside me and asked me where I was from. I lived in the neighborhood my whole life, so I asked him why he wanted to know. He kept pressing me. I said if it there was going to be a problem to get out of the truck, so we could deal with it. I saw him pull the gun, and he shot me in the leg.

After that, I was angry. I shut down. I had all this frustration building up inside me and I felt alone. I felt like no one could understand what I was going through. I was uncontrollable. I saw how I was treating my sister, my mom, my grandmother and knew I had to change. 

Q: How did you end up at ISPN?
A: When I was in the hospital, Archie* came. I was so angry, I didn't want to listen to anything he had to say. It wasn't until over this past summer, I saw him at Community Prep. I went to apologize to him for what I had said. He told me he understood and asked, 'Is there anything I can help you with?' I told him I needed help with employment. He told me he had something in mind for me, and here I am. 

Q: What do you do outside of "Let's Make This Work"?
A: I work at the Christmas Tree Shoppe doing overnight stock. I work 11 pm to 7 am, and then come here for 9 am class. It's funny to think about because I got the call from the Christmas Tree Shoppe at the same time I got the call about being accepted into the program here. I went from having no job and no income, to this! It's given me the courage to go after what I want. 

Q: So what's next for you?
A: I want to go back to school so I can do what you all do here. I want to let my voice be heard in my community. I broke through some difficult situations and I want to help people break through whatever it is they are going through because I did. 

Q: Who inspires you?
A: I'm a big fan of motivational speakers. I really like Les Brown. He has this quote 'If there's a group of 5 people and a crowd of 1,000...I'm going to speak the group of 5 the same way I speak to the crowd of 1,000.' I want to be more like that. 

Q: What's one thing we wouldn't know about you, just by looking at you?
A: I'm ambitious, motivated, outgoing and happy. I feel like I lost that part of me for a while, but that's my true self. 

*Arthur Johnson, Nonviolence Streetworker