Nonviolence Week Begins Oct. 2nd

By Amelia Mack

The first week of October marks Youngstown’s sixth Annual Nonviolence Week. Nonviolence Week is about promoting a culture free of violence. The week’s events will touch on racism, and equal rights for all people. Youngstown is getting ready to celebrate again with the parade kicking off the week on Sunday.

The parade will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday in front of the Williamson College of Business Administration and will end at the Covelli Center.

William Blake, Director of the Office of Student Diversity, said that the parade is a community effort.

“The parade speaks very much to the fact that our community is coming together around the issues of dealing with the violent activity that is going on in our community,” Blake said. “A number of different entities have begun to develop to try and address that.”

Blake said it is a patchwork quilt of diversity that comes together to raise awareness for this week of nonviolence.

“It’s a very enriching and empowering kind of experience when you see them gather at the rally…You see a whole host of different parts of our community coming together,” Blake said.

Tiffany Anderson, Director of Africana Studies, said she strongly encourages students to be a part of the week’s events.

“The parade is a great way [for students to get involved],” she said. “We have lots of student organizations marching.”

Nonviolence Week was started by a group of high school students in 2009 as part of a program called Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past. The program takes high school students to historic civil rights locations in the South, where they are challenged to come up with an action plan to end violent activity.

Penny Wells, the director of Sojourn to the Past, said that it’s amazing to see what the students in this program have come up with.

“In 2010, the students asked Youngstown City Council, School Board, County Commissioners, and YSU Trustees to pass resolutions to make every first week of October Nonviolence Week permanently, and they all did,” Wells said.

In 2013, the students asked Senator Schiavoni to introduce a bill to the state legislature making the first week of October recognized as Nonviolence Week each year. On July 11, 2013 Governor Kasich signed the Nonviolence Week bill to make Nonviolence Week official across the state of Ohio.

Wells is proud of the actions the students in Sojourn to the Past have taken and what Nonviolence Week has turned into.

“It shows the power of kids,” she said.


9 Speakers, 20 Locations: Parade, Talks, Art, Dinner, Music & more.

Sunday, October 2nd

3PM: Sixth Annual Nonviolence Parade and Rally (downtown Youngstown, OH)

Beginning at Wick Ave. & Wood St. with Rally at Covelli Center

Monday, October 3rd

5PM: Mingle with Minni: A Sojourn to the Past Fundraiser. Flambeaus on Market Street in Youngstown.

$15 Admission includes hors d’oeuvres. Cash bar. More information:

Tuesday, October 4th

5PM-7PM: Nonviolence Art Show Award Ceremony & Reception

Location: SOAP Gallery. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

More information:

Wednesday, October 5th

9AM: Judge Michael J. Ryan – East High School Lecture

11AM-12PM: Jerry Mitchell (Investigative Reporter) – YSU Master Journalism Class Lecture

7PM: SIMEON BOOKER Citizen of Courage Award

Presentation to Ret. Judge Nathaniel Jones. Keynote Speaker, Jerry Mitchell.

LOCATION: DeYor Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets online at or at the DeYor Box Office.

Thursday, October 6th

TBA: Dr. Patricia Cunningham II to speak to YSU Faculty

TBA: Dr. Patricia Cunningham II to speak at a diversity Lunch n’ Learn – Jewish Community Center.

Open to the community. A FREE lunch will be provided. RSVP to Nancy Sentelik (330) 746-3250 x 108