Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


It is with great sadness that I learned today that a dear friend, Scott Kennedy , had died.  For those of you who did not know him, the two remembrances of him below will tell you why those of us who knew him respected and loved him.  Just 2 weeks ago he was here in Israel and Palestine , leading the olive harvest delegation of the Interfaith Peace Builders and the Resource Center for Nonviolence.  He and the delegation met with 4 of us representing New Profile.  It is hard to believe that this was his last visit.  I will miss him greatly, and I know that there are many others here in Israel who feel the same. 





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Contact: call 831-423-1626 Posted by: AnitaH in General


Our dear friend, co-worker, and co-founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence Scott Kennedy died Saturday, November 19, 2011, of an apparent heart attack, while he was sleeping beside his wife Kris.   We love Scott.  He is one of us.  He collaborated with many of you in active nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice.  And he shared deep friendships with so many.


Please share your remembrances of Scott with us. Let us know how we can reach you as we make plans for a memorial , and let us know of others we should contact: rcnvinfo  at gmail  dot com, or call 831-423-1626. We will be in touch soon with more information.


Scott’s circle of community and friends is large, and you are all a part of it.  We will miss him fiercely, but Scott will continue to be a part of all of our lives as we continue our work for nonviolent social change and justice through the Resource Center for Nonviolence and beyond.  On Scott’s behalf, we thank you for your love, thoughts, and support.


For now we share this message from one co-founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Joan Baez, as she writes from Occupy Wall Street …

“Scott died in his sleep last night, I’m sure you know.


Scott Kennedy ’s death is a loss to not only family and friends, but to the larger family of nonviolent soldiers he has taught, shared with, laughed with, and loved.  I’m fortunate to consider myself a member of his compassionate and passionate army.  Not many people manage to make a dent in the world of conflicts, but Scott’ s work in the Middle East defies all cynicism and hopelessness.


At this time in the world of extraordinary current events, we now need those of his nonviolent army to infuse the enthusiastic thousands with the true spirit of Gandhi, and of the minions who have steadfastly stood their ground through the waves of violence with strength, love, caring, and the willingness to suffer rather than inflict suffering.


May he make the crossing smoothly and joyfully.”


Joan Baez


Guest book for expressions of condolence



Scott Kennedy , former Santa Cruz mayor and founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, dead at 62


Posted: 11/19/2011 03:52:49 PM PST


Click photo to enlarge [use the link to see the photo of a very young Scott, which he always remained in spirit. Dorothy]


Scott Kennedy «12345»SANTA CRUZ – Scott Kennedy , a two-time former mayor of Santa Cruz who as a founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence established himself as a pre-eminent voice on peaceful conflict resolution and provided an often controversial but measured voice on the heated issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, died Saturday at his home on the Westside. He was 62.


Kennedy spent almost his entire life working to promote social change and help those who were less fortunate, with much of that work done through the center , which he co-founded in 1976. He was a man who would go out of his way to help others, and was stubbornly driven.


View or sign a memorial guest book for Scott Kennedy


Kennedy was known for being passionate, intelligent and at times intense, and many are calling his death a huge loss for the community. Friends and colleagues remember him as someone who had an amazing energy and would go out of his way to help others and who had a sharp sense of humor.


In his political career, as in his advocacy, he was dedicated and tenacious.


“Serving with him was always a challenge because he was so damned smart,” said City Councilwoman Katherine Beiers, a former mayor with whom Kennedy served on the council. “He was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and he had an incredible wit.”


She described him as someone who was always forthright about his agenda, and someone from whom she learned a lot.


“I hope he learned something from me, too,” she said.


Kennedy served on the City Council from 1991 to 1998, serving as mayor in 1994. He served on the council again from 2001-2003 with a second term as mayor in 2004.


Kennedy demonstrated fierce commitment to doing good in the world and was a champion of many causes. He co-founded the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz with a mission of promoting the principles of nonviolent social change and enhancing the quality of life. Middle Eastern issues were hugely important to Kennedy and he was coordinator of the center’s Middle East program. He led a number of trips to Israel and Palestine , and had returned from a two-week trip to the Gaza Strip just a week before his death.


His family said that while he’d had some health problems, his death came as a huge shock.


“My dad had so much love for the world and really dedicated himself to his work,” said his oldest son, Peter Kennedy , adding that he was glad his father had been able to take one final trip to the Middle East .


In August, the whole family had traveled to Algeria for Kennedy’s daughter’s second anniversary of her marriage to a French-Algerian man. The Kennedys, hosted by their daughter’s in-laws, spent three weeks in the Kabyle Region northeast of Algiers and visited the ancestral village of Ighil Hammad in the Berber mountains.


Kennedy met Peter Klotz-Chamberlin when they were freshmen at UC Santa Cruz, and the two would later go on to help found the Resource Center for Nonviolence of Santa Cruz.


“He was really driven to bring people together to create community,” said Klotz-Chamberlin. “He had an amazing energy.”


The Resource Center won’t be the same without Kennedy, he said, but its work will continue.


“There’s going to be over a dozen organizations that are going to be wondering what they’re going to do without Scott ,” said Klotz-Chamberlin.


Kennedy was a leading advocate for affordable housing, among other issues, and according to city Police Chief Kevin Vogel, was instrumental in founding the Citizens Police Review Board, which was disbanded due to budget cuts.


Vogel remembered Kennedy as a thoughtful leader, one who sent him hand-written letters each of the four times Vogel was promoted on the force , including in 2010 when Vogel was named chief.


“He was the only council member who did that,” Vogel said.


He noted also that Kennedy was instrumental in founding the Citizens Police Review Board, which was disbanded due to budget cuts.


Kennedy became friends with current Vice Mayor Don Lane more than 20 years ago, when Kennedy was first elected to the City Council.


“We worked very closely together,” he said. “We remained friends after that and we’d often talk about politics, We kept a really good friendship.”


Kennedy often received backlash for his outspokenness on Middle East issues, and critics often accused of him of being pro-Palestine and anti-Israel. He received criticism from many who thought he was being insensitive to the Jewish and Israeli communities,


In an op-ed published in the Sentinel on Feb. 13, 2011, Kennedy addressed mail he’d received after the Resource Center hosted a member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association, in which the writers accused him of being pro-terrorist and anti-American.


“Discussion of Palestinians or Muslims often degenerates into such attacks,” he wrote. “The argument may be more nuanced, but the message is the same: Islam equals terrorism. Violence is too often portrayed as distinctively Muslim, as though terrorists represent 1.5 billion Muslims.”


Lane said he always believed Kennedy genuinely took the position that both sides of the conflict had legitimate concerns and that he worked hard to try to bring the two sides together in nonviolent ways.


In November 2007, Sentinel reporter Shanna McCord traveled to Israel and the West Bank with Kennedy and a Washington D.C.-based group he was heavily involved with called Interfaith Peace Builders. The trip was designed to educate people about the historic and ongoing feud between the Israelis and the Palestinians.


“He never tried to paint a picture of being a neutral guy. He had a deep and unwavering passion for the plight of the Palestinians,” said McCord. “He felt that the more people knew about the divide between Jews and Arabs, the better chance there would be for peace there. “


His tenacity and passion could sometimes be off-putting or combative, say those who knew him.


“He had an absolute commitment to what he thought was right and just and I loved that about him,” said longtime friend Geoffrey Dunn, a writer, filmmaker and political activist. “He was very passionate and intense and that could sometimes make it difficult to work with him.”


Above all, Kennedy remained a strong symbol of peaceful activism for many in the community.


In 2010, he was the recipient of the 2010 Pfeffer Peace Prize, an honor for international human rights, justice, and peace work which has been awarded by the Fellowship of Reconciliation since 1989.


“His name is synonymous with peace and nonviolence,” said former principal of Bay View Elementary, Dan Cavanaugh , who worked with Kennedy’s wife, Kris Kennedy, at the Santa Cruz school for several years. “And it’s synonymous with how Santa Cruz looked at and related to world issues.”

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