Reflection, Education, Advocacy
University of Rhode Island
International Executive Director: Mr. F. L. Gonzalez
Co-Founder w/ Ursula: Francisco organizes resources from the United States: identifies & organizes funding sources, creates curriculum (creates & supervises educational content), and provides motivational support & guidance. Francisco promotes the RCN (Role-play Characterization Network), an astronomy & geography model with adult Montessori elements.
Dominican Republic Regional Director: Ms. Ursula Eusebio De Los Santos
Ursula organizes resources from her region, and supervises local staff. She is the contact person linking OSI to an existing board of directors implementing RHD (Red de Hombres Dominicanos -- or -- Dominican Republic Men's Net): a drop-in center for at-risk men in danger of fomenting domestic abuse; male members coach and support peers under our service milieu.
Pakistan Regional Director: Mr. Neveed Masih
Naveed engages a wounded impoverished community in his native Lahore, Pakistan. His mission is to train volunteers in IRI protocols; the Innocence Recovery Initiative is a grassroots mental-wellness outreach designed to reach out to the mentally ill on the streets of Lahore through unconditional regard, and self-motivated referrals (to clinical resources in the city) thereby fostering peaceful coexistence & servile tolerance among urban ethnic groups: Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists.
Maine Woodland Campus Director: PENDING
AVP Students (first names only):
Learning Humanities Through Astronomy & Geography Role-play
Nothing of lasting value gets accomplished until we are able to shatter the horrible isolation of the mentally ill on the street. The hope and trust we give must be genuine. It must overflow from natural kindness and not from religiosity or mechanical (duty-bound) servitude. We are to love for love's sake, and establish a caring community where there is none, or where existing ones are inadequate. IRI is completely non-sectarian, and subject to whatever norms and values are expressed by the street people serve (the people we dare to touch).
Our grassroots unconditional regard, non-sectarian, multi-ethnic approaches break down the legalese/taboo barriers inherent in cultures where scientific ignorance, and fear, has pushed the sufferer into inner caverns of passivity and hopelessness.
Street Wellness Initiative
RHD (Men's Net)
Street Wellness Initiative
Role-play Characterization Network
Our novel pedagogic applications:
Our adult constructivist milieu in Andres, Dominican Republic, based loosely on the work of Jean Piaget & Maria Montessori, benefits both the teacher and the student. COOPHA is located in our educational cooperative in Andres, Dominican Republic; all our physical teaching & learning activities occur there while Surrogates work from abroad by fostering 'pen-pal' relationships with our students: in par with our constructivist methodologies we are building an 8' x 20' star-chart used for astronomy research, drawing & design (star-system design, planet model construction, cartography, and understanding technology through simple physics). Other modules consist of a 300 foot cavern replica, and a spacecraft simulator; the simulator is built within the cavern spaces and requires an overnight stay! These RCN features (among others) are used to teach important lessons by proxy -- by thoughtful socio-cultural comparisons that engage the PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE: our HUMAN PREHISTORY, GEOLOGY, HISTORY, SOCIOLOGY, PHYSICS, PSYCHOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, COMMUNICATION, and PHILOSOPHY.
Note: RCT is the therapeutic twin to RCN, and consists of role-play sociodramas' that engage students in more personal content, such as gender issues, machismo, classism, and identifying urban myths.
Our pedagogy begins with the UCI: the Universal Consciousness Index (a practical game rubric) is a simple way of assessing evolution's role in universal intelligence, and a rough predictor of strongly emergent consciousness. While our emphasis is the creation of a Utopian home, our students create other terrain models in the process (randomly), and use the rubric as a template for advanced thematic content:
Main Sequence: B.V color: Description of Star: Description of World: Game Suitability:
2. Archaic B blue hot early stars single cell life in hot-spots outpost
3. Post-archaic B, A blue/white cooler early stars multi-cellular (simple sea life) outpost/colony
4. Prehistoric F light yellow early mid-life stars complex ocean life/early lifeforms colony
5. Pre-industrial G yellow mid-life star early humanoid/present era home world
6. Industrial G, K yellow/orange late mid-life stars late humanoid home world
7. Post-industrial G, K yellow/orange late mid-life stars late humanoid home world
8. Pre-Utopian K, M orange/red older stars late humanoid/early AI home world
9. Utopian M red old stars late humanoid/AI home world
Note: UCI Cusps (*) are the following crises (cathartic) timeline events that move our content forward: Notes: The UCI is the framework for both the RCN and the RCT; from its simple but elegant structure students gain knowledge in the Humanities - that being the biological precursors that led to human society & culture. Our RCN point-of-view, however, is much broader: we posit that intelligence & consciousness are as much a factor in the architecture of the universe as the 4 master forces of Thermodynamics. Consciousness (the universe's sentient terminus) is important because without it the universe would remain unknown; getting-a-grip on consciousness allows for the introduction of Philosophy, which engages our students on issues relating to 'their own belief systems': issues that impacts their lives in profound ways (those issues are the auto-identified features of RCT)!
Glossary of Terms
(these are brief definitions; click on word or term for expanded content on selected terms)
A challenge from Ursula in 2015 has now become COOPHA - an educational cooperative in Andres, Boca Chica, a region ripe with prostitution, sexual trafficking, and drug cartel activity. Prior to this, Ursula and her sister Julia (caregivers for my sick father Benito) attempted to provide limited case management, but were hampered by not having a dedicated building. Now the biggest challenge is how to provide services to poor uneducated men in a region rife with violence, legalese-religiosity, and superstition. Fulfilling Ursula's vision will take a lifetime's worth of innovation in the areas of crisis intervention, alternative education, and micro-business acumen.
But nature came to our aid, surrounding us with clean-crisp skies for our astronomy classes, hundreds of caves & fossil sites for our geology & geography classes, easy to grow fruits & vegetables, and interested friends & neighbors.
Why not replace machismo with social & personal insight?
Why not use Montessori-like education methods with adults who are functionally illiterate?
Thanks to the New England founders of Men's Net - from whose ashes COOPHA was born!
Warren Fees (in Memoriam)
Francisco L. Gonzalez
Ursula Eusebio de los Santos
Our humanities education venues stress conflict resolution as their primary objectives, a close second to abstract thinking and logic. Our educational cooperative and street university provide PRIMERS in math, physics, and astronomy. But the heart of its pedagogy is the SOCIAL SCIENCES: understanding society, culture, political & religious institutions (the norms & values of a society) - mainly what is experienced locally by the membership.
Francisco Luis Gonzalez
Ursula Eusebio de Los Santos
PRIME DIRECTIVE (no public political contact allowed)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CONVERSION
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS of the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
30 La Marina, Andres, Boca Chica
Our cooperative in Andres is a lively experiment in Constructivism, adult Montessori methods, and vocational innovation. Our open-enrollment membership consists mostly of illiterate rural men (women are also invited under a sister program), largely unemployed (many are small subsistence farmers). Our mission is to empower their families through creative hands-on micro-business ideas, novel humanities education, counseling & peer support.
"I am in that Caribbean nation 6 months out of the year, as its first Unitarian Universalist founder - along with my wife. Our UUDR goals mirror the initiatives of our other partner organization: AAWS (Alcoholics Anonymous World Service). We are committed to reduce domestic violence by identifying and activating our community's innate creativity & energy, attributes that will translate into sociocultural insight, economic opportunities, health & equality."
Funding: astronomy-related crafts, made by our members in the United States and in the Dominican Republic are used to promote the holistic objectives of our UUDR cooperative in Andres, and our linked adult-Montessori pedagogical model, USU, which in Rhode Island, provides humanities education to street folks. Our collector's museum-quality items are used to further our work; we give-away our objects, leveraging them to attract thematic (funding) partners with like-minded interests (the search for universal meaning). Whenever possible we exhibit our work (my faux-meteorites and extrasolar globes are shown here). We also publish a series of novellas.
HINTS OF EVER (our tetralogy series spans 5,000,000 years of future Earth history): The Post-Industrial Age, The Pre-Utopian Age, The Utopian Age, and The Post-Utopian Age.
Books will be available starting September, 2019.
AA: Alcoholics Anonymous
Culinary Program (community cafe)
Distressed Animal Sanctuary
Landowner Management Supports
Natural History and Prehistory Advising
Utopia Street University, USU
Lahore, Pakistan healing Initiative
Unitarian Universalists of the Dominican Republic is a no-dogma (philosophy-based) congregation founded by UU lay minister Francisco Luis Gonzalez, in solidarity with its Cali, Colombia partners, Ursula de los Santos, and Naveed Masih. Our cooperative, COOPHA, provides substance abuse assistance, belief system explorations, and vocational think-tank engagement. The greater Andres community benefits by the eclectic merging of all our elements under the umbrella of our domestic violence prevention mission/vision.
Utopia Street University is a constructivist adult-Montessori street university. We reach out to homeless folk, bringing to them a curriculum without books or extended classroom time - largely through role-played street conversations.
Contact us for more information.
UUDR is a Welcoming Congregation
UTOPIA STREET UNIVERSITY
160 Westminster St.
Floor 2, Providence. RI 02903