Alumni Spotlight: Kim Grose Moore
Kim Grose Moore
Kim Grose Moore has been contributing to making the bay area a more just and equitable community for more than 30 years. She began as a Stanford student in the late 1980s when she co-created the first credit- earning service-learning course called Motivated to Serve, and has subsequently been involved in educational reform efforts, grassroots community organizing, and for the last five years has been leading a statewide restorative justice organization, working with incarcerated people in the state prisons, called the GRIP Training Institute (Guiding Rage Into Power).
What is your educational background?
My formative educational experience was going to a radical, alternative K-8 school in New York City called Manhattan Country School. It was founded in 1968 with the visión of bringing to life Martin Luther King’s dream of a beloved community. The whole curriculum was the freedom struggle. I got a BA in Anthropology from Stanford, and then went to Jesus College, Oxford with a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a MPhil in Social Anthropology.
Could you tell me about your work right now?
I am now the Executive Director of the GRIP Training Institute. GRIP stands for Guiding Rage Into Power. which is a comprehensive healing and accountability program offered to people in prison primarily serving life-sentences for violent crimes. It is an in-depth, yearlong journey where participants are able to understand and transform their violent behavior and replace it with an attitude of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. In addition, GRIP graduates are trained to facilitate the GRIP program, becoming credible messengers in teaching others. We also work with survivors of violence to engage in healing dialogues with GRIP students and graduates, in a restorative justice process. Through supporting the healing, voice, and leadership of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, as well as survivors of violence, GRIP generates ripples of change that can transform the prison system from the inside out.
Since 2012 GRIP has graduated 1220 students, and at least 620 have been released and come home to their communities. Their recidivism rate is less than 1%.
I both lead the organization, as we grow and look to scale our successful model, and I facilitate the program as well at a state prison in Soledad, CA.
How did anthropology prepare you for this field?
Anthropology for me has been very much a mindset and lens through which I view the world -- putting people and culture first, and living through questions about them. Through studying anthropology I learned about cultural conditioning, how to map and understand power relationships in society, how change happens -- all critical to my professional work in non-profit leadership, community organizing, social and racial justice work.
What advice would you give other anthropology students in your field?
I benefited greatly from having people who believed in me and encouraged me to pursue my interests and passions. I know that was a real privilege. I also had some real mentors throughout my time at Stanford and in my early 20s. This is really important, too. Find and utilize mentors of all kinds. I got a lot of great training and experience working on various projects and with different community organizations through the Haas Center for Public Service. It is a huge resource both for learning and for networks of relationships that can help later professionally.
What is next for you?
GRIP is having its 10th Anniversary celebration this week, and I am excited for that. My hope is that we can bring the healing and accountability tools of GRIP out to thousands more incarcerated people in California and the country, and that hundreds more our our graduate Peacemakers will return to their communities and be the leaders to help transform our whole society.
I also have a daughter in high school in San Jose, and look forward to continuing to see her grow and develop into her full potential as a curious and amazing young adult.