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Non-Profit Report: The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence works to realize the vision of its historic namesake by helping individuals and communities create public awareness of how nonviolence is critical to human thriving. The Institute collaborates with local organizations, academic institutions, students and committed peacemakers in the following areas: nonviolence education, sustainability and environmental conservation, and the promotion of restorative justice. Its primary focus is on people aged 12-24 and those who serve them.

The Institute offers training in skills such as nonviolent communication, conflict resoluation, self-reflection, meditation and experiential interconnectedness, and fosters sustainability practices in the Rochester area such as community gardening and urban agriculture.

The Institute was founded by Arun Gandhi (the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi) and Sunanda Gandhi at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., in 1991. The Institute moved to the Interfaith Chapel at the University of Rochester in 2007, and then to its current home on 929 Plymouth Ave. S. in 2012. The Institute is sponsored in part by UR.

Its headquarters are in a formerly abandoned building in Rochester’s historic Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood. With major support from a few donors, Merkel-Donohue, the University of Rochester and other area businesses and volunteers, the house was transformed into a living museum for nonviolence. It is visited by hundreds each year for learning and service and has become a destination for studying community-based nonviolence for national and international visitors. The adjacent vacant lot has become a busy community garden that feeds neighbors and plays host to a youth employment project in urban agriculture.

In addition to its ongoing programs for college students, the Institute works weekly with more than 100 students in local urban and suburban schools to share tools in nonviolence, social justice and conflict resolution. Students in the nonviolence clubs in urban and suburban schools gather together twice each year to build a communitywide network of committed young nonviolence practitioners.

The executive director is Katherine Miller, who oversees four employees, and the website is

Financial Record    Year ended June 30, 2014
Revenue        %
Contributions, grants and gifts    $143,918    77
Program services    40,156    21
Sales of assets    1,758    1
Other    1,363    1
Total revenue    $187,195    100

Expenses        %
Salaries and benefits    $96,674    57
Professional services    18,872    11
Occupancy    9,042    6
Other    43,678    26
Total expenses    $168,266    100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses    $18,929

Board of Directors
Michael Hagelberg, president
Rebecca Johnson, vice president
Barbara van Kerkhove, secretary
Glenn Cerosaletti, treasurer
Alykhan Alani
Margaret Burns
Matthew Burns
Isobel Davies
Duke Duchscherer
Trish Goodman
Sebby Jacobson
Jarred Jones
Larry Marx
Rashid Muhammad
Rajeev Nair
Matias Piva
Ashwin Shah
Thomas Stokell

If you are interested in having your group featured in the Non-Profit Report, please contact Rochester Business Journal  at (585) 546-8303, ext. 116, or email [email protected]

12/19/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]


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