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February 15, 2012

A Season for Nonviolence focuses on youth outreach

From February to April, youth from the greater Rochester area will have opportunities to attend lectures and events that share the nonviolent practices taught by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. during A Season for Nonviolence.

Planned by the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University, along with a host of community partners, A Season for Nonviolence is the nationally celebrated 64-day period between the memorial anniversaries of the assassinations of Gandhi on Jan. 30 and King on April 4. Launched in 1998 at the United Nations, the season is a time to reflect upon the nonviolent practices of Gandhi and King. This year, Rochester is one of almost 900 communities to participate.

New this year is the Youth Activist Movement, which brings more than 100 students from the city of Rochester and its outlying suburbs together to train in nonviolence principles and practices.

“We’re hoping to connect the youth to the spirited actions that are happening around the world and in our own community,” says Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute. “It feels really important, especially given the current global situation, to get the tools of nonviolence into the hands of as many people as we can, particularly the youth activists.”

Events at a glance:

  • Rev. James Lawson Lecture, Sunday, Feb. 19, 6 to 9 p.m., Mt. Olivet Baptist Church (141 Adams St., Rochester).
    The evening will begin with the screening of a segment of A Force More Powerful, a film that looks at how nonviolence campaigns have been effective throughout history. The film will be followed by a lecture by Lawson, a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the American civil rights movement.
  • Concert: The Foundation Movement, Thursday, Feb. 23, 6 to 10 p.m., Memorial Art Gallery auditorium.
    Foundation Movement members use hip-hop music to address issues of injustice and oppression, while spreading a message of peace and positive change. Tickets are $5 at the door.
  • Art Exhibit: Americans Who Tell the Truth, Wednesday, March 7 through Monday, April 2, Central Library Link Gallery.
    Americans Who Tell the Truth includes 14 portraits by Brooksville, Maine, artist Robert Shetterly that represent American leaders and activists who inspired great change before the age of 30. Shettlerly will also give a lecture Sunday, March 11, 2 to 4 p.m., at the  Central Library (115 South Avenue, Rochester).
  • Paul Chappel, Gandhi Distinguished Lecturer, Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., Interfaith Chapel on the River Campus.
    Paul Chappel, a nationally recognized peace activist, West Point graduate, and veteran of the Iraq war, shares his views on how society can put an end to war.

A full list of events can be found at

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