University of Rochester

EVENT: Civil Rights Legend in Rochester during the Season for Nonviolence

February 5, 2014

2014 Season Features Events with Dr. Bernard Lafayette

This February, Civil Rights legend Dr. Bernard "Doc" Lafayette Jr. comes to Rochester for a week of lectures and trainings around Kingian nonviolence and conflict reconciliation during Rochester's Season for Nonviolence celebration.

Organized by the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester, the Season features a lunch talk with Dr. Lafayette at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, at Central Library's Kate Gleason Auditorium. Titled "Lessons Learned from the Civil Right Legacy," the lecture will reflect on Lafayette's voting rights activism with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Selma, Ala., and later as the national coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples' Campaign, the final movement led by King. That night, Lafayette will give a second talk, "The Dream Deferred: Challenges of Institutionalizing Change" at 7 p.m. at Asbury Methodist Church. The evening includes a lecture and question-and-answer session. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18 and Wednesday, Feb. 19, Dr. Lafayette and colleague Jonathan "Globe" Lewis will co-lead a two day Kingian nonviolence training session with teens from the Rochester region. Attendees will practice leadership and problem-solving skills and learn to fight racism; those who complete the program will receive a certification for their efforts. Co-sponsored by the University of Rochester's Office of Admissions, youth also will tour campus and connect with admissions counselors.

"We're offering local youth the extraordinary opportunity to participate in the best nonviolence training available world-wide," says Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute. "We're hoping to inspire them to be active leaders in how to deal with issues of violence or despair in their schools and communities."

Members of the community who are creating programs that promote nonviolence and peacemaking or look critically at issues of violence, are invited to post events to the Season's calendar at

Season for Nonviolence Events at a Glance:

Three Films for the Season: My Name is Khan
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., Gandhi Institute (929 Plymouth Avenue South)
The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion.

Three Films for the Season: The Night Buss
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., Gandhi Institute (929 Plymouth Avenue South)
The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion.

Two-Day Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence
Thursday, Feb. 20 & Friday, Feb. 21, Rochester Friends Meeting House (84 Scio Street)
The Positive Peace Warriors will provide a 16-hour comprehensive introduction to the philosophy and strategy of Kingian nonviolence. To register for one of the 30 seats available, email Tammy at

Three Films for the Season: Bliss
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., Gandhi Institute (929 Plymouth Avenue South)
The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion.

Interfaith Banquet
Saturday, April 5, 6 p.m., Interfaith Chapel on the University's River Campus
The annual Interfaith Banquet brings together individuals and organizations across the Rochester community to celebrate a diversity of generations and belief systems.

About The Season for Nonviolence
The Season for Nonviolence is the nationally celebrated 64-day period between the memorial anniversaries of the assassinations of Mohandas K. Gandhi on Jan. 30, and of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4. Initiated in 1998 at the United Nations, the Season is a time to reflect on the nonviolent practices of these leaders. This year, Rochester will be one of almost 900 communities to participate.

Sponsors of Rochester's celebration are led by the Gandhi Institute, and include the University of Rochester's Admissions Department, Rochester Friends Meeting, Asbury Methodist Church, Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Rochester Mennonite Fellowship, Monroe Community College, Rochester AmeriCorps, and Rochester Institute of Technology, with more added every day.