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Youth Healing Hate Grants

The 2023 cycle will open this fall. Please return to this page next month to print or digitally complete the grant application. 


“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it.” -Helen Keller

The Youth Healing Hate project initially drew from two sources for inspiration. First is Howard Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited, a book that Dr. King carried with him for years. In this book, Thurman, an African-American faith leader who mentored Dr. King and countless other leaders, warns people of the danger to any society where hatred has become respectable, and of the need for people to actively understand and reduce hate.

A second source of inspiration is the founding story of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, whose lands are where the Gandhi Institute and the recipients of these grants live. It is a remarkable example of the enduring power of transforming hate. We hope that everyone involved in these projects will become healers, peacemakers, and warriors for justice.

In 2016 the United States experienced a rise in hate crimes that has now continued into consecutive years. Local communities have been targeted because of their religion, sexuality, and ethnicity. In response to these recent events, the Gandhi Institute (in partnership with the Farash Foundation) created Youth Healing Hate grants, to empower youth to address the root causes of hate and incivility. 

Through this grant, local youth ages 12-24 can receive up to $1,000 for projects that provide a creative solution to fear, hostility, and division within their community.


The 2021-2022 youth leaders and their projects:

Minorities Unite, Makayla Holliman

The Connection Perspective, Jorge Jimenez

Art Against Hate, Matteah Boots-Cullote

We Got This, Isaiah Santiago

Positivity and Integrity Tree, Cameron Teens

Student Open Mic, Ariana Rodriguez and School 17

Peace and Unity Mural, Natalie Reagan and Nativity Prep




Designed by Nayal Zaidi in collaboration with Richard Duan, Aidan Gagnon, and Jacob Byck, this project focused on raising awareness to create a more equal and just society. The final project was a music video with lyrics and videography that instilled positivity and unity.
Check out their music video!

Students Together Against Racism

The Wheatland-Chili Central School District anti-racism club, Students Together Against Racism, designed a mural that spells "Equality" in ASL, featuring different pride flags and hands from diverse races.

Meditation On The Move (M.O.M)

Designed by Vanguard Collegiate High School student Natalie Robles, this project focused on youth and calming strategies. Student leaders were taught yoga and meditation, and created workshops to share with their peers, faculty, and staff.

Art 2 Heart

Designed by Wilson Magnet High School student Daimarelys Lara, this project focused on the expansion of the current methods of restorative practices beyond peace circles through using art as a form of healing.

Youth Recognition Reward

Designed by Brian Fox, this project aimed to recognize community members who utilize best practices in working with youth who cope with mental health challenges. By reducing barriers and stigma associated with mental health challenges there can be an increase community awareness and deeper support.

Peace Ambassadors

Designed by Guelmary Rodriguez and the Peace Ambassadors club at Integrated Arts and Technology, this project focused on student-led community building. The final project included a Spoken Word Showcase/Coffee House, art work created and displayed in the school to demonstrate unity, and a short video on respect.

Spread The Love Day!

Designed by National Junior Honor Society Members from School #5, this project created a half day of events and activities discussing unity, kindness, and peace. Activities included peace circles, creating signs and murals representing peace, and cooking a meal for St. Joe's Neighborhood Center.

A Healthy Outside Starts with the Inside

The Student Voice club at Northeast High School got together to paint inspiring images and quotes on their bathroom stalls, stating that the bathroom is often a place of reprieve for a high-school student. They also posted QR codes on the stalls that would link a student in crisis with an available and trusted teacher.

Community Mural Project

Designed by Kaori-Mei Stephens, this project paired students from the Harley School with students from World of Inquiry to create an informational mural about the Emergency Services and Family Stabilization Network (ESFSN).

MCC Upward Bound: the Police Teen Talent Slam 2K18.

Designed by Gammachis Duresso with MCC Upward Bound, this final project was a Talent Slam between Rochester Youth and police. Prior to the showcase, youth and police came together during a racism dialogue event to discuss many issues plaguing Rochester, such as police teen relations, education, and racism, in order to share their experiences and reflect on possible solutions.

We Are Rochester

Designed by UR student Ruki PV, this project incorporated themes of diversity and togetherness in a mural. Specific themes emerged directly from the students at Bloomfield Elementary School.

Student Lead Community Service & In-School Resource Center

Designed by 5th and 6th grade students at Discovery Charter School, this project created a sister's closet, a brother's closet, and a pantry, that provided youth with clothing and food items. Upon implementation, it created a feedback loop where community stepped in and continued the food and clothing donation drives since the infrastructure was successful.

Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes

Designed by School #35 Island Jacobs, this project explored cultural awareness with the entire 6th grade class. Students engaged with the various culture, language, and food from three different cultures.

Students Taking a Stand for Communities within Communities

Designed by 8th grader Khadeja Thomas, President of the Monroe High School Math Club, this project aimed to create unity through the creation of a Monroe flag in both Spanish & English. Additionally, the entire Math Club became trained in Nonviolent Communication in efforts to create a more peaceful school environment.

View projects from the last few years here.