Close this search box.

Mission & History

The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence is a nonprofit that equips people to use nonviolence to create a sustainable and just world for all.

The Gandhi Institute collaborates with local organizations, academic institutions, students, and committed peacemakers in the following areas:

Nonviolence Education

Restorative Practices

Environmental Sustainability

Racial Justice

We prioritize programming for people between the ages of 12 and 24 as well as those who serve those age groups.

By serving as a physical manifestation of Gandhian principles and Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community, the Gandhi Institute seeks to advance the cause of peacemaking regionally and beyond from within a neighborhood challenged by poverty and violence.


The Institute was founded by Arun and Sunanda Gandhi at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee in 1991. Before moving to the U.S., Arun and Sunada spent years working in India on behalf of the country’s poorest people. Arun is the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi.

He grew up outside Durban, South Africa at Phoenix Ashram (the first center for nonviolent living that MK Gandhi founded in 1903) and spent almost two years as a youth living with his grandparents in India.

Arun and Sunanda moved the Institute to Rochester in 2007. Sunanda passed away later that year. While no longer formally involved in the Institute, Arun is an important elder, teacher, and active participant in many events. He has offered opportunities for staff to learn with him during trips to India and South Africa to study nonviolence and Gandhian history.