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International Day of Non-Violence - 2021

Mahatma Gandhi 152nd birthday

Celebrated International Non Violence Day by the UN and honoring Mahatma Gandhi on his 152nd birthday (October 2,1869).


Date: October 2nd 2021, 11AM-2 PM

Location: Minnesota Historical Society, 3M Auditorium
                 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102


India Association of Minnesota celebrated Mahatma Gandhi's legacy of peace through non- violence to eradicate the ingrained systemic racial violence, injustice and inequality against minorities(women, native Americans, Blacks, immigrants, LGBTQ, marginalized people of any race).Our world needs Gandhi philosophy of peace through Nonviolence more than ever in current turbulent times of conflicts among communities and violence against environment/nature.

This program featured speakers, a short film on Gandhi's life, a conversation about his legacy, a cultural display and temporary exhibit.

2021 Speakers
  • Keynote Speaker: Rose McGee

    Rose McGee is Founder of the internationally recognized Sweet Potato Comfort Pie organization. She is a well-known facilitator, one of Minnesota’s 50 Over 50, a member of Women Who Really Cook, the Women’s Business Development Center, Golden Valley League of Women Voters, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and works as a Humanities Officer for Minnesota Humanities Center. She is the former president of the NAACP in Rochester, MN. Rose now resides in Golden Valley, Minnesota where she was named “Citizen of The Year,” was presented the “Bill Hobbs Human Rights Award,” and is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Bush Fellowship. She is featured in the national PBS documentary, A Few Good Pie Places, author of the books, Story Circle Stories, Kumbayah The Juneteenth Story, and has a TEDx Talk on The Power of Pie. Other recognition includes: The Lorraine Hansberry Award for Outstanding Black Women in Minnesota, NAACP Outstanding Service Awards, Stairstep Foundation’s African Immersion to Ghana, West Africa, Jerome Foundation Travel Grant to Ghana, West Africa, and Minnesota Social Impact Center Change Maker Award. 

    In 2021 her children’s book, Can’t Nobody Make a Sweet Potato Pie like Our Mama, will be released by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. She earned degrees from Lane College Jackson, Tennessee and Lesley University Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Guest Speaker : Ram Gada

    Ram has been in Minnesota since 1965 and has been with IAM since 1983 in various capacities like ByLaws Revisions, TAC formation, Community Liaison Committee, Nomination Committee, Scholarship Award judge and Annual IAM award committee judge

    Ram with his wife Neena Gada is involved in several organizations like SILC, Gujarati Samaj, Jain Center of Minnesota, Hindu Society of Minnesota, MAIDA, KOJAIN, and JAINA. Ram has played a very important role in developing IAM oral History Projects since 1992 and bringing Beyond Bollywood Exhibit at the History Center in 2016. Ram is Emeritus and Council Member at Minnesota Historical Society after serving on the Council from 2003-12 as vice president and served on the finance, and Grant Award Committees.

    Ram is a recipient of several awards, including 2014 Lifetime Achievement award from Asia Pacific Council in 2014 and 2019 JAINA Ratna Award from Jain Federation in North America. Ram and Neena Gada are part of the book "$8MAN" published in 2017. Ram was a founder and president of Gada & Associates, Inc., Consulting Engineers (1980-2010) and served as a president of Minnesota ASHRAE in 1982 and as a historian in 1984- 85.

  • Guest Speaker: Dr. Raj Rajan

    Dr. Raj Rajan is an environmental engineer with over 35 years of experience with water stewardship, greenhouse gas mitigation, and climate change adaptation in the private sector. He is currently an independent environmental consultant and serves on many non-profit boards in Minnesota and was appointed by the Governor as the statewide business representative on the Clean Water Council in 2015. He has been telling the story of Mahatma Gandhi’s life, ideas and ideals through philately (postage stamps and postal history) for over 25 years. 

  • Guest Speaker: Shivangi Pandey

    Shivangi Pandey is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is attending the College of Science and Engineering, where she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering on a Pre-Medicine track. At her institution, she is actively involved in many extracurricular activities, including the Society of Women Engineers, the College of Science and Engineering Student Board, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and much more. She currently serves as the Lead Ambassador for the Engineering Ambassadors Network at the University of Minnesota.


    Prior to her undergraduate studies, Shivangi graduated among the top of her class in high school with the highest honors and academic distinction. She participated in the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program as a senior standing high school student in which she was listed on the Dean’s List during her time spent at a college. She was heavily involved within the school community in which she served as President of both the National Honor Society and Student Council, Captain of the Varsity Tennis Team and Knowledge Bowl Team, and a House Leader for the Panther Mentor Program. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including receiving the 2021 Outstanding Female Student Award at her high school, the Hindu Society of Minnesota Student Fellowship Award, and the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Leadership award

    from the India Association of Minnesota.


    Shivangi continues to give back to her community through volunteering at a local hospital and various organizations within the Indian community.

  • Guest Speaker: Aneesh Swaminathan

    Aneesh Swaminathan is a junior at Wayzata High School, Plymouth. He was the first-place co-recipient of 2021 Twin Cities Non-Violence essay competition and enjoys participating through various media for civil causes. He has a great passion for science and writing. He actively partakes in competitive examinations and multiple science competitions in which he has been medaled and been nationally recognized. Outside of his science niche, he enjoys mountain biking through new terrains and nature in his free time. Otherwise, you can find him endlessly reading up and dissenting on current events.

2021 Performances
  • Classical Music: Kusum Saxena

    Kusum Saxena was born in India, came to USA in 1960 and was in Boston for 5 years, came to St.Paul, MN in 1967. In High School in Delhi, she and other girls from her school used to attend Mahatma Gandhi's lectures and prayer meetings once a week and used to sing Bhajans or Keertan there.

    She did MBBS and M.D. in Medicine from K.G. Medical College, Lucknow where she received three Gold Medals. In the USA, she did Medical Boards in 3 different subjects: Family Practice, Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology.

    She worked at the St. Paul Ramsey Hospital (now called Regions Hospital) in the Emergency Department for 25 years and started the Poison Control Center where she was the Co-Director for many years. She used to train the Paramedics and the Fire department personnel in emergency medical care in the Twin City Metropolitan Area.

    She is married, has two children, 5 Grandchildren and even 4 Great Grand Daughters. She was one of the Founders of the Hindu Mandir of MN and has been a Trustee from its inception in 1978 and is now a Lifetime Trustee. She learned Indian Classical Music and sings Bhajans, Aarti and Keertan at the Mandir.

  • Classical Dance: Nritya Kalakshetra Academy Of Performing Arts


    Nritya Kalakshetra Academy will be presenting "Sadbhava' on remembering our nation's father Mahatma Gandhi on this special day.


    Performers.: Gayathri Dileepan & Vibashreya Srivatsan. Senior dancers & Performers From Nritya Kalakshetra Academy .


    Choreographed by senior students- Vibashreya Srivatsan& Gayathri Dileepan.

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International Day of Non-Violence - 2020

Mahatma Gandhi 151st birthday

Let us all celebrate the 151st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi ( October 2,International Non Violence Day by UN), sponsored by India Association of Minnesota (IAM).

Our world needs Gandhi philosophy of peace through Nonviolence more than ever in current times with the ingrained systemic systematic racial violence against Native Americans and Blacks from the last 500 years. Let us learn from the esteemed speakers about legacy of Mahatma Gandhi to eradicate the injustice and inequality instituted against minorities (women, non white people, immigrants,LGBTQ, marginalized people of any race).

Let us get inspired to be part of the active nonviolence movement for equal justice and equality.

Date: Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Time: 6pm - 7:30pm

Format: Virtual (zoom);