In this Spotlight interview, I spoke with Andrea Palomo-Robles, the Executive Director of the Satyagraha Institute. She’s been involved with the Satyagraha Institute since 2016, participating in several programs and engaging in the Coordinating Committee. Andrea is a political scientist and studied Nonviolence at the Gujarat Vidyapith University, founded by Gandhi. We discussed the meaning of satyagraha, Andrea's personal and professional journey, the importance of the inner life and self-transformation in nonviolence work, and Gandhi's emphasis on constructive program.
As an undergraduate student at George Washington University, I took a class on Philosophy & Nonviolence and in that course read Gandhi's writings, among other theorists of nonviolence. Gandhi's words leapt off the page, simultaneously inspiring and challenging, and I've been grappling with his ideas ever since. So I deeply appreciated the opportunity to speak with Andrea, a scholar and practitioner of Gandhian nonviolence. The fact that 74 years after Gandhi's death, two young people- a young woman from Mexico and a Sri-Lankan American young man- are discussing his philosophy is a testament to the enduring light and global reach of his legacy. Andrea radiated warmth and kindness (a difficult task over Zoom), and talking to her I felt that we were kindred spirits, walking alongside one another on the satyagraha path. Andrea reminded me that peace is not some unattainable goal, but a daily practice. In a time when it is so easy to fall into despair, Andrea's passion for the work of nonviolence training fills my heart with hope. I found our conversation insightful and inspiring and I hope you do too.
Learn more about the Satyagraha Institute here- https://satyagrahainstitute.org/
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