Annual Gandhi lecture will focus on climate change

A bust of Gandhi in the President's Hallway on McMaster's campus

A bust of Mahatma Gandhi inside McMaster's Gilmour Hall. The annual Mahatma Gandhi Lectures on Nonviolence series was named after Gandhi to honour his role in the revitalization and development of nonviolence. (Photo by Georgia Kirkos).

“The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

McMaster’s annual lecture on non-violence will focus on climate change and individual responsibility as it returns to in-person programming following the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 29, Mustafa Santiago Ali, the vice president of environmental justice, climate and community revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation and a widely sought-after public speaker and policy advisor, will deliver the 21st annual Mahatma Gandhi Lecture on Non-Violence, a yearly guest lecture supported by the Centre for Peace Studies and the Global Peace and Social Justice program.

Ali was formerly the senior vice-president of the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-partisan organization that connects the hip hop community to civic processes, and was a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice.

“We wanted to invite a speaker who could encourage us to reflect on the choices we make, the impact of those choices on vulnerable communities specifically and offer practical solutions on how to minimize the damage we are doing to the planet,” explains Chandrima Chakraborty, director of the Global Peace and Social Justice program and the Centre for Peace Studies.

“Dr. Ali has been speaking on social justice and environmental justice issues for two decades. I am hoping he will inspire us, as individuals and as community members, to reflect on how we might be more ethical, responsible and just in our interaction with the earth and others with whom we share it.”

A poster advertising the 2022 Gandhi Lecture featuring an image of Dr. Mustafa Santiago AliAli’s talk will be in room B 138 of the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning, a large room that will allow for distanced seating. Parking will be provided for community members who wish to attend.

The Gandhi lecture is connected to the annual Gandhi Peace Festival, which, in its 30th year, is Canada’s longest-running peace festival. This year, the festival will be held on October 1 outside Hamilton City Hall and will include a keynote address by environmental activist and community leader Don McLean.

“Gandhi spoke about the negative impacts of industrialization decades ago and placed responsibility on individuals to reflect on and change their ways of living,” says Chakraborty. “He spoke about sustainable living by asking us to pay attention to the resources we use and the impact we have.”

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, go to the Centre for Peace Studies website or email

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