Arun Gandhi is on a mission to restore the state of humanity. It is a big goal, but he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian leader and peacemaker who instilled in his grandson a sense of duty and obligation.

Mr. Gandhi will visit Martha’s Vineyard to speak to its youth at The Gandhi Youth Forum on Sunday, June 28, at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Marine Hospital location in Vineyard Haven, beginning at 5 p.m. The event is the highlight of the 11th annual Youth Leadership Summit, organized by the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, which recognizes the impact of Mr. Gandhi’s work and has long sought his participation in the event.

“I have been begging him to come for a long time but his schedule is always packed,” said Marianne Larned, executive director of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute.

The event will be emceed by Dukes County commissioner Gretchen Tucker Underwood. Mr. Gandhi’s conversation with the youth will be moderated by Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative alumna Isabella Hazell El-Deiry.

“I will talk to the youth about what we need to do to change the state of affairs in the world,” said Mr. Gandhi in a phone conversation with the Gazette. “What we are doing right now is hardly civilization. Look at how much violence we have in the world today. Sports, entertainment, language and the relationships we have with each other are all violent, and that culture of violence is destroying humanity today.”

Mr. Gandhi spoke of his own definition of civilization. “Civilized is when we live in harmony with each other and don’t define people by their race and color and bank accounts and so on. We have compassion for each other, love for each other and respect for each other,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi learned this early on, having been raised in a household that taught these values and virtues. “My parents followed grandfather’s philosophy so we were brought up in a house full of love and compassion and understanding and respect for each other, and we saw it in action all the time so it has become second nature,” he said.

He believes that to teach non-violence is not enough. It must be practiced by those who preach it.

“The problem is today most parents tell their children to do something that they don’t want to do themselves,” he said. “So the philosophy of non-violence says we have to live what we want others to learn. We can’t teach people to do something if they don’t see us doing the same thing.”

Mr. Gandhi laments the fact that the philosophy of non-violence has been branded as a strategy for conflict resolution and refers to it being used as a sort of ‘weapon’ which, once brandished, is then put away.

“My grandfather used it for gaining independence for the country and Dr. Martin Luther King used it in this country to gain civil rights for the people. So it got branded as a resolution for conflict,” he said. Instead, he feels it must be seen as a way of life. “People have to look at it as a tool for personal transformation and not just as a way of resolving conflict. We have to change ourselves so that we don’t create conflict. We can’t be nonviolent one day and violent the next. We have to learn to live with compassion, respect and understanding instead of hate, prejudice and misunderstandings.”

Mr. Gandhi has worked tirelessly to impart the lessons he learned from his grandfather to audiences around the world. “I do hope and pray that young people will see the wisdom in this alternative and make a change, because otherwise the alternative is we are doomed,” he said. “They are going to kill each other and destroy each other and that will be the end of humanity.”

After his talk, Mr. Gandhi will hold an informal discussion with attendees of the forum. A reception will follow, and Bunch of Grapes bookstore will host a signing for his books: Grandfather Gandhi, Legacy of Love and The Forgotten Woman.

Grammy-nominated flutist Viviana Guzman will perform at the event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Youth ages 12 to 18 are invited to attend for free. RSVP to