Carl is a United Church of Christ clergyman and adjunct faculty member at Mt. Marty College, Watertown, SD campus. He is a founder and on the planning committee of the Brookings SD Interfaith Council that has carried on interfaith community dialogue since 2011. He has been to India thirteen times, usually taking groups from the West to live and travel with followers of Mahatma Gandhi. He is a co-founder of Nonviolent Alternatives, a small not-for-profit that, for 15 years, provided intercultural experiences with Lakota/Dakota people in the Northern Plains and brought conflict resolution and peer mediation programs to schools around the region. Carl was one of the early participants in the development of Peace Brigades International and served for many years on the PBI-USA coordinating committee and on the International Council. He coordinates the blog Living Nonviolence, writes a weekly column for the local paper, and fasts with Fast for the Earth.
Lois is retired from her position as office administrator/accountant for 19 years at Dakota Rural Action, a South Dakota nonprofit organization dedicated to agriculture and environmental sustainability. She was affiliated with Nonviolent Alternatives for many years, and in 1995 she traveled with the group to India where they met and lived with Gandhian followers. Her current interests include encouraging local foods and food safety, environmental issues, and the arts.
IT/Marketing Strategist and Designer
Abhay has been affiliated with the Satyagraha Institute since 2015 and has a background in business and user experience design. He is particularly interested in how design can serve as a conduit for social change and ethical business practices. His current role involves IT and marketing strategy.
Coordinating Committee Facilitator
Erika Tritle received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the History of Christianity and researches Christian understandings of Jews and of race. Since 2010 she has taught courses at South Dakota State University ranging from World Civilization I to Introduction to Religion. She also studies modern dance and finds that all these things coalesce in the pursuit of nonviolence as a way of life.
Cook / Kitchen Manager
Melinda is an English teacher at Douglas Middle School in Box Elder, SD. She helps her students develop conflict resolution skills, become upstanders in bullying situations, and explore civil rights violations that have occurred here and abroad. Melinda also has a passion for cooking. She often cooks for her church, and she has taught a series of classes through the local kitchen store. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs complement most meals she makes. Melinda looks forward to preparing food for the Institute that will be nutritious and delicious. Please feel free to share with her any menu suggestions!
Program Coordinator - Black Hills
Andrea studied Biology at St. Mary's College in Note Dame, IN where she developed a heart of service. She spent a year in Mexico developing a hospice outreach program with a medical clinic in a poor community and returned to the states to pursue a Masters of Education at the University of Notre Dame. She taught high school biology and middle school science in Catholic schools where she incorporated the arts and Spanish in her classes. Andrea spends at least an hour in the pool everyday and delights in finding healthy and delicious new recipes to cook. She loves traveling with her husband and caring for little Joseph, their youngest Satyagrahi.
Program Coordinator - Nigeria
Christopher Ose Ehidiamen, a participant at the 2016 Satyagraha institute in South Dakota, U.S.A, is an inspirational teacher and a life coach. He also consults as a workforce trainer on staff performance improvement and intra-personal and inter-personal leadership. He organises City-shakers conference, a leadership development boot camp which holds annually in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied chemical Engineering at the University of Benin, Nigeria.
Fernando H. Ferrara
Program Coordinador - Mexico
Fernando founded Mesa de Paz, a network of 16 NGO’s in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, working to create a more peaceful culture through nonviolent social change. This organization now has a youth activist network working on a variety of projects, such as: Nacidos para Triunfar (working with 22 gangs to bring them into nonviolence and social commitments); Cruzada Cabal (150 volunteers educating youth to bring them out of alcohol and drug dependence); Arte Urbano (supporting urban art, performing art, music and painting in high risk communities); and Despierta (a peace newsletter for youth). Fernando has worked as General Manager of Industrias Ferrara, Manager of Fabrica de Papel Monterrey and Empaques de Carton Hercules, Manager of Artes Graficas Integradas, CEO of Grupo CHRISTUS Muguerza, and CEO of Hexagonos Mexicanos. Fernando traveled to India to study the philosophy of Gandhi at the Institute of Gandhian Studies for a year in the city of Wardha (Servagram) Mahajarashtra. That same year (1994) he was named a lifetime member of the Gandhi Peace Foundation in Cochin, Kerala, India.