Founding Director

Dr. Tara Sethia

Tara Sethia is the founder of the Ahimsa Center. She served as its director from 2003 to 2022, and held the inaugural the Shri Shantinath Endowed Chair in Ahimsa Studies 2020-2022.

In her role as the founding director of the Center, Dr. Sethia envisioned and launched various initiatives in education about nonviolence and directed the Center programs and activities for nearly two decades. These included the multidisciplinary minor in Nonviolence Studies, the biannual international and multidisciplinary conferences related to various aspects of ahimsa, the residential institutes in nonviolence for K-12 educators, the annual public lectures, dialogues, workshops, and several special events exploring the relevance of nonviolence in our times.

To endure and further expand the ahimsa initiatives, Dr. Sethia worked with the donors and the university to establish in 2020 the Shri Shantinath Endowed Chair in Ahimsa Studies in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Dr. Sethia is recipient of several grants, awards and honors, including Gold and Silver Medals from the University of Rajasthan, India; and a multi-year major grant from the National Endowment for Humanities to direct professional development Program on India and China for K-12 educators.

Professor Sethia received her Ph.D. in History from University of California, Los Angeles, and M. A. and B.A (Honors) in History from Rajasthan University (India). She has been a faculty member in the History Department at Cal Poly Pomona since 1991. Currently she is emerita professor of history.

Her publications include the following:

Gandhi. Pioneer of Nonviolent Social Change.  Tara Sethia.  Library of World Biography.  Series Editor Peter N. Stearns
Ahimsa, Anekanta and Jainism.  Edited by Tara Sethia
The Living Gandhi.  Lessons for Our Times.  the wide-ranging collection of essays disproves the myth that [Gandhi] is passe.  Aruna Roy.  Edited by Tara Sethia and Anjana Narayan