NIAGARA FALLS — The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the assassinated leader of the movement to free India from British rule, will be the lead speaker at an upcoming symposium on combatting poverty.

Arun Gandhi, a resident of Rochester who's nicknamed "The Peace Farmer," will be the keynote speaker at the Compassionate Niagara Conference on March 13.

The conference, formerly known as the Niagara County Poverty Conference, is presented by the Niagara County Coalition for Services to the Homeless, Buffalo-Niagara Falls and Erie-Niagara Counties Continuum of Care, and Niagara University. The conference will take place at NU's Russell J. Salvatore Dining Commons.

“The Conference Planning Committee has designed a true conference,” said Mitchell Alegre, committee member and adjunct professor of management and leadership at NU. “Those who come to the gathering will confer together as community citizens. It is important that members representing all sectors of our communities participate in the discussions."

The gathering, now in its seventh year, was rebranded after last year’s conference, titled “Compassionate Communities: Where Do I Fit In?”

The success of that conference, focused around how to build a more compassionate Niagara County, led to larger discussions over the past 12 months, according to Christian Hoffman of Community Missions. The 2019 conference will feature opportunities for discussion of ways to carry "compassion" forward, he said.

The conference fee is $20. To register, go to .

Conference sponsors include Calspan, the Grigg Lewis Foundation, Confer Plastics, Covanta, Fidelis Care, Niagara Falls City School District, Kane Construction, East Hill Foundation, Community Missions and Phi Delta Kappa.