Member Highlight: A. J. Muste Memorial Institute

In 1978, with a dream of establishing a permanent home in New York for the nonviolence movement, the A. J. Muste Memorial Institute purchased a three-story loft building in downtown Manhattan, affectionately known as the “Peace Pentagon”. By providing affordable office and meeting space to mission-related tenants, and using income from several commercial storefronts to offset expenses, the Institute has provided a way for activist groups to stay in a convenient location while freeing up vital resources for their social justice work. Over time, the aging brick building became too costly to maintain, so it was sold in 2015 for just over $20 million. The organizations that were part of the community were committed to the mission, and all ten relocated to a 6,000 square foot space on Canal street. While the Muste Institute plans to buy a permanent home, their collaborative has secured a five-year lease.

To learn more about their work, visit their website at or check out the article about their move in the New York Times (


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