A grove of pines in the heart of the Fresno State campus is home to the bronze likeness of several leaders who have changed our world through love. The life-sized statues of Dr. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Jane Addams are raised on pedestals, prompting us to look up and ponder what is possible through a life of uncompromising peace and adherence to the ideals of equality. On the western edge is the larger-than-life bust of Mahatma Gandhi who, facing east, seems to oversee his legacy of nonviolence and human rights in the modern era.
As Fresno State and the community prepares to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gandhi in October, students were invited to participate in the Gandhi’s Global Legacy Student Media Competition. The competition called for submissions across various categories of media that provide new insights into Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence.
“Mahatma Gandhi’s methods of nonviolent resistance continue to draw the attention of scholars and activists for addressing issues of inequities and injustices. Gandhi’s Legacy Competition and event is the first of the series of events that are being planned to create awareness, analyze, understand and critically examine Gandhi’s strategies, methods and legacy on nonviolence at Fresno State,” said Veena Howard, Associate Professor of Philosophy and director of Gandhi’s Global Legacy Student Media Competition.
Mark your calendars:
Gandhi’s Global Legacy International Conference, commemorating Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
October 10 and 11
Keynote speaker: Reverend James Lawson
The conference will be supported by JP and Renu Sethi Foundation funds and the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies.
The Fresno State Peace and Conflict Studies program held an award ceremony to highlight participating students and recognize the winners of the competition.
“A committee was formed, and we decided to create two categories–Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and his personal practices and Gandhi’s activism — even though Gandhi saw an inextricable connection between the two. The excellence award was given to the submissions that were creative and reflected critical analysis of Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence and love-force,” said Howard.
Albert R. Haro
Following the awards, Dr. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice at State University of New York College at Cortland delivered a keynote address on “Children, Violence, and Gandhi’s Vision of Nonviolence.” Fitz-Gibbon is the author of 14 books including “Love as a Guide to Morals” and “Talking to Terrorists.”
“Even after 150 years of his birth, Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence continues to relevant. Or I can say, his philosophy is even more relevant in our contemporary world mired with social and economic inequities and environmental crisis,” said Howard. “Albert Einstein said: ‘Generations to come; it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.’ Many world leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr. Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Jane Addams, were inspired [by] Gandhi and used the nonviolent methods of civil disobedience, protests, boycotts, etc.”
The JP and Renu Sethi Foundation sponsored the contest.