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Non Violent Radio

Nonviolent Movements: Western Sahara

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Stephen Zunes, a scholar of social movements and professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Fransisco, takes us on a very interesting journey into the conflict in Western Sahara. He describes and analyzes the occupation, and the nonviolent resistance against it. Following the interview with Dr. Zunes, Michael Nagler delivers the latest “Nonviolence in the News.”

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Non Violent Radio

Non Violent Radio: Where do we go from here?

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This week’s episode of Nonviolence Radio pays special tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the 92nd anniversary of his birth. Michael begins by going over some nonviolence news, covering events in the US and abroad. He highlights the urgent need to listen, to see each other — whatever our different beliefs — as fellow humans, all of us in need of a sense of belonging to a meaningful world. This is followed by a recording of a speech given by Dr. Clayborne Carson of the MLK Institute at Stanford University in 2017. Dr. Carson turns to the life of Martin Luther. King Jr., recognizing not only the ‘mountaintop moments’ but the valleys he faced and courageously strode through. Dr. Carson calls upon us to remember King’s bigger vision which embraced not only civil rights in the US, but human rights across the globe.

“So what I would suggest is that when we go back and look at Martin Luther King’s question, “Where do we go from here?”, that it’s very possible that gaining citizenship rights has made us very complacent about human rights. We are secure and very happy in our rights as Americans in terms of citizenship because those are the rights that we expect our government to protect.

But there’s a realm of rights which is constantly being evolved in the world. A realm of rights that belongs to people as people. And it’s those rights that serve as a standard for citizenship rights. As we expand — what is our ideal for what rights should be?– that comes when we look at Martin Luther King. It’s very clear that his ideal for what rights should be is not grounded on a piece of paper, it’s not grounded on a constitution, it’s not grounded on law itself. It’s grounded on Christianity, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the prophetic tradition, the notion of justice.”

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INTERVIEWS

Arun Gandhi : Peace from the Grassroots Up

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In this enlightened talk, Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, speaks of the importance of a higher level of understanding to solve our problems and the need for global unity instead of division

Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and “black” South Africans for being too white; so, Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering.

Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world,” Gandhi said. Through daily lessons, Arun says, he learned about violence and about anger.

Arun shares these lessons all around the world. For the past five years, he has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars. In recent years his engagements included speaking at the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Women’s Justice Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also delivered talks at the Young President’s Organization in Mexico, the Trade Union Leaders’ Meeting in Milan, Italy, as well as the Peace and Justice Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sometimes, his journeys take him even further. Arun has spoken in Croatia, France, Ireland, Holland, Lithuania, Nicaragua, China, Scotland and Japan. Also, he is a very popular speaker on college campuses and in recent years, he has spoken at, North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Baker University, Morehouse College, Marquette University, and the University of San Diego, to name a few.

Arun is very involved in social programs and writing, as well. Shortly after Arun married his wife Sunanda, they were informed the South African government would not allow her to accompany him there. Sunanda and Arun decided to live in India, and Arun worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India.

Arun and his late wife, Sunanda, rescued over 125 orphan children from the streets and placed them in loving homes around the world and began a Center for Social Change, which transformed the lives of millions in villages in the western state of Maharashtra. Together, Arun and Sunanda started projects for the social and economic uplifting of the oppressed using constructive programs, the backbone of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence.

The programs changed the lives of more than half a million people in over 300 villages and they still continue to grow.  

In 1987 Sunanda and Arun came to the US and in 1991 they started the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the Christian Brothers University in Memphis Tennessee. In 2008 the Institute was moved to the University of Rochester, New York. In the 17 years of the Institute’s life the Gandhi’s took the message of nonviolence and peace to hundreds of thousands of high school and University youth around the US and much of the Western World.  

In 1997, Sunanda and Arun began the Gandhi Legacy Tour of India, in 2012 Arun expanded the business and developed two additional tour itineraries, the Gandhi Lifescapes Tour of India and Gandhi Satyagraha Tour of South Africa.

Sunanda died in February of 2007 and the family is working to establish a residential-school in poorest rural India in her honor. Arun founded the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute in 2008 headquartered in a suburb outside of Chicago, ILL. The Institute was founded to promote community building in economically depressed areas of the world through the joining of Gandhian philosophy and vocational education for children and their parents.

Arun is the author of several books. The first, A Patch of White (1949), is about life in prejudiced South Africa; then, he wrote two books on poverty and politics in India; followed by a compilation of M.K. Gandhi’s Wit & Wisdom. He also edited a book of essays on World Without Violence: Can Gandhi’s Vision Become Reality? And, more recently, wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, jointly with his late wife Sunanda and his bestseller Legacy of Love: My education in the path of nonviolenceIn March of 2014 Grandfather Gandhi was released.  A picture book for all ages by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus illustrated by Evan Turk.

Sampling of Arun’s Honorary Degrees –

  • Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), Harrogate, TN – Humanities Studies
  • Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ – Humanities Studies
  • Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD – Humanities Studies

Notable Interfaith Activities

  • Washington Post Interfaith Dialogue blog: On Faith 2006-2012
  • Board of Interfaith Alliance in Washington DC – 1998-2005
  • Interfaith March 911 – Commemorative March Unity Walk (Washington DC) – Arun has led the Interfaith Walk for each of the past 9 years
  • Promoting Mahatma Gandhi’s Interfaith messages for decades
  • Gandhi Legacy Tour – 16 years fostering Interfaith with tour participants’ prayer visits and meetings at Muslim Temples, Jain Temples, Hindu Temples – As Gandhi famously proclaimed: “I am a Christian, and a Hindu, and a Muslim and a Jew!”

In November 2013, Arun Gandhi was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions.

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Non Violent Radio

NonViolent Radio: Empathy Circles

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Empathy Circles: Edwin Rutch, the founder of Empathy Tents and the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy, demonstrates how active listening can be used in a radical way. For instance, he recently brought together Joey Gibson, a Patriot Prayer rally leader, and activist Rev. Megan Rohrer, a leader of counter-protests to the Patrior Prayer rally. Don’t miss this important dialogue. Then say tunes for “Nonviolence in the News,” the news you won’t find in mainstream media.

 


 

 

 

 

 

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