University observes Victory over Violence Week April 18-22

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 15, 2005 – The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi is coming to Virginia Tech's campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Squires Student Center's Old Dominion Ballroom to speak. Arun Gandhi is the keynote speaker for Victory over Violence Week from April 18-22.

Gandhi, also director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, will help bring the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi to life in his lecture entitled “Lessons from Grandfather.” A reception will follow.

An international peace exhibit, "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace," will be on display from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 18-22 at the Torgersen Museum, which is free and open to the public. The exhibit will deliver a message about individual leadership, and the difference that one person can make in promoting peace through non-violent action.

Lawrence E. Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta and creator of the exhibit, will speak during the exhibit's opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday, April 18, in Squires Student Center's Old Dominion Ballroom. Following the speech will be a free reception dinner. Those planning to attend are requested to RSVP through an online survey.

The lives of Gandhi, King, and Daisaku Ikeda, three men from different cultures and countries follow the common path of profound dedication and achievement in addressing the plight of the common people.

Gandhi's civil disobedience and nonviolent demonstrations won greater freedom and ultimately independence for 400 million Indian citizens after three centuries of British rule. King's commitment to peace and justice inspired the movement for civil and human rights, giving voice to the hopes and dreams of the poor and dispossessed throughout the world. Ikeda's work as a leading Buddhist philosopher, author, poet, and educator has led to the non-violent democratization of Japan’s feudalistic social structures and an international grass-roots initiative of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation for global peace.

Having fought selflessly in their respective times, each has left an enduring legacy for humanity, illuminating the path to non-violence, human rights, and peace. “I conceptualized the exhibition with the hope that by examining the lives of these great individuals, viewers would be inspired to create value in the context of their own daily lives through the application of the ideals of peace and non-violence,” Carter said.

The display features photographs, quotes, and historical information about the human rights leaders.

The exhibit is sponsored by Living Buddhism club, the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Religious Studies Program, and the Humanities Program, and is supported by the Soka Gakkai International – USA. Gandhi’s appearance is further sponsored by Amnesty International, Association for India’s Development, Campus Greens, LGBTA, Living Buddhism, Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program, Office of the Provost, Student Government Association, Student Life Office, and Womanspace.

For more information, contact Kai Zuehlke, (540) 230-4760.