Gandhi Joins ‘A Season For Nonviolence' To Speak At National Civil Rights Museum

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through nonviolence, and his philosophy inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement.

This year as 50 Years of Civil Rights is marked, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, and representatives from the City of Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts & Culture will meet former Memphis Sanitation Workers and community leaders for a cross-generational conversation at the National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry, Memphis, Tn. 38103, on Friday. 

The workshop session begins at 3:00 p.m. CST led by Dr. Arun Gandhi on the topic of “A Season for Nonviolence” and will be shared via video back to students at The Howard School and senior residents of historic Mary Walker Towers in Chattanooga.

“A Season for Nonviolence” Visit to Memphis follows on the heels of “Gandhi Visits Chattanooga” in September 2012 when Dr. Arun Gandhi joined the City of Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts & Culture for a weeklong cultural and social issues tour. Among the stops on his tour, Dr. Gandhi spoke to The Howard School, nationally recognized for their leadership in the lunch counter sit-ins during the American Civil Rights Movement.

In honor of Dr. Gandhi’s visit, Mayor Ron Littlefield proclaimed Chattanooga “A Season for Nonviolence” city—joining the ranks of nearly 250 cities around the world in annually commemorating the season between Jan. 30 (the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination) and April 4 (the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’ assassination).

Congressman Steve Cohen (Tennessee 9th District—Memphis and Shelby County) said, “Mahatma Gandhi was and remains an inspiration to millions across America and the world. Gandhi was a big influence on one of America’s greatest citizens, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Having Dr. Arun Gandhi – who is a good friend and an inspiration himself -- back in Memphis to celebrate 50 years of Civil Rights and Nonviolence is a welcome treat. The Civil Rights movement had a profound impact on Memphis and our country but it is not yet over. If we truly want to honor the legacy of Gandhi and Dr. King, we must continue their unfinished work and ensure that every American has access to honest work, fair wages, affordable housing, and the ability to earn and enjoy a decent life.”

Dr. Arun Gandhi said, “When I moved from India to America, my first home was in Memphis, where I have dear friends there as well as in Chattanooga, through my work with Education, Arts & Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield. I look forward to this meeting between Chattanooga and Memphis as we learn more about their shared history in the American Civil Rights Movement and discuss my grandfather’s philosophy of nonviolence and envision ‘A Season for Nonviolence’ in both cities.”

Education, Arts & Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield said, “As we near Chattanooga’s kick-off for ‘A Season for Nonviolence’ We had the opportunity to connect Chattanooga and Memphis' friend Dr. Arun Gandhi to join us at the National Civil Rights Museum and connect statewide as Memphis embraces their own Season for Nonviolence commitment— which we are celebrating as East Meets West. From the The Howard School lunch counter sit-ins in Chattanooga to the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ protests, we have a rich Civil Rights history across our state, and a powerful story as we move forward together addressing today’s issues like gang violence.”

National Civil Rights Museum President Beverly Robertson said, “Given the proliferation of violence around the world and especially in most urban markets across the country, I believe it is critical to hear the voices of those practitioners of nonviolence. This education session gives youth attending the session an opportunity to learn the practical realities of why this approach is important. It also allows young people to hear from the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nonviolent movement, under whom Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. studied."

For more information about “A Season for Nonviolence” Tour or the City of Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts & Culture contact Melissa Turner 423 425-7826 or turner_m@chattanooga.gov.


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