Ahimsa Center - Hamilton and Denise Brewart International Conference on Nonviolence [17.-19.10.2008]

Published: 07.08.2008
Updated: 02.07.2015

Rediscovering Gandhian Wisdom: Building a Peaceful Future

Hamilton and Denise Brewart International Conference on Nonviolence

Time & Location

  • October 17-19 (Friday-Sunday), 2008
  • Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major and Minor, Pomona, CA 91768, USA

Conference Description

To download conference flyer, click here

The third international conference of the Ahimsa Center at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (in Los Angeles area) will focus on rediscovering the Gandhian wisdom grounded in Ahimsa and Truth to help us chart a more peaceful and more harmonious human future. This conference will bring together from all around the world leading Gandhian scholars and exemplars of Gandhian values. Collectively we will celebrate Gandhi’s gifts to humanity, and explore how we can apply his wisdom to find enduring solutions for the vexing political, social and personal problems we face.

The special significance of the conference lies in its timing which is close to two important centennials associated with Gandhi’s life and work. In 1908 Gandhi first launched his revolutionary satyagraha campaign in South Africa, and in 1909 he wrote Hind Swaraj--widely regarded as his seminal work, which argues for a civilization based on values such as nonviolence and truth. Inspired by the soul force, satyagraha became Gandhi’s modus operandi for combating political oppression and socio-economic injustice. Several movements in the twentieth century followed the Gandhian paradigm and some are continuing to do so in different parts of the world.

This conference will be a forum to explore the timely relevance of Gandhi’s thought as well as his methods. At the intellectual level, we will examine the implications of Gandhian concepts, ideas and strategies for disciplines such as history, political science, psychology, economics, law, business and environmental studies. At the practical level, we will examine how Gandhian models of education, economic development and political action have been employed world-wide.

The lessons derived at the conference will be vital for fostering a culture of nonviolence and promoting social and political change through nonviolence. The conference will also provide a major impetus for education about nonviolence in schools and colleges.

Conference Schedule

Friday, October 17, 2008; 9:00 am - Sunday, October 19, 2008; 5:00 pm

Major Conference Speakers

Rajni Bakshi

has spent the last 25 years in the fertile ground between journalism and activism - chronicling struggles for more humane and ecologically sound ways of life. She is a trustee of Child Rights and You (CRY) and Citizens for Peace in Mumbai. She is also a long-term associate of the Centre of Education and Documentation (Mumbai & Bangalore); Timbaktu Collective (Andhra Pradesh) and Jansahayog Trust (Mumbai). Her books include The Dispute over Swami Vivekananda's Legacy (1993); Bapu Kuti: Journeys in Rediscovery of Gandhi (1998); and An Economics for Well-Being (2007).

Akeel Bilgrami

is the Johnsonian Chair of Philosophy at Columbia University, a founding member of Columbia's Committee on Global Thought, and the Director of the Heyman Centre for the Humanities. His books include: Belief and Meaning, (1992); Self-Knowledge and Resentment (2006); and Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity (forthcoming 2009). He has held visiting positions at Oxford University, Yale University, Australian National University, and Jawaharlal Nehru University; and has held the Rajeev Gandhi Fellowship and the Radhakrishnan Chair in India. In 2009 he will be a fellow in the 'Scholars and Writers' program at the New Public Library, where he will write a book on Gandhi's thought.

Charles R. DiSalvo

is the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he teaches litigation-related courses as well as a seminar on Civil Disobedience and the Law. He has published widely on topics relating to nonviolence and the law. He is currently completing a biography, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: From Courthouse to Jailhouse. He has been recognized for his teaching excellence by the Roscoe Pound Foundation, by the West Virginia University Foundation and by his students, who have named him Professor of the Year on five occasions.

Rajmohan Gandhi

is the author of a major new biography of his grandfather the Mahatma. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Faculty Director of Global Crossroads, a learning and living community at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His books include Mohandas: a True Story of a Man, his People and an Empire (2007) and Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns (2004). He was awarded the International Humanitarian Award (Human Rights) from the City of Champaign in 1994, an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Calgary and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Obirin University, Tokyo in 1997.

Vibha Gupta

is Chairperson of Magan Sangrahalaya (Wardha), the museum of Rural Industries founded by Mahatma Gandhi. She assisted her father, an eminent Gandhian, the late Dr. Devendra Kumar, in founding the Centre of Science for Villages in 1978, and has been working since then in developing appropriate technologies for rural population in areas such as renewable energy, rural artisans, housing, sanitation, forest, agro-based rural industries, and women-oriented technologies. She heads the Karigar Panchayat (Artisans Forum), a national movement to preserve, protect and promote the skills, knowledge and culture of Indian Artisan. She is a recipient of numerous awards, and has to her credit five publications and ten films that focus on appropriate rural technologies.

Prasad Kaipa

is the executive director of Center for Leadership Innovation and Change in the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and a CEO coach and advisor in the Silicon Valley. He has worked with over 100 CEOs and senior executives in coaching context, and over 15,000 managers and individuals in workshop context in seven countries. His focus is transformational learning, leadership and innovation, and he draws heavily from wisdom traditions as well as from scientific approaches. A physicist by training, Dr. Kaipa is the author of an e-book, Discontinuous Learning: Igniting Genius Within by Aligning Self, Work, and Family. This and many of his writings, blog, pyramids and tools are available on his website, www.kaipagroup.com.

Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

is a Distinguished-Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island. As Civil Rights Movement activist, he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. He was a leader of the Nashville Movement, 1960, the Freedom Rides, 1961 and the Selma Movement, 1965. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and was appointed National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples' campaign by Martin Luther King, Jr. His publications include the Curriculum and Training Manual for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Community Leadership Training Program, Pedagogy for Peace and Nonviolence and The Leaders Manual: A Structured Guide and Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence (with David Jehnsen).

Nipun Mehta

is the founder of CharityFocus, a fully volunteer driven nonprofit organization started in 1999 to inspire the young generation of IT professionals to provide free web based technological solutions for other nonprofit organizations worldwide. Since its inception, with nearly 5,000 volunteers, CharityFocus has served more than 1100 nonprofit organizations around the world, with no overhead. Today, CharityFocus has grown into an incubator of "gift-economy" projects ranging from web services to a film production company to a print magazine to a restaurant; with a growing membership base of 200K, they serve millions of global viewers to their websites and send more than 50 million solicited newsletters every year. Mehta serves on the board of the Seva Foundation, the Institute for Global Communications, Airline Ambassadors and Silicon Valley Volunteer Center. To learn more about Mehta's work, visit www.charityfocus.org.

James O'Toole

is the Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business. His publications have been in the areas of leadership, philosophy, ethics, and corporate culture. Among his sixteen books, Vanguard Management was named "one of the best business and economics books of 1985" by the Business Week. His latest books are Creating the Good Life: Applying Aristotle's Wisdom to Find Meaning and Happiness (2005); The New American Workplace (with Edward Lawler, 2006), and Transparency (with Warren Bennis and Daniel Goleman, 2008). In 2007 he was named one of the "100 most influential people in business ethics" by the editors of Ethisphere, and one of "the top 100 thought leaders on leadership" by Leadership Excellence magazine.

Anthony J. Parel

is a political philosopher, is among the world's leading scholars on Gandhi. For nearly four decades he was professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada. His major books include Gandhi's Philosophy and the Quest for Harmony (2006); Gandhi, Freedom and Self-Rule, ed. (2000); Gandhi: Hind Swaraj and Other Writings," ed. (1997); The Machiavellian Cosmos (1992); and Comparative Political Philosophy, edited with R. C. Keith (2nd ed, 2003).

Samdhong Rinpoche

is the Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) and the chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet-in-Exile. As a scholar, statesman, and a deeply spiritual monk, he believes in Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha as a necessary means to obtain a resolution to the Tibet issue. Professor Rinpoche is a major contributor to the Constitution for a Future Tibet. He is member of several organizations including the Board of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research, the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, the Krishnamurti Foundation in India, the World Peace Council, Central Institute for Buddhist Studies, Nav Nalanda Mahavihara, University Grant Commission of India and the Association of Indian Universities.

Lloyd Rudolph

is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he had also served as Chairman of the Committee on International Relations and of the College's and International Studies and South Asian Studies concentrations. He has co-authored with Susanne Hoeber Rudolph several books, including The Modernity of Tradition: Political Development in India; Gandhi: The Traditional Roots of Charisma; In Pursuit of Lakshmi: the Political Economy of the Indian State; and Postmodern Gandhi and Other Essays: Gandhi in the World and at Home. His most recent publications (with Susanne Rudolph) are the three volumes in the series Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective (2008).

Susanne Rudolph

is the William Benton Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where she served as Director of the Center for International Studies, and of the South Asia Language and Area Center. She is the past president of the American Political Science Association and the Association of Asian Studies. She is co-author with Lloyd Rudolph of the several books including The Modernity of Tradition: Political Development in India; Gandhi: The Traditional Roots of Charisma; In Pursuit of Lakshmi: the Political Economy of the Indian State; and Postmodern Gandhi and Other Essays: Gandhi in the World and at Home. Her most recent publications (with Lloyd Rudolph) are the three volumes in the series Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective (2008).

Anil Sadgopal

was the Dean of the Faculty of Education (1998-2001) at Delhi University, where he served as Professor of Education from 1994 to 2005. He has been Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and member of many Commissions of Government of India and provincial governments such as National Commission on Teachers, National Policy on Education- Review Committee, Central Advisory Board of Education, National Steering Committee of National Curriculum Framework-2005, and Common School System Commission, Bihar. For nearly two decades he had organized and led a rural education and development program - Kishore Bharati - in Madhya Pradesh. In recognition of his contributions for the application of science and technology to rural areas he received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award and Shantiniketan's Rathindra Puraskar. His book Shiksha mein Badlav ka Sawal' (in Hindi; 2000) deals with critical issues in India's education policy.

Savita Singh

is Director, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, which she joined in 1988. She holds a Ph.D. in Gandhian Studies from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

  • Speaker list, Conference Schedule, Bios, click here.

  • Registration Fees and Details

There are options for full conference, two-day and one-day registrations. Concessional rates are available for students, educators, academic faculty and staff, and the Non-profit.
Complimentary registration for Ahimsa Center members until October 10.
For registration options and details, please click here

Contact Info: For more information, contact: Professor Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center, (909) 869-3868 or tsethia@csupomona.edu
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