We are scholars, teachers, and practitioners of nonviolence in the living tradition of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Based in the U.S., India, South Africa and other nations, we are engaged participants of the Gandhi-King Global Network (GKGN) affiliated with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. 

Gandhi-King Global Network Participant Biographies

Mandar Apte Is the Executive Director of Cities4Peace. Former Manager, GameChanger Social Innovation, Shell.In 2016, Mandar started the From India With Love initiative to reinvigorate the message of nonviolence (or ahimsa) in the world. Until 2016, Mandar worked at Shell for 17 years at Shell International. In his last role, he managed Shell’s prestigious GameChanger social innovation program investing in ideas that create “shared value” – both business value and social impact. Mandar is an acclaimed expert on leadership, entrepreneurship and social innovation and has spoken on these topics at many prestigious forums including TEDx, Wharton Business School, Social Innovation Summit, Sustainable Brands, London Business School, etc. He is also the winner of the prestigious Ashoka League of Intrapreneurs for designing and delivering an innovation learning program at Shell to over 2000 colleagues using meditation practice. 

In 2019, Mandar started the Cities4Peace initiative – a unique peace consultancy that works with civic leaders to actively promote peace and compassion in cities and communities worldwide. The flagship project of this initiative was recently completed in Los Angeles in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Dept (LAPD) and the LA Mayor’s Office for Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD).

For nearly two decades, Mandar has taught leadership programs using meditation practices for the International Association for Human Values and the Art of Living Foundation.  Mandar is a Board Member of the Charter for Compassion, an international non-profit organization that promotes compassion in the world. He was also a Visiting Scholar at George Mason School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution.

P.P Balan is Senior consultant, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Govt. of India. Served as the elected head of a Local Govt and worked with the community and succeeded in bringing out people’s plans. Later occupied the position of director,  Kerala Institute of Local Administration. (KILA). Propagates Gandhian ideology through the concept of GramSwaraj or village republics.

Karen Bohlke, Ed.D. serves as Director of Government and External Relations with the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center, Oakland, CA, and the Institute for Community Leadership, Kent, WA, where she is also co-founder. Her work has focused on community based educational programming primarily with children, youth and families.  She was formerly Director of the Jose Marti Child Development Center and Head Start program and assisted in the founding of New Horizons Ministry for displaced urban youth, both in Seattle.  Karen carries out administrative, legislative, advocacy and fundraising efforts at the state and federal levels.  Her doctoral work focuses on the promotion of collectivist values in education.  Karen is a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership program. 

Bunny Boola is the Deputy chair of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee in South Africa.

Ken Butigan, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program at DePaul University in Chicago. He has worked in a series of movements for social change, including campaigns addressing homelessness, nuclear weapons, freedom for East Timor, and the US wars in Iraq. In the 1980s he was a founder and national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance, which for nearly a decade mobilized nonviolent action for peace in Central America.

Since 1990 Butigan has worked with Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, which has trained tens of thousands of people in the power of nonviolent change and which organizes Campaign Nonviolence, a long-term, nationwide effort seeking to foster a more nonviolent culture free from war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction. Four thousand events were organized across the US and around the world during its annual Week of Actions, September 19-26, 2020.

Butigan serves on the Executive Committee of Pax Christi International’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, which has co-sponsored with the Vatican two landmark conferences on nonviolence, exploring the possibility of the Catholic Church rescinding the Just War Theory and advancing nonviolence in the Church and the world.

He has published seven books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site; Nonviolent Lives; and From Violence to Wholeness. Butigan earned his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he researched nonviolence in a range of religious traditions. He lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their daughter Leah Toyomi.

Dr. Clayborne Carson has devoted most of his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movements King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University, where he is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History and Ronnie Lott Founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. 

During his undergraduate years at UCLA, Dr. Carson participated in civil rights and antiwar protests, and many of his subsequent writings reflect these experiences by stressing the importance of grassroots organizing and nonviolent resistance to injustice within the African-American freedom struggle. Carson’s publications include In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981); Malcolm X: The FBI File(1991); The Struggle for Freedom: A History of African Americans (2005, 2010, co-author); and a memoir, Martin’s Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2013).

In 1985 the late Coretta Scott King invited Dr. Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish an authoritative edition of King’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Under Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.In 2005 Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to endow and expand the work of the King Papers Project.

Dr. Carson also served as senior advisor for the award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize (1986, 1990). In addition, he has participated in the making of numerous other documentaries, including Freedom on My Mind (1994), which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, Blacks & Jews (1997), Citizen King (2004), Have You Heard from Johannesburg? (2010), a multipart documentary about the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa, Freedom Riders (2011), Black Panther: Vanguard of a Revolution (2015) and I Am MLK Jr. (2018). The audio version of Carson’s edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. won a Grammy award in 2000. In addition to his regular courses at Stanford, Carson also teaches an online open enrollment course, American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. and produces a podcast, The World House.

Carson’s musical play, “Passages of Martin Luther King,” was first performed by Stanford’s drama department in 1993 and was subsequently performed in various places throughout the United States. The international premiere of “Passages” was produced in 2007 by the National Theatre of China. In 2012 the Palestinian National Theatre performed an Arabic vision of “Passages” in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian communities. In 2014, the documentary, Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2013), recounted Carson’s effort to bring the play and King’s nonviolent message to an Arabic-speaking audience.  

In addition to his years of teaching at Stanford, Dr. Carson taught at UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, American University, Emory University, Morehouse College, and L’école des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He has lectured throughout the United States and in many other nations, including China, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Jamaica, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. He has appeared on numerous national radio and television shows, such as Good Morning America, BBC, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fresh Air, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, Christiane Amampour, Marketplace, and C SPAN American History TV.

Carson has received four honorary degrees, including one from Morehouse College, the institution once attended by Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as King’s father and grandfather. Other awards include the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians and the John W. Blassingame Award from the Southern Historical Association. In 2018 he received the prestigious International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India from the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation in Mumbai, India. 

Clayborne has been married for more than five decades to Susan Ann Carson, who until her retirement in 2008 was the managing editor of the King Papers Project. His son, Malcolm, graduated from Howard University and the University of California’s Boalt School of Law and is General Counsel for the Trust for Public Land in San Francisco. His daughter Temera graduated from San Jose State University with a master’s degree in social work and is a social work supervisor in charge of recruitment of resource {foster] homes for the County of Santa Clara, California. His grand-daughter Dalila Adofo is a community organizer for Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice in San Francisco.

Michael Collopy is a renowned portrait photographer and artist. Michael has dedicated his life to photographing peacemakers, and through the light of their examples, spread and educate peace in the world. Collopy has photographed 39 Nobel peace laureates, 7 U.S. Presidents and countless heads of state and human rights activists. In 2016, his portrait of Mother Teresa, was chosen by the Vatican and the Missionaries of Charity, and in the centuries old tradition, was painted and displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica as her official sainthood portrait. 

Michael Onyebuchi Eze is Assistant professor of philosophy at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and graduate fellow in Political Science Trinity Hall, , University of Cambridge. He has a PhD in Politics from Cambridge University and Dr.Phil (Summa Cum Laude) in History and Cultural Reflection from Universität Witten-Herdecke, Germany, MA in philosophy from the University of Pretoria, South Africa,  and BA Honours in Philosophy and Classics from Arrupe Jesuit University, in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is  a specialist of the Africana humanist theory of ubuntu.  He uses ubuntu philosophy to develop theories on global justice and philosophy of race and reconciliation (or resistance).  He has taught in Universities in The Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Nigeria and the USA. He has been engaged in human right activism and is the founder and president of the Sahara Road Project (www.sahararoad.org). Most recent academic  publications include, “Beyond Sovereign Reason: Issues and Contestations in Contemporary African Identity” (2020), “Menkiti, Gyekye and Beyond: Towards a Decolonization of African Philosophy” (2018), “Cultural Appropriation and the Limits of Identity: A Case for Multiple Humanities” (2018), “Africana philosophy as a Cultural Resistance”(2018),“I am Because You Are: Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Xenophobia” (2017), “Humanitatis Eco [Eco-Humanism]: An African Environmental Theory” (2017), “Emergent Themes in African Philosophy: A Dialogue with Kwasi Wiredu”, (2016) amongst many others. Three book manuscripts are under review with Cambridge and Duke University Presses. 

Dr. Mira Foster is the Director of the Liberation Curriculum, the educational program at The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Mira is in charge of developing various educational resources for the King Institute, including the World House Podcast series.  Mira was also instrumental in organizing the Gandhi-King Global Initiative Conference in October of 2019.

Robert M. Franklin, PhD is President-Emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, having served from 2007 to 2012. Robert is currently a Senior Advisor to the President of Emory University and is the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at Emory. Previously, he was the director of the interfaith religion department at Chautauqua Institution and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He is also a presidential fellow for the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership at Morehouse College. He is the author of four books, including his recently released, Moral Leadership: Integrity, Courage, Imagination(2020).  He has provided commentaries for National Public Radio’s, “All Things Considered,” and televised commentary for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting.  Educated at Morehouse College (BA), Harvard Divinity School (M.Div) and the University of Chicago Divinity School (PhD), Robert is the recipient of honorary degrees from Bethune Cookman University, Bates College,  Hampden-Sydney,  Centre College, University of New England,  and Swarthmore College. 

Franklin is a member of several organizations including PathNorth (Washington, DC), Public Broadcasting of Atlanta, a past board member of “Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action” (New York), and currently serves on the board of the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Ela Gandhi, is a social worker and political activist in South Africa. She retired after serving two terms in the South African Parliament representing the ANC.  Presently works in honorary capacity as Chairperson of  Gandhi Development Trust and Phoenix Settlement Trust and is a co-President of Religions for Peace International,  She has received 4 honorary doctorates from various Universities.  In February 2020 she received the Papal Medallion from His Holiness  Pope Francis. 

David D. Gengan is the Retired Senior Manager in Economic Development at the Msunduzi Municipality (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa). Serving on the Board of the Rivlife Community Centre in Cinderella Park, one of the many struggling communities in the city. Currently the Chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee.

Shelly Jyoti is a visual/textile artist, fashion designer, poet and an independent curator based in New Delhi, India. Her work seeks to address historical references within the cultural context of modern Indian history with focus on Gandhi’s ideologies of nation building and creating moral and peaceful societies. Her works overlap literary, visual and material culture exploring two key questions, In the Twenty-First century, can the idea of svadharma (self-duty) towards one’s country be an important thread that can bring positive changes in our society. 

Shelly has visually narrated the relevance of svadharma (My duty), Sarvodaya (upliftment of all), Svadeshi (vocal to local) and svaraj (self duty, self control)  through Gandhi’s satyagrahas like champaran movement (1917), Salt March movement (1934), Swadeshi movement and relevance of book Hind swaraj (1909) through her four major works/exhibitions on a titles,’ Indigo Narratives’2009-18); Salt: The Great March (2013-18); The Khadi March: Just Five Meters (2016-18), Bound by Duty: An idea of swaraj and collectiveness’ 2018-19. These exhibits have traveled across the continents and include textile site-specific installations,  Ajrakh printed artworks on khadi textile, spoken word poems, a short film on making of these works. 

The most recent exhibition and lectures include: A retrospective show titled’ Revisiting Gandhi: The Art of Shelly Jyoti (2009-2018) at Indira Gandhi National centre for Arts, IGNCA, New Delhi and lectures at George Washington University at the Textile Museum at Washington Dc , The national museum, New Delhi and at ‘Gandhi King conference’ at The Stanford University , CA in 2019.

Her works are found in corporate and private collections in India and abroad.

www.shellyjyoti.com 

Sudarshan Kapoor Professor Emeritus California State University, Fresno. Born in Panjab, India, Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor learned the value of non-violence from his mentor, Gandhi. Dr. Kapoor came to the United States in 1963 and to the Valley in 1967 when he joined the Department (then School) of Social Work Education at California State University, Fresno. Since 1967, he has served as professor of Social Work, Community Development and Peace Studies at the University. He has sought, fought, and taught about peace and justice through nonviolence. His commitment to Gandhi’s vision, life, and teachings has been demonstrated in his leadership and achievements on both the California State University, Fresno campus and in the community. Dr. Kapoor was the founder and first director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He established and coordinated the “Stop the Hate and Build the Culture of Peace Week” at Fresno State and in the community. He is the founder of Peace Garden project that currently honors Gandhi, Cesar E. Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jane Addams. Dr. Kapoor has served on several boards and commissions locally and nationally. He served for 12 years (including 4 years as chair) as a member of the City of Fresno’s Human Relations Commission to which he was first appointed in 1992 by then Mayor Karen Humphrey. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and has served on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Committee City of Fresno since its inception in 1984. Dr. Kapoor co-chaired Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (now Peace and Justice Studies Association) and served as Co-Executive Editor of “Peace and Change” a noted Journal of Peace Research in the United States. He also served on the Board of International Peace Research Association and also on the board of International Peace Research Foundation. Dr. Kapoor has received numerous honors and awards. Some of these are:  

  • Temple Beth Israel’s Prestigious Social Action Award  Fresno Center for Nonviolence “Way of Peace” Award  
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee, City of Fresno, 
  • “Community Service Award”  Distinguished Service Award by Fresno’s Human Relations Commission  
  • “Life Time Achievement Award” by Consortium on Peace Research and Education USA (COPRED)  
  • N.A.A.C.P. “Image Award” (Fresno Chapter)  
  • Provosts Excellence in Teaching Award for Community Service at C.S.U. Fresno  
  • Fresno Metro Ministry’s Annual Community Service Award  “Portrait of Success Award” by KSEE Channel 24  
  • “Freedom of Speech Award” by Fresno Free College Foundation/KFCF 88.1 FM  
  • “The Spirit of Abraham Award” from the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno  
  • “Humanitarian Award” from Soka Gakkai International-USA  
  • “Lifetime Peace Building Award” from Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco 

Dr. Kapoor was recognized by Fresno Bee as one of the 75 most influential persons within the Valley during Bee’s 75th Anniversary. He has received several legislative and congressional citations in recognition of his work at Fresno State and in the community.

Dave LeMieux is the Creative Director of “At the Table with Dr. King” www.listenliverepeat.com

“At the Table with Dr. King” highlights moments of crossroads in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to call its audience to action and service in their communities – and utilizes a multimedia platform of music, spoken word, and images from the Civil Rights era to make the challenge fresh, engaging, and urgent.  The program places particular emphasis on January 27th, 1956 – the night Dr. King received an abnormally disturbing phone call – the caller warning him that if he didn’t leave Montgomery in the next 3 days, he’d be shot and his house would be blown up.  Dr. King realized he couldn’t move forward as a young leader of a growing movement on his own strength.  What happened next could easily be described as Dr. King’s “calling.”

“At the Table with Dr. King – live” began in 2003 as a collaboration between Dave LeMieux and colleagues at Colorado Community Church and the City of Aurora, CO.  In 2009, the nonprofit More Than Music, Inc. adapted it for schools.  Nearly 250,000 students worldwide have experienced “At the Table with Dr. King – live” through 400+ performances in schools and concert halls across 20 US states and in India, the UAE, and Israel.  In 2018, as part of the Arts Envoy program of the US State Department, a dynamic and uncommon mix of nearly 3400 people – Israelis, Palestinians, and Bedouins – experienced “At the Table with Dr. King – live” during 8 events in various Israeli concert halls.  

With the recent introduction of “At the Table with Dr. King – online” – the program has expanded beyond the confines of walls and rigid school calendars.  During its week-long beta test in May, 2,700 students from 3 institutions (Middle school through College) had access to both the video and the “talkback” option.  We’re so pleased to say the test was a success, and now anyone in the world with wi-fi has access to the program, currently offered via a Webinar Jam platform.  So far, we’ve had inquiries about the online option from the National Association of Independent Schools in Washington D.C., the US State Department in Israel, and an association of schools in Norway.

Funding for the program comes from a combination of:  participating schools which pay a minimal fee, various individuals and foundations, and our Production Partner, the Mizel Museum.

Ambassador Delano E. Lewis, Sr.I was born in Arkansas City, Kansas in November, 1938. Raised in Kansas City, Kansas, as an only child of working class parents. My Mother was a domestic worker and my Father was a railroad Porter on the Santa Fe Railroad. My parents stressed education and encouraged strong academic achievements. I attended all Black public schools and graduated from the only Black High School in the State of Kansas, Sumner High School. I graduated as an honor student in 1956, and in the Fall of 1956, I enrolled as a student at the University of Kansas. In 1960, I graduated from KU with a BA Degree in Political Science and History – a pre-law program.

After marrying my college mate, Gayle Jones, I enrolled in Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. I worked forty hours per week and attended law school full time. I worked as a Child Care Worker at the Children’s Hospital of the Menninger Clinic, a world renowned psychiatric hospital. I graduated on time in June, 1963 with a Juris Doctor Degree. I passed the Kansas Bar in the summer of 1963, and was offered a position on the Honors Program at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. My work career spanned over 35 years, mostly in Washington, DC. I began as an Attorney with the Department of Justice in 1963, under the leadership of Robert Kennedy. In 1965, I assumed a legal staff position with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) when the Commission began in 1965. Shortly thereafter in 1966, I was recruited to join the overseas staff of the US Peace Corps.

I accepted, and with a spouse and 3 small boys, I served as Associate Director of the US Peace Corps in Benin City, Nigeria. Within a year, I was assigned to the Staff in Eastern Nigeria, but the service was interrupted by the civil war in Nigeria. All Peace Corps were evacuated and later I was appointed as Country Director for the US Peace Corps in Kampala, Uganda. I served from 1967-1969. Upon returning from Uganda in 1969, I accepted a position as Legislative Assistant to Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts. Senator Brooke was the only African American in the US Senate at that time. In 1971, Rev. Walter Fauntroy was elected the Non-Voting Delegate to the House of Representatives from Washington, DC. I applied for the Chief of Staff position for Delegate Fauntroy and I was hired in 1971. Rev. Fauntroy, now Delegate Fauntroy, was a young Baptist Minister and along with Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson, had been speech writers and civil rights activists with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I left Federal Government service after 10 years, and was hired as an Executive of C & P Telephone Co of DC, a subsidiary of the old AT&T Co. I started in 1973 and was promoted through the ranks from Public Affairs Manager to President of DC Operations until early retirement in 1994.

I then became the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Public Radio (NPR). During my tenure, I served for three years on the board of Apple Computer, citing “pressing time demands” as the reason for leaving in 1997. I resigned from NPR in 1998. I was also a member of the board of directors of Black Entertainment Television and have served on the boards of Colgate-Palmolive, Halliburton & Eastman Kodak.

U.S. President Bill Clinton named me the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, a post in which I served from 1999 to 2001. I was sworn in by federal judge John Edwards Conway, a law-school classmate. Later, my wife and I moved to Las Cruces, NM, where I started a consultancy, Lewis & Associates. In 2006, I was named a senior fellow at New Mexico State University, where the following year, I was named the Founding Director of New Mexico State University’s International Relations Institute.

Presently, I run a consulting practice on issues involving education, diversity, equity, inclusion and race relations. I work with my 4 adult Sons on business projects. My Spouse, Gayle, of 60 years and I have 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild!

My dream is to use these many decades of experience to create an organization that educates, inspires and motivates people to not only have the freedom and confidence to express their dreams, in spite of the constant barriers in their lives of racism, sexism, poverty, classism and prejudices of all kinds, but equally importantly the means to achieve their dreams.

An integral part of this vision is to create content based on the real, amazing, and painful stories of “Blacks in America”.

Michael McFaul is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, all at Stanford University. He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).

He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller,  “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.”  Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective  (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations between China, Russia, and the United States, and the relationship between democracy and development. 

Prof. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991.

Dr. Doug McGetchin, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University where he specializes in the history of connections between Modern Germany and South Asia, teaching classes in modern Germany, modern Europe, ancient and modern South Asia, and world history.  He is the author of Indology, Indomania, Orientalism: Ancient India’s Rebirth in Modern Germany (2009) and a co-editor of Gendered Encounters between Germany and Asia: Transnational Perspectives since 1800 (2016), Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Kindred Spirits (2014), and Sanskrit and “Orientalism”: Indology and Comparative Linguistics in Germany, 1750-1958 (2004).  He received a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar Research Award in 2013-2014 to conduct research in Kolkata (Calcutta) India on his currently book project “The Boycott or the Bullet: Debates over Nonviolence in Indo-Western Anti-Imperialist Struggles, 1870-1970,” about the interconnections between three struggles for social justice:  European anti-imperial and labor politics, the Indian Independence movement, and the pan-African movement that included the Civil Rights struggle in the United States. He is former Interim Director of FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights (PJHR) Initiative, and past Director of the Peace Studies Program at FAU.

Michael Nagler is Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley, where he founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and taught Nonviolence and The Theory and Practice of Meditation. He is the Founder and President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence (www.mettacenter.org); and author of The Nonviolence Handbook, Our Spiritual Crisis, and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award. His books have been translated into Arabic, Italian, Spanish Korean, Croatian, and other languages. Other writings of his have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Tikkun and other venues, and he has spoken about nonviolence, meditation, and related issues for more than thirty years, including presentations at the United States Institute of Peace and the United Nations. He is the co-host with Metta’s Stephanie Van Hook of two local radio programs, available on KWMR in West Marin and KPCA in Petaluma, CA as well as podcast channels.

Among other awards, he received the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India in 2007.

He is currently working on a new book, The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Destiny and a major documentary film on nonviolence and the “new story” of human nature.

Michael has lived at Ramagiri Ashram in Marin Country, headquarters of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, since 1970.

Chris Norwood is a Stanford University Information Technology Systems Administrator, Founding Director of Bay Area Tutoring Association, Senior Leader Milpitas Unified School Board of Trustees Vice President, American Leadership Forum (ALF) Silicon Valley Senior Fellow and TEDx Speaker (TheWakeUpTour). Chris has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Christian Leadership and Biblical Theology from William Jessup University, ITIL 4.0 Certified, married 20 years with two children.

Gianantonio Ricci was born in Milan (Italy) in 1956 into a progressive Catholic family. Early in his childhood, he was very involved in social issues and action. When he started high school, he got involved as a volunteer in several humanitarian activities: Green Cross Rescuer (1972-1975), elder people support (1971-1975), and on field help to communities affected by earthquakes (1976). At the same time, he got more and more involved in politics and interested in spirituality.  At the beginning of 1975 he read an interview with Ernesto Cardenal  (former Nicaraguan most important poet, who was a monk and revolutionary leader) and he felt that what he was trying to materialize in his Community in the Archipielago of Solentiname, in the Lake of Nicaragua, was a kind of synthesis between spirituality, revolution and art, indeed what he himself was looking for. Gianantonio wrote to Ernesto Cardenal and he reached Solentiname in March of 1976 and since then he got involved in the Nicaraguan revolution and the human and sustainable development of that amazing country and its people.. 

In the early 80s, Gianantonio worked as a social project manager at San Carlos Mayor Office (San Carlos is the Capital of Rìo San Juan region in the southeast of Nicaragua, the region where Solentiname belongs. Rìo San Juan was then one of the poorest regions in Nicaragua, and therefore in the whole Americas. His first project in 1980 was a public laundry pool beside the lake at San Carlos, so that washerwomen need not sink themselves in the lake to wash clothes, but they could wash outside the water. Since 1982 he started to work as executive director at the Rìo San Juan Region Governor office. In that period, he had to deal mainly with infrastructure projects all over the region: water supply, roads, hospitals, electrification, housing, but also social projects like literacy, vaccinations, and hygiene campaigns. During those years Gianantonio was a member of the team that led the revolution in the Rìo San Juan region and he had the responsibility to coordinate:  the new settlements raised to give better conditions of life to poor farmers (campesinos), about 12,000 people  (1983-1984); the reconstruction and implementation of the new urban plan of San Carlos after the fire that destroyed many blocks of the town on October 1984 (1985-1987); a second literacy campaign that lowered the region’s illiteracy rate from 30% to 12%. (1987);  the definition and operation of the Binational System of Protected Natural Areas for Peace (SI-A-PAZ) 1986-1990 and the evacuation of the population and the reconstruction work due to Hurricane Juana (October 1988 – 1989).

From 1991 till 1993 Gianantonio was the project director of the Association for the Development of Solentiname, Founded by Ernesto Cardenal in the ’80s. In those years we promoted reforestation of balsa trees, for Solentiname artisans, and agroecology techniques with the local farmers. In 1994 he started to work for an Italian NGO (ACRA) as project director in Rìo San Juan. In that period, he conceived, wrote and directed several projects related to rural development, natural and cultural resources sustainable management,  and environmental issues. At the same time, he graduated as a Forestry Engineer.

In 2002 Gianantonio moved to Managua since he was appointed as ACRA’s Central America Regional Representative and Coordinator. From then till 2018 he directed several projects all over Central America, mainly in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. In this period our projects had to do mostly with water supply, sanitation, waste management, watershed conservation, and climate change adaptation. We also had food security projects and young people entrepreneurship projects aiming to prevent emigration. All these projects were conceived to contribute to reaching the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and were implemented with methodologies based on local empowerment,  community participation, gender, and transgenerational approach, multi-stakeholders involvement, and multisectoral synergies. During this period, he was also the chairman of IUCN Nicaraguan Committee (2003-2007), Central America Water and Sanitation Network (RASCA- 2013-2014), and Nicaraguan Water and Sanitation Network (RASNIC, 2010-2014).

At the end of 2018,  due to the social-political unrest in Nicaragua Gianantonio had to repatriate to Italy.  Since then, he’s been living in Calabria (Italy) with his two youngest daughters and is working on the behalf of Chico Mendes Associationwww.chicomendes.it , as the field manager of the Spartacus project.  Spartacus is implemented in the Gioia Tauro Plains in the Region of Calabria in the far south of Italy (the poorest Italian region). This project has the goal of supporting African immigrants that survive in camps and shelters in that area, in finding a regular job, house, training, education, and migratory legal assistance.   This year, since the COVID pandemic spread all over and lockdowns were activated, many people lost their jobs and more people became poor. To face and mitigate this new poverty we started a Food Security project and a Poor Children Educational project in the suburban areas of Reggio Calabria, the largest town in Calabria. At the same time, Gianantonio cooperates with grassroots organizations and Mayor Offices in Central America to set up social and environmental projects. Finally, in these last days, he’s very active formulating reconstruction projects for some communities in the Miskito’s Indigenous territories both in Nicaragua and Honduras that have been heavily struck by hurricanes Eta and Iota. 

 Nyla Rosen, Ed.D. directs the Jack Hunter O’Dell Education Center –– a part of the Institute for Community Leadership –– in South King County, Washington. She carries out classes and professional development for students and educators in the areas of civic education, Kingian Nonviolence, and equity in education, as well as coordinating community and cultural events. Nyla has completed educational research in San Juan, Puerto Rico and at the University of Havana, Cuba. Her educational work is in Ethnic Studies and Africana Studies, and her doctoral thesis analyzes the life and contributions of Jack O’Dell to the Institute for Community Leadership and the Profession of Social Change Activism.

Justice Sambo is a young visionary who believes the world can be different, and that we all have an individual responsibility to make the necessary changes in our own lives to impact the bigger community. He started a YouTube show, The Erudition Show, to share wisdom through lived experience of his guests to the show. He co-founded the African Dream Movement, an international organization that reminds young people that their dreams matter and are possible, and creates safe spaces for young people to share their unique voices, to give the mic to their voiceless, to connect, to inspire and be inspired. The African Dream Movement has impacted over 200 young people from over 15 countries in 3 years. His vision for life is to let other people know that someone is watching, and they care. 

letsconnect@jsambo.co.za 

www.jsambo.co.za

www.ourafricandream.org

Shanta Maharaj Singh is from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Successful Mindset Strategies. Counsellor and empowerment coach, H R Consultant, speaker alternate therapy practitioner.  Ex Educator.

Member of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanta-maharaj-singh-a3031466/

https://www.facebook.com/Successful-Mindset-Strategies-1923505651068587

Michael Smolens is the Founder, Chairman & CEO – Dotsub LLC. Collector of Puzzle Pieces. For the first 32 years of his career, he started 8 garment manufacturing companies creating more than 20,000 jobs supporting the livelihood of over 100,000 people in Haiti, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Jordan, Russia and Azerbaijan. During this time, he developed a deep and profound awareness of differences in the world’s cultures, with the role language played enabling cross-cultural communication as well as economic development.

He conceived Dotsub in 2004, before YouTube & smartphones, and launched it in 2007 becoming the first browser based platform to enable video, created in any language, to be easily, quickly and inexpensively available in any other language, and then viewable on any video enabled device or platform, including mobile. Dotsub has a patent portfolio of 5 patents with 1 pending on its technology and platform.

As video storytelling becomes the dominant way to communicate, inspire, educate & train – knowing that only 6% of the 7.6B people in the world speak English as a native language, with 19% more speaking it as a 2nd or 3rd language, that means 75% speak no English.

It is Dotsub’s mission to enable all of the world’s knowledge, available in video, be available in all languages and viewed by all 7.6B people in the world in their native language, on any of their existing devices, even including feature phones. Michael is actively involved with the 17 SDGs of the UN – focusing on gender equality, education, health and climate.

Michael is a founding partner of Dreaming Without Borders – allowing anyone to tell their positive dreams about the future after COVID19, again on mobile video – see https://mediaforchange.org/dreams/

Dotsub’s clients include IBM, Apple, Microsoft, AirBnB, Spotify, CME, Netflix and hundreds of SME’s. 

Ms. Priya Tandon is a Silicon Valley based serial-entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Tenacity Global Group Inc. (website to be released) and Founder & Chair of IndUS Setu Global Foundation. For over two decades Priya has successfully hosted and catalyzed nonpartisan dialog amongst global leaders, on political-economic-trade issues with institutions committed to trade and commerce. Amongst its many engagements, Setu collaborated with President Mikhail Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum and co-sponsored Silicon Valley-Delhi “Healthcare- IT Entrepreneurship & Women leaders” for San Francisco Mayoral delegation to India; Priya Co-Chaired National Briefing. Priya served as American Jewish Committee’s India and later South Asia Representative for a decade and a half. She is committed to enhancing Indo-USAIsraeli political, trade, cultural ties including inter-faith harmony, through advocacy and led several delegations for same. For US-India-Israel convergence she moderated panel at Stanford University, “Role Silicon Valley Plays in Start Ups”, was speaker at Stanford University for Partnership between Silicon Valley, Israel and India, amongst other engagements. As an entrepreneur she is engaged between USA, India & Israel, working with global business leaders to promote trade including cutting edge tech in healthcare. She is on several for profit and not-for-profit boards. She is the Special Advisor to Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s India Focus, which is part of premiere think tank in Bay Area, Bay Area Council; she is on boards of San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative and Tele-Vital, based in Silicon Valley. She is committed to women entrepreneurship and gender empowerment. Priya was speaker at Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Turkey, hosted by the US State Department under President Obama and was delegate & speaker for GES in Hyderabad led by Ms. Ivanka Trump for President Trump. She participated in Senator Warner’s congressional delegation to India, focusing on healthcare platforms and was speaker at USA-India science and tech hosted by the US Embassy in Delhi. In January 2020, as a delegate member of California’s Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis’ delegation to India, she was engaged with entrepreneurship and the women empowerment aspects. She was speaker at PBD(Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas)hosted by Haryana Government for gender empowerment. She spoke at women entrepreneurial focus in Dubai and was also speaker for Dell’s Global Gender Empowerment, DWEN, in Delhi. Ms. Tandon is recipient of Bharat Nirman Award, from Maharashtra Government for her excellence in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and for gender empowerment. She resides in Silicon Valley, US and Mumbai, India.

 

Peter Tchoryk, Jr.

he/him/his

Fund Advisor, Springmatter.org

CEO, Michigan Aerospace Corporation ptchoryk@springmatter.org

(734) 564-7438

Several years ago, my eyes were opened to the plight of the LGBTQ community through the experience of my young transgender son. I reached out to Dr. Carson as our son was learning about Dr. King and wanting to follow in his footsteps — to do his part to make a more just and equitable world. I learned through our family’s journey about the daily life and death struggle faced by the LGBTQ community and especially people of color within that community. And I learned how vital it is for us to be unified in our response to racism, dehumanization, and injustice. It inspired me to work with Dr. Carson and the MLK Research and Education Institute and to support educational initiatives like the Liberation Curriculum.

My passion is to deliver value to organizations by creating an inclusive culture emphasizing diversity and equity while providing meaningful employment opportunities and growth. I strive to use my experience in entrepreneurship, company leadership, and advocacy to empower people to reach their goals and live authentically.

I am the CEO of Michigan Aerospace and the Springmatter and have a Masters from the University of Michigan and Bachelors from Kettering University in Electrical Engineering. As an engineer, I always aspired to develop ideas that would not only advance knowledge but provide people with a chance to make a difference. I started the Springmatter Fund, a 501(c)(3), to provide marginalized youth with the knowledge that they are valued for who they are and empower them with the educational and employment opportunities to thrive in our world – a vision inspired by Dr. King’s World House.

I live in Dexter, Michigan with my wife Sarah and we have three kids and three grandkids. My wife and I served on the Human Rights Campaign Parents for Transgender Equality Council and are committed to the struggle for civil and human rights. We share the story of our family’s journey in an effort to change hearts and minds (www.embrace.today).

The African American Freedom Struggle, Gandhi movement, and Black Lives Matter movement inspire people from all walks of life and the vision for civil and human rights is more relevant today than ever. We are humbled and honored to be on this journey with you and are committed to the work of sharing this message and bringing about the change that is so needed in this world.

Jolanda van Wijk was born in July 1967 (the 5th.), in the middle of the country the Netherlands, the Utrecht area. She is raised Catholic and grew up as a cheerful, curious, and loving child who managed to find her own way, amidst a highly valued village butchery shop run by her parents. Always busy, but always available. Both she and her two brothers and younger sister helped in and around the shop.

Jolanda has learned a lot from home, at school, and beyond and she has always stayed with an open mind. On LinkedIn, you can find about her education and work experience (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jolandavanwijk/).

Jolanda has worked for more than fifteen years for IBM and runs, since 2008, her own company, in life counseling, executive coaching & relationship management. Part of her work comprises conflict resolution training & support, as well as dialogue training & support. She studied International Marketing Management, Business Administration (postgraduate), Mediation and Psychosocial knowledge, and did many workshops and training in support of her development. She initiated & co-founded www.herstelcirkels.nl and developed a program Peace via Dialogue and a workshop Boxing for Peace, which is the base for her welfare work.

At a young age, Jolanda felt a world citizen, connected to all living things. She likes nature, good food & sports and to contribute to improving the lives of less advantaged people. She traveled in Europe, Australia, and the United States (New York, Michigan, and Isle Royale in Lake Ontario) and visited Beijing (China), Bali (Indonesia), Uganda, and Kigali (Rwanda).

Since March 2014 Jolanda is involved in the International Cities of Peace community. In 2015 Jolanda went to Uganda to do the Dialogue training pilot (Peace via Dialogue program). In Uganda, she stayed several times in Kampala ghettos. She inspired the Ugandan community leaders who she met, to establish the International City of Peace, and use dialogue as an instrument to foster a culture of peace. It is in Zana where boxing found her, and where she co-founded www.zanasocialdevelopment.org (an NGO). In Kigali (2016) she met with Congolese International Cities of Peace leaders. 

As many peace workers face serious challenges, jeopardizing their mission, Jolanda decided to join them together. She leads a group that has participants from various countries and offers her help (experience, facilities, knowledge, network, training in dialogue- and conflict management skills, case study facilitation, et cetera). 

Jolanda finds inspiration for herself in many ways (prayer/meditation, yoga & boxing, work, social life, nature, music, et cetera). She participated in the Global Webinar Gandhi Mandela King 2020 on June 7th., which was my first contact with the GKGI Network. 

Roy D. Wilson, Ed.D. is the Executive Director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center, Oakland, CA.   Executive Producer, Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series.  Founder and Director, Institute for Community Leadership and the Jack Hunter O’Dell Education Center, Kent, WA.  Works with educators in public schools and charter schools in twenty six school districts in the states of California and Washington.  Has been an active participant/organizer in the local, national and international movements for justice, peace and democracy for over 50 years, including with/for the American Indian Movement, the United Farm Workers of America, the National Rainbow Coalition, the National Committee in Solidarity with the Nicaraguan People and many local struggles and electoral campaigns and initiatives in the states of Washington, Oregon and California.