Arun Gandhi to Address Concerned Philosophers for Peace Conference on Campus

10/29/2008 

Concerned Philosophers for Peace, an international group of philosophers, will gather for the first time at SUNY Cortland on Thursday, Oct. 30 for a four-day annual conference.

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement and the pioneer of civil disobedience, will give the keynote address at the conference, themed on “Resisting the War, Educating for Peace.”

Gandhi, a socio-political activist and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, will speak about resisting war, educating people about peace and what he has learned from his grandfather on Friday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105. The event is free and open to the public.

Gandhi is the author of several books about non-violence, including Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (2003) and The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World (2004).

The conference kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 30, with a reception from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Main Gallery.

Participants will be able to choose between several breakout sessions set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning and Friday and Saturday afternoon.

During a series of breakout sessions, more than 30 speakers will make presentations and discuss papers that revolve around topics such as, “Religion and War,” “Challenging War in Eleven Words” and “Building Bridges to Peace: Teaching Tolerance Through the History of Art.” The forum also features a panel that will discuss ways to resist war.

Held in the Dowd Fine Arts Gallery, the conference costs $75 and includes breakfasts and lunches. For those wishing only to attend the meetings on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., which includes the Central New York Peace Studies Consortium’s annual conference, the cost is $20. A banquet and president’s address also will be held on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Corey Union Caleion Room. The cost is an additional $25. Students may attend the four-day discussions for free.

“This conference goes around to United States universities each year,” said SUNY Cortland Assistant Professor of Philosophy Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, who directs the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice. “It is quite an honor for Cortland to host these philosophers, most of them working in the field of peace studies. We are also very fortunate to have Arun Gandhi, who very much teaches in the spirit of his grandfather.”

The conference is sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Philosophy Department, the Center for Ethics Peace and Social Justice, the Central New York Peace Studies Consortium, the Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS), the Faculty Development Committee, the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies and NeoVox.

CALS is funded by the student activity fee, Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC), The Cortland Fund and the Cortland College Foundation.

For more information about the conference or to register, contact Fitz-Gibbon at (607) 753-2016.


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