Arun Gandhi has big shoes to fill. But he's hoping to spread the legacy of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi with an annual conference in Memphis.
Now in its second year, the Gandhian Conference on Nonviolence deals with issues of racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, nonviolence and politics, and the death penalty. It takes place October 14-15 at the Gandhian Institute for Nonviolence at Christian Brothers University.
"We're trying to start a dialogue on nonviolent ways of living between activists and academia," says Gandhi, who opened the Institute for Nonviolence in Memphis in 1991.
Gandhi wants people to understand that nonviolence is more than just the absence of violence.
"There's also passive violence that happens when we discriminate against people or when we overconsume resources," he says.
At the conference, Gandhi will be speaking on his grandfather's methods for nonviolent conflict resolution. The methods focus on interpersonal relationships, but Gandhi says he'll also be speaking about international relationships.
"As a country, we talk about patriotism and what is best for our country, but we cannot live in isolation," Gandhi says. "We cannot secure things for ourselves and let the rest of the world perish. This whole concept of being patriotic and thinking only of yourself is wrong."
Also speaking at the conference is Voices in the Wilderness founder Kathy Kelly.