Oct. 11, 1999 Vol. IV, No. 4

Gandhi's Grandson to Keynote CSUN Week of Dialogue

Midday Tuesday Speech on Understanding Race will be Followed by Evening Exchange on Nonviolence

Lecturer Arun Gandhi (right), the grandson of Indian non-violence advocate Mohandas Gandhi, will be the keynote speaker for Cal State Northridge's second annual Week of Dialogue events this week, October 11-13, stressing diversity and tolerance in the wake of recent hate-motivated shootings.

In response to a request from President Clinton to U.S. college and university presidents, CSUN Interim President Louanne Kennedy asked campus officials to plan the week of special events. Then the August shootings in the San Fernando Valley by white supremacist Buford Furrow Jr. gave the topics added urgency.

The CSUN special events-part of a national week of college and university activities requested by Clinton for his Initiative for One America-will begin Monday, Oct. 11, with a free screening of the movie "Gandhi" at 8 p.m. in the Shoshone Room of the Satellite Student Union.

Then on Tuesday, Oct. 12, Arun Gandhi will deliver a midday speech at CSUN on "Understand Race, Overcome Prejudice," followed by a question-and-answer session. The speech will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in CSUN's Performing Arts Center, followed by a book-signing period.

The main event in the series will be Tuesday night when Gandhi will host a dialogue with San Fernando Valley community and political leaders on "Nonviolence or Nonexistence: Options for the 21st Century." That event will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon of CSUN's University Student Union.

Campus officials said free tickets, available from the Associated Students Ticket Office in the University Student Union-(818) 677-2488, are required to attend. A limited number of tickets remain for the Grand Salon, but ample seating is still available in the adjoining Northridge Center where the event will be simulcast.

To close the week, the university will host a Town Hall Meeting on Race and Tolerance for CSUN students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union. Space is limited and must be reserved by calling Project Community at (818) 677-2393.

The Tuesday night Gandhi dialogue on "Nonviolence or Nonexistence" was planned as a follow-up to the Unity Rally that CSUN hosted for several community groups on August 15. Both events respond to the August 10 slaying of postal worker Joseph Ileto and the shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center.

"The purpose of these events is to try to find teaching and ways of bringing people together after such hate crimes and acts of violence as have occurred recently in the San Fernando Valley," said Jeanette Mann, special assistant to the president for equity and diversity at CSUN.

Arun Gandhi grew up in apartheid South Africa, enduring attacks from both white and black youths because of the color of his skin. The young Gandhi, filled with hate and humiliation, wanted to fight back. But his parents took him to his famous grandfather, where Arun learned to deal with anger and violence.

The CSUN events are being sponsored by the Office of Interim President Louanne Kennedy, CSUN's Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Divisions, Associated Students, the University Student Union, Project Community and the CSUN President's Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity.

For additional information about the Week of Dialogue events, contact CSUN's Office of Equity and Diversity at (818) 677-2077.

The dialogue week events at CSUN will be followed on Thursday, Oct. 21, by a daylong community summit on "Building Community for the New Millennium" hosted by CSUN's Center for Southern California Studies and some 20 community organizations in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.

Center Director Matthew Cahn, a professor of political science, plans to gather leaders of community organizations, businesses, non-profit and government agencies and elected officials to plan effective ways to bring local, diverse communities together to improve neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.

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October 11, 1999


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