Peace Studies Conference features Gandhi’s grandson

September 10, 2010

The grandson of legendary India leader and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi will be one of the featured speakers at the 23rd annual Peace Studies Conference Sept. 26-27 at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph.

Rajmohan Gandhi speaks on "Gandhi in the 21st Century" at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26 at room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. His lecture, as are all events at the conference, is free and open to the public.

Gandhi is a journalist and author who has written widely on the Indian independence movement and its leaders, Indo-Pakistan relations, human rights and conflict resolution. His comprehensive biography of his grandfather was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. Gandhi, who is the president of Initiatives of Change International, is a research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The conference continues on Monday, Sept. 27 with multiple sessions.

• Patricia Mische speaks on "Justice, Peace and Environmental Sustainability" at 1 p.m. at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, CSB. Mische recently retired as the Lloyd Professor of Peace Studies and World Law at Antioch College, and is the co-founder and current president of Global Education Associates.

• Two concurrent sessions begin at 2:40 p.m. Steven Thomas, assistant professor of English at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, presents "A Theology of Development, Women's Empowerment and the Environment in Ethiopia: The Gudina Tumsa Foundation" in room 204A, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center. Julie Andrzejewski, co-coordinator of the Social Responsibility Program at St. Cloud State University, presents "Peace and the Environment: Exploring the Connections" at room 204B, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center.

• Derek Larson, associate professor of history and environmental studies at CSB and SJU, and Theo Eggermont, sustainability fellow at CSB and SJU, present "Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education" at 4:15 p.m. at room 204A, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center.

• A panel discussion on "Fr. John Kaiser and the Struggle for Human Rights in Kenya, 2000-2010" concludes the conference at 7:30 p.m. in room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center. The panel includes the Rev. William Vos, a retired priest of the St. Cloud Diocese who was a close friend of Kaiser; Dean Urdahl, who has written a book on the death of Kaiser, The Collar and the Gun; and Cyprian K'Oywa, chair of the leadership team in the Homa Bay, Kenya, Diocese that has a partnership with the St. Cloud Diocese.

Kaiser, a native of Perham, Minn., was a graduate of Saint John's Preparatory School and attended SJU for two years before joining the Army. He worked in Kenya following his ordination as a priest in 1964. He was killed in Kenya under mysterious circumstances in 2000.

The conference is co-sponsored by the CSB/SJU Peace Studies Department, Environmental Studies Department and the Asian Studies Program; Amnesty International; the Peace Studies Club; the African Studies Learning Community; and the master's program in Social Responsibility at St. Cloud State.