Gandhi, King, and Marti: Brothers in Thought

Conference at Florida International University
University Park - The Graham Center

January 28 GC 150 - January 29 & 30, 1998 in GC 140

| Invitation | Agenda | Gandhi&King on Audio | Suggested Readings | Essay Contest | Contact |

An Invitation To Reflect

The FREE CUBA Foundation (FCF) at Florida International University invites all those persons interested in non-violence and the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jose Marti to attend the conference, to be held at the FIU campus January 28-30, 1998.

This conference seeks to convene a broad gathering that bridges geographic, generational, and disciplinary boundaries. The organizing committee is now in the process of crafting the program, which will feature panels, papers, and round tables on a wide array of topics relevant to the writings and thoughts of Gandhi, King, and Marti. The conference will seek to find the commonalities of Jose Marti's , Mahatma Gandhi's, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s writings.

If you wish to present a paper or participate then please e-mail us at

The following is a tentative program which will allow us to reflect on the sacrifices made in the cause of freedom and the sacrifices yet to be made.

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Conference Agenda

"An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of non-violence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by non-violence. ... This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment."
Mahatma Gandhi

"In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."
Martin Luther King Jr.

"There is no forgiveness for acts of hatred. Daggers thrust in the name of liberty are thrust into liberty's heart."
Jose Marti

I Prisoners of Conscience: A Human Tragedy

Jose Marti's Birthday
Wed. January 28, 1998

7:30pm     	Invocation
		National Anthems

Susana Mendiola - Master of Ceremonies  

7:45pm  Prisoners of Conscience
                Marti's, King's and Gandhi's perspectives
                Alberto E. Grau Sierra
		Prisoner of Conscience

8:30pm 	Prisoners of Conscience: Personal Testimony
		Holocaust Survivors
			Leo Shniderman
			Joe Sachs

		Cambodian Autogenocide
			Sophalang Stagg

		Ex-Cuban Political Prisoners
			Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez
			Iliana Curra Luzon

		Survivors recount their experiences to a 
		panel of journalists.

10:15pm 	Giving thanks 

II Nobody Listened: 10 years later

Thur. January 29, 1998

7:30pm	Invocation
		National Anthems

7:30pm	The State of the Opposition
		Ricardo Bofill

7:45pm	Nobody Listened: 10 years later a retrospective
		Huber Matos		Luisa Perez
		Jose Carreno		Alcides Martinez

		Cuba's Internal Democratic Opposition:
		A round table discussion

9:45pm	Documentary
		Nobody Listened

III Gandhi, King, and Marti: Brothers in Thought

Fiftieth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination
Fri. January 30, 1998

7:30pm	Invocation
		National Anthems

7:45pm	Remembering Gandhi, King and Marti
		A retrospective of their lives

8:15pm 	Strategic Non-Violence: A Practical Approach
		Jose Basulto

8:45pm	 Gandhi, King, and Marti: Brothers in Thought
		Orlando Gutierrez

9:15pm	Gandhi's Legacy: What we Cubans can learn from him
		John Suarez

9:45pm	Gandhi, King, and Marti: Brothers in Thought Essay Finalists
		Viviana Mendiola

10:45pm	 Mahatma Gandhi: Soul Force Video

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Listen to Gandhi and King in their own words

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gives a short address entitled "The Spirit of Mahatma" on the occasion of the centennial of Mahatma Ghandi's birth. Recorded in India in 1968 by All India Radio.

Edited by Rob Potter, 1995.

In 1925. Gandhi had been released the previous year from a two-year jail term. It was the height of the khadi (homespun cloth) movement. He traveled throughout the country with his spinning wheel. If the recording was made in 1925, he was also serving as President of the Indian National Congress Party.

The title of this talk was "My Spiritual Message." It is not known how or by whom this recording was made. It is likely to have been pressed on a 78 rpm record in a studio. It could have been made as late as 1928, for Gandhi is known to have spent April 1927 in Mysore.

Near the beginning of his address, Gandhi says:

In my tour last year in Mysore [State], I met many poor villagers, and I found upon inquiry that they did not know who ruled Mysore. They simply said some God ruled it. If the knowledge of these poor people was so limited about their ruler, I, who am infinitely lesser in respect to God than they to their ruler need not be surprised if I do not realize the presence of God, the King of Kings. Nevertheless I do feel as the poor villagers felt about Mysore, that there is orderliness in the universe."

The Salt Satyagraha launched by Gandhi in 1930 called for complete independence. Its focal point was tax free salt extraction in Dandi, Gujarat.

"We were all coolies. I was an insignificant coolie lawyer. All that time there were no coolie doctors, we had no coolie lawyers. I was the first in the field. Nevertheless, a coolie."

(Gandhi 4/4/47)

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Suggested Readings

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Essay Contest

January 30, 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, a man who lived and died for justice through the use of non-violent resistance. Additionally, in the month of January we have the births of two great men: Martin Luther King Jr. and Jose Marti. These men had a profound impact on their nations, and in the world. All three died violently, yet all three believed in the power of love to overcome hatred.

We are announcing this essay contest to encourage people to read these thinkers, and to reflect on and analyze their writings. The essay must be between 800 and 1000 words. Essays that are more than 1000 words will not be accepted. The following are some topics and questions you can chose from, but are not limited to. Essays must be based on the writings of Gandhi, King, and Marti. All assertions made by the contestant must be based on primary source materials attributed to all three men.

What role does hate play in their writings and methods of struggle?
What are their concepts of freedom?
Why non-violence instead of violence?
Theoretical and practical applications of using non-violence
What are their concepts of race and racism?
How do they view the role of women?
Gandhi, King, Marti, and Faith
Socialism: How did Gandhi, King, and Marti view it?
Love vs Hate: Towards a New Dialogue
Hindu, Baptist, and Catholic: Universality of Truth?

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For more information contact the FREE CUBA Foundation or visit the website

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