Legends recognized through art

The legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi were recalled and reflected upon at an event on Tuesday, which featured UH President Renu Khator.

The event, “From Gandhi to King: The Globalization of a Dream,” aimed to honor the two men, their lessons and their accomplishments and impact on society, both globally and locally.

King’s “I have a Dream” speech played in the background as UH faculty, staff, students and alumni entered the Houston Room in the University Center. Attendees were also encouraged to view the “And Freedom For All” photo documentary, which chronicled the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Khator addressed the attendees on the legacies of King and Ghandi.

“Both men had great faith in their lessons, ” Khator said. “It is a very special occasion when we all come together and reflect upon the lessons that we’ve learned and the messages that we’ve received, and how we can follow that advice and those lessons.”

Khator shared her story of meeting Gandhi’s grandson, and then addressed the impact she felt current students would have. Citing them as “the future,” Khator said that the world will be what the students make it.

The UH Forensic Team addressed the non-violent methods used by both King and Gandhi.

“Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon…which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.”

Team member Lee Arnold read aloud this quote from King before defining what the quote meant then, and essentially now.

“What Dr. King was expressing during his life — during the 1950s and 1960s, dealing with the riots, boycotts, the hatred and racism — was that we as Americans, not just white, black or otherwise, can come together and sit at the table of love and brotherhood.”

Arnold also addressed the issue of education, in regards to achieving more than just an education in the classroom.

“Dr. King emphasized that education was essential in our daily lives,” Arnold said. “Education is essential at every level, young and old. We should entice ourselves to become more educated, not just from what we are taught in the classroom, but the lessons that life will provide us.”

Gandhi’s religious tolerance and King’s religious values concluded the presentation with a message about looking at not only the messenger, but also the message itself.

“We have come here to recognize the importance of a man (King),” Arnold said. “But the importance is not just the man. It’s the message that he spoke to us.”

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