Our Director of Public Programs sits down with Som Sharma to discuss his organization, Alliance for Humanitarian Initiatives, Nonviolence, and Spiritual Advancement (AHINSA), and the creation of Mahatma Gandhi Day 2017: “Creative Activism, The Legacy of Gandhi.”
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe the International Day of Non-Violence on October 2nd of each year – the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi or more popularly known as Gandhi. Gandhi helped lead India to independence through peaceful ways of civil disobedience, such as 21-day fast in protest of the communal riots on India’s northwest frontier or after walking 200 miles on foot to the sea to collect salt illegally. After his walk, the Viceroy started to relieve the punitive salt taxes and the government monopoly.
Mahatma Gandhi Day 2017 occurred on October 1st in the Frick Fine Arts Building at the University of Pittsburgh. This event featured a keynote speech given by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, as well as winners from the student essay contest and artwork from the Create Peace art project. Attendees were able to drink chai with Pittsburgh organizations, engage with inter-faith presentations and enjoy cultural performances followed by a program in the auditorium. This event was sponsored by Alliance for Humanitarian Initiatives Non-violence and Spiritual Advancement, Asian Studies Center, Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Council on American-Islamic Relations Pittsburgh, Global Studies Center, Gujarati Samaj of Greater Pittsburgh, Hindu Jain Temple, Rotary Club of Monroeville, Sanjeevani Ashram, and the Sri Venkateswara Temple.