Gandhi’s great-grandson to visit Wright State, promote inclusivity

Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will give the Earl H. Morris, M.D., Endowed Lecture on Jan. 31 at 9:30 a.m. in the Student Union’s Apollo Room.

In a daylong series of activities, Wright State University will welcome Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, world-renowned as the leader of the movement that led to India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947 through nonviolent protest.

Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy eventually inspired others, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to campaign for equality and peace.

During his visit to Wright State on Wednesday, Jan. 31, Tushar Gandhi will address the disparity in health care worldwide, in addition to the pillars of his great-grandfather’s philosophy, as the Earl H. Morris, M.D., Endowed Lectureship speaker.

The lecture will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Student Union’s Apollo Room. It is free and open to the public.

“Tushar is dedicated to promoting equality for all. This mission aligns with Wright State’s goal of providing accessible education to everyone. These two important goals go hand in hand,” said Terry Oroszi, Ed.D., associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine and host of Gandhi’s visit.

Oroszi met Gandhi during a tour of India over winter break last year.

Oroszi secured a pledge from Gandhi to visit Wright State, where he will discuss the impact of Mahatma Gandhi on King’s fight for human rights and his efforts to address global health care disparities.

“It’s important to recognize the link between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King,” she said. “Both influential figures were ordinary individuals with a powerful vision of equality and unity.”

She added that she hopes students will gain an understanding of who Mahatma Gandhi was and his legacy and “to see that connection with Dr. King, and see how those two men, although they never met, were philosophically related.”

Gandhi will arrive on Jan. 19 and will visit several Dayton-area sites. The schedule for his Jan. 31 visit to Wright State:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Tour of the University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives
  • 9:30 to 11 a.m.: Morris Endowed Lecture with a question-and-answer session
  • 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tour of the Student Success Center, hosted by Arvind Elangovan, Ph.D., professor of history and associate chair of the School of Humanities and Cultural Studies
  • 2:45 to 3 p.m.: Campus tour, with Rajiv Ramdat, graduate programs coordinator in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Shannon Norton, fiscal services manager
  • 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Visit the Model United Nations class, with Vaughn Shannon, Ph.D., professor of international and comparative politics
  • 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.: Meeting with students from the Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • 5 to 6:30 p.m.: Dinner with the University Center International Education, with meals prepared by international students

In addition to his Wright State itinerary, Gandhi plans to visit historic sites in Dayton, the International Peace Museum and more before departing the Dayton region Feb. 2.

“I want him to have the Dayton experience,” Oroszi said, “so that when he leaves, he thinks of Dayton as a city that aligns with his mission.”

“Meeting someone like Tushar is a rare and special opportunity. Being able to bring him here to introduce him to the Dayton and Wright State community brings me great happiness,” she said.

Oroszi is also working to arrange a visit with Chief Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson. As the leader of the resistance against South Africa’s oppressive apartheid policy, Mandela eventually became the country’s first president after years of imprisonment.

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