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Ela Gandhi

Conference Speaker for the Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI) Conference: The Uplift of All: Gandhi, King, and the Global Struggle for Freedom and Justice; October 11-13, 2019

Ela Gandhi is the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, the daughter of Gandhi’s second son, Manilal. Born in the Phoenix Settlement in South Africa, she earned a B.A. at Natal University and then worked as a social worker.  She was vice president of the Natal Indian Congress, and served with the United Democratic Front and the Natal Organisation of Women.  For her civil rights work she was subject to house arrest and banning for nine years by the apartheid South African regime from 1975.  A member of the Transitional Executive Council to establish a non-racial democracy in the historic election of 1994 that brought Nelson Mandela to the presidency.  She subsequently served as a Member of the South African Parliament from 1994 to 2004, helping to deconstruct apartheid. She was the Chancellor of Durban University of Technology and has won many awards for her humanitarian work from the Indian government, an International Peace Award, and is honored as a veteran of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (African National Congress).

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