Skip to content Skip to navigation

The Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI)

Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries

The Uplift of All: Gandhi, King, and the Global Struggle for Freedom and Justice

To register for the GKGI conference, click here


The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth by presenting a major, international Gandhi-King conference from Friday, October 11 to Sunday, October 13, 2019. This conference will feature three days of lectures and panel discussions at Stanford University by prominent scholars and activists who will reassess the legacies of Gandhi and King in a contemporary global context. Ela Gandhi and Rajmohan Gandhi (grandchildren of Mahatma Gandhi), Martin Luther King III and his family, Anthony Chavez and Juanita Chavez (the grandson of Cesar Chavez and the daughter of Dolores Huerta, respectively), as well as Sister Helen Prejean will be honored guests.  

Although Gandhi and King are widely celebrated and revered for their role in twentieth century struggles for citizenship rights, many admirers give insufficient attention to their broader concerns, such as poverty, war, environmental degradation, and the denial of human rights. Such twenty-first century issues are as urgent as ever, taking on forms such as catastrophic climate change, extreme wealth inequality, and the migrant refugee crisis. Gandhi once proclaimed that "There is no limit to extending our services to our neighbours across State-made frontiers. God never made those frontiers." King prophesied that "All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny." These global visions are at the heart of our October conference.

Design by Coleen Patterson

This historic gathering will be the first event of the Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI), an effort to build an international network of institutions, organizations, and activists committed to the nonviolent struggle for human rights. This network will seek to enhance the rich history of intellectual and political collaboration between activists inspired by Gandhi and King.

We invite you to participate in our October conference and join a global network of people dedicated to the human rights and social justice ideals of Gandhi and King.

Attendance of the conference will cost $100 for early-bird registration (by September 15) and $150 for general registration (after September 16). This cost will be waived for students (ID required for verification) and all Stanford affiliates (SUNet required for verification). Admission to a banquet on the evening of Friday, October 11 will cost an additional $100 for non-students and $25 for students.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Friday, October 11:

  • Banquet in the Tresidder Oak Lounge (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.)
  • Symposium at CEMEX Auditorium with Anthony Chavez, Juanita Chavez, Ela Gandhi, Rajmohan Gandhi, and Martin Luther King III (7:30 - 9:30 p.m.)

Saturday, October 12:

  • Panel Discussions (8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)
  • Break (10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)
  • Panel Discussions (10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
  • Lunch (12:00 - 1:30 p.m.)
  • Panel Discussions (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)
  • Break (3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Panel Discussions (3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) 
  • Dinner (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.)
  • Cultural Programming and Entertainment (7:00 - 9:00 p.m.)

Sunday, October 13:

  • River of Firebook talk and signing with Sister Helen Prejean at the Center for Inter-religious Community, Learning and Experiences, Old Union, 3rd Floor (9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m., Free and Open to the Public)
  • University Public Worship with Sister Prejean at the Stanford Memorial Church (10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., Free and Open to the Public)
  • "Where Do We Go From Here?" Networking and Organizing Session at the Tresidder Oak Lounge (11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

See our List of Speakers

Proposed panel discussion topics include: Nonviolence in theory and practice, interfaith dialogue, immigration and asylum, environmental justice, wealth inequality, and the history of the connections between the Indian and African American freedom struggles. We will update this page as we finalize the panels and the speakers involved.

To see the members of the GKGI Planning Committee, click here.

To see the Affiliated Organizations and Institutions of GKGI, click here.

To see the Current Sponsors of GKGI, click here.

To see a list of Resources and Educational Material, click here.

Support GKGI

Please consider supporting the Gandhi-King Global Initiative by following these instructions on how to donate online or by mail. 

To learn about sponsorship packages, please contact Truman Chen at or 650-736-0711.

Online: The Giving to Stanford website provides a secure way to contribute to GKGI through the King Institute by using a credit card. Access to this secure portal can be found by clicking here. We would appreciate your sending us an e-mail at when you make a gift online so we can track it through the system and make certain that it is properly designated for the Gandhi-King Global Initiative.

Mail:For contributions by mail, please make your check payable to "The King Institute at Stanford University" and ear-marked for the "Gandhi-King Global Initiative" and mail it to:

MLK Research and Education Institute

P.O. Box 20532

Stanford, CA 94309

When you contribute, the most important instruction is for you to make certain that your gift to the King Institute is accompanied by a note indicating that it is intended for the 'Gandhi-King Global Initiative' so that it can be used only for this purpose.