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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

Video: Looking back at the 2019 GKGI Conference


The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University commemorated the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth by hosting a major, international Gandhi-King conference from Friday, October 11 to Sunday, October 13, 2019. This conference featured three days of lectures and panel discussions at Stanford University by prominent scholars and activists who discussed 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), Sister Helen Prejean, and James Lawson were among the 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 neighbors 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 was the first event of the Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI), an effort to build an international network (GKGN) of organizations and grassroots groups committed to the nonviolent struggle for human rights. This network seeks to enhance the rich history of intellectual and political collaboration between activists inspired by Gandhi and King.

To learn more about the conference review the conference schedule, the list of speakers, and other details listed belows. 

See our conference schedule

To see our List of Speakers, click here.

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.

To see pictures from the conference, click here.

To watch videos from the conference, click here. 

Support GKGI

Join a global network of people dedicated to the human rights and social justice ideals of Gandhi and King and 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.