Conference & Presenters Schedule at a Glance







CONFERENCE PRESENTERS: (Download this Document as a pdf)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Peace Train Kick-Off Celebration
Los Angeles, CA • Agape International Spiritual Center • 7:00p.m.

Friday, April 20, 2007
Living Legends of Nonviolence Conference
San Jose, Ca • San Jose Marriott Conference Center

Dr. Arun Gandhi, the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Co-founder of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence

Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and “black” South Africans for being too white; so, Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering.

Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world,” Gandhi said. Through daily lessons, Arun says, he learned about violence and about anger.

Arun shares these lessons all around the world. For the past five years, he has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars. This year, some of his engagements included speaking at the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Women’s Justice Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also delivered talks at the Young President’s Organization in Mexico, the Trade Union Leaders’ Meeting in Milan, Italy, as well as the Peace and Justice Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sometimes, his journeys take him even further. Arun has spoken in Croatia, France, Ireland, Holland, Lithuania, Nicaragua, China, and Japan. Also, he is a very popular speaker on college campuses. In the past year, he spoke at the University of Rochester, North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Baker University, Morehouse College, Marquette University, and the University of San Diego.

Arun is very involved in social programs and writing as well. Shortly after Arun married his wife Sunanda, they were informed the South African government would not allow her to accompany him there. Sunanda and Arun decided to live in India, and Arun worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India. Together, Arun and Sunanda started projects for the social and economic upliftment of the oppressed using constructive programs, the backbone of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. The programs changed the lives of more than half a million people in over 300 villages and they still continue to grow. Arun is the author of several books. The first, A Patch of White (1949), is about life in prejudiced South Africa; then, he wrote two books on poverty and politics in India; followed by a compilation of M.K. Gandhi's Wit & Wisdom. He also edited a book of essays on World Without Violence: Can Gandhi’s Vision Become Reality? And, more recently, wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, jointly with Sunanda.

Yolanda King, Higher Ground Productions, Inc.

Yolanda King, founder and CEO of Higher Ground Productions, is an amazing and dynamic voice among twenty-first century speakers.
She is the first-born daughter of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Yolanda’s mission is to encourage personal growth and positive social change through her artistic endeavors, including acting, producing, speaking and teaching. It is King’s passion for peace and positive change that prompted her vision for founding Higher Ground Productions, an organization dedicated to teaching people to celebrate diversity and embrace unity.

Yolanda King has performed or lectured in 49 of the 50 American states as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia for educational, business, religious and civic organizations.  She has co-authored a book entitled Open My Eyes, Open My Soul, which demonstrates her commitment to raise awareness and enhance understanding about the importance of diversity.  In an effort to help groups and individuals find more personal freedom, King has joined forces with a Life Coach and created her new book entitled Embracing Your Power in 30 Days, a Journey of Self-Discovery and Personal Freedom.

King has been honored with numerous presentations, awards and citations by organizations around the country and was named one of the Outstanding Young Women of America.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (the official national memorial to Dr. King) and was founding Director of the King Center’s Cultural Affairs Program. She serves on the Partnership Council of Habitat for Humanity, is a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and holds a lifetime membership in the N.A.A.C.P. King holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marywood University.

Mrs. Ela  Gandhi, Former Member of Parliament, Republic of South Africa

Former member of Parliament in the Republic of South Africa is a qualified social worker by profession, but has always been more of a social/ political activist.  From her early childhood, she has been driven by a community spirit.  She helped child welfare fund raising when still in Primary School.   To Mrs. Gandhi, liberation, social justice, animal and environmental rights issues are important.   She consistently take up issues of prejudice, oppression, power and of ensuring that the voices of the voiceless are heard.  To this end then, all her work as an activist in South Africa was directed towards the raising of the issues of the oppressed.  While she worked as a social worker, healing and providing relief to people, she also tackled the bigger questions of how people can be mobilized to take up their own issues.  But this work drew attention to Mrs. Gandhi and she was placed under house arrest for 8 years.  During the RSA negotiations process she was selected as one of the representatives of her organization to represent the people.  She was then selected to be on the list of candidates for parliament and was sent to parliament for two terms, resigning from parliament in January 2003.  At present, she is Editor and Chairperson of the Board of management of  Satyagraha- In pursuit of Truth a Non Profit Organisation which runs a newspaper, promoting Gandhian ideals.  She is Secretary of the Gandhi Development Trust, which makes awards on an annual basis and holds a Gandhi Lecture.   She is Chairperson of the Domestic Violence Help Line, the Mahatma Gandhi Handicraft Centre, and Trustee of the Mahatma Gandhi Trust which owns a property which was donated to the Natal Indian Congress when Gandhiji left South Africa in 1914.  She is a member on the Advisory Boards of Unilever Ethics Centre, International Advisory Board of the World Parliament of Religions and Advisory Board of the Ahimsa Centre,  in California.  She is Vice President of  the South African Chapter of World Conference on Religion and Peace and is on the ANC’s Commission on Religious Affairs.  She is hoping to soon set up a Centre for Nonviolence with focus on  building a resource centre, a research facility,  an academic facility, a materials development facility and a community outreach programme.

Paul F. Chavez, National Farm Workers Service Center

Paul F. Chavez is the son of the late Cesar E. Chavez, the Founder of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO and National Farm Workers Service Center, Inc. Mr. Chavez has served as the President of the National Farm Workers Service Center, Inc. since 1991.

Under Mr. Chavez stewardship the NFWSC has focused organizational resources in the preservation, development and management of affordable housing as well as educational radio creating the Farm Worker Radio Network, “Radio Campesina.”

During this period NFWSC has experience tremendous growth. NFWSC’s housing portfolio has grown from two hundred and forty five units of affordable rental housing to over sixteen hundred units located in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The communication fund has experienced similar growth from two standalone radio stations to a nine-station regional radio network. Located throughout California, Arizona and Washington with a modern central broadcast facility located in Bakersfield, California.

Mr. Chavez’ duties include strategic and operational planning, budgeting, results management, board and government relations.

Prior to his work with NFWSC Mr. Chavez worked with the United Farm Workers of America. His assignments included labor organizer, labor negotiator, manager of the UFW’s direct marketing operation, Political Director and Lobbyist in Sacramento and Washington D.C. as well as personal assistant to the Founder and President Cesar E. Chavez.

Mr. Chavez earned an Associate Degree in Negotiations and Collective Bargaining from the Fred W. Ross Labor Education Center, School of Collective Bargaining in December 1979.

Mr. Chavez works out of Keene, CA, the headquarters for the UFW and the NFWSC.

Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Dolores C. Huerta, co-founder and First Vice President Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW) and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.  She is the mother of 11 children, 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Dolores has played a major role in the American civil rights movement.

In 1955, she was a founding member of the Stockton Chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a grass roots organization started by Fred Ross, Sr.  The CSO battled segregation and police brutality, led voter registration drives, pushed for improved public services and fought to enact new legislation.  Recognizing the needs of farm workers, while working for the CSO, Dolores organized and founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960.  She became a fearless lobbyist in Sacramento, and in 1961 succeeded in obtaining the citizenship requirements removed from pension, and public assistance programs.  She was also instrumental in passage of legislation allowing voters the right to vote in Spanish, and the right of individuals to take the drivers license examination in their native language.  In 1962, she lobbied in Washington D.C. for an end to the “captive labor” Bracero Program.

It was through her work with the CSO that Dolores met Cesar Chavez.  They both realized the need to organize farm workers.  In 1962, after the CSO turned down Cesar’s request as their president to organize farm workers, Dolores joined Cesar and his family in Delano, California.  There they formed the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), the predecessor to the UFW.

In recognition of her achievements, she received an honorary degree from Princeton University in May 2006. She was cited as follows: "Through her insatiable hunger of justice -La Causa- and her tireless advocacy, she has devoted her life to creative, compassionate, and committed citizenship".

Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Ed.D, Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies University of Rhode Island

Bernard LaFayette, Jr. has been a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and is an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. He was a leader of the Nashville Movement, 1960 and on the Freedom Rides, 1961 and the 1965 Selma Movement. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and he was appointed National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples’ Campaign by Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, Dr. LaFayette has served as Director of Peace and Justice in Latin America; Chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development; Director of the PUSH Excel Institute; and minister of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tuskegee, Alabama.

When asked why he joined the civil rights movement Dr. Barnard Lafayette, who was raised in Tampa, Florida, replied, "When I finally got old enough to realize that segregation was destroying peoples lives, I decided to do something about it." It was that thought that helped Dr. Lafayette co-found the Students Nonviolent Coordination Committee in 1960. He was also a leader in Nashville Movement (1960), the Freedom Rides (1961), the Alabama Voter Registration Project (1962), and the Selma Movement (1965), Lafayette participated in the lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville during the 1960s. By doing that and working with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Freedom Riders Lafayette developed an understanding of using nonviolence to achieve the goal of equality. Non-violence was a core part of SNCC and the Freedom Rides. He explained why taking the stand of non-violence was so important, "Non-violence is all about love and redemption. Love is more powerful that hate. All you have to do is keep on loving and don’t expect anything return."

Even today Lafayette is taking the message of non-violence to different groups. In June of 2001 he took twenty-seven fifth-graders from Wakefield Elementary School in Rhode Island to places that were of great importance to the Civil Rights Movement. Places such as where Rosa Parks was arrested, the Baptist church that was bombed killing four girls, and crossing the Selma Bridge. He also was just appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Race and Police and Community Relations in Rhode Island where he was a scholar-in-residence at the University. At the University of Rhode Island he was bringing the message of non-violence to the programs. Ever since he joined the Civil Rights Movement Lafayette has been bringing the message of non-violence to people by being a minister, educator, lecturer, and administrator.

Dr. Barnard Lafayette is an ordained minister who earned his B.A. from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. Lafayette also received his Ed. M. and Ed. D. from Harvard University.

Bro.  David  Steindl-Rast, OSB, Immaculate Heart Hermitage

DAVID STEINDL-RAST was born July 12, 1926, in Vienna, Austria.  He studied art, anthropology, and psychology, receiving an MA from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and a PhD from the University of Vienna. In 1953 he joined the Benedictine monastery in Elmira, NY, of which he is now a senior member. In 1958/59 Brother David was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cornell University, where he also became the first Roman Catholic to hold the Thorpe Lectureship, following Bishop J.D.R. Robinson and Paul Tillich.

After twelve years of monastic training and studies in philosophy and theology, Brother David was sent by his abbot to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, for which he received Vatican approval in 1967. He co-founded the Center for Spiritual Studies in 1968 and received the 1975 Martin Buber Award for his achievements in building bridges between religious traditions. Together with Thomas Merton, Brother David helped launch a renewal of religious life.

For decades, Brother David divided his time between periods of hermit's life and extensive lecture tours on five continents. His wide spectrum of audiences has included starving students in Zaire and faculty at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Buddhist monks and Sufi retreatants, missionaries on Polynesian islands and gatherings at the United Nations, Green Berets and participants at international peace conferences.

He has written for a wide range of books and periodicals, from the Encyclopedia Americana and The New Catholic Encyclopedia, to the New Age Journal and Parabola Magazine, and has contributed chapters or interviews to well over 30 books. His books have been translated into many languages. He co-authored with physicist Fritjof Capra Belonging to the Universe, a dialogue on new paradigm thinking in science and theology (American Book Award 1992).

At present, Brother David serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living, through, an interactive website with several thousand participants daily from 226 countries.

Richard E. Chavez, National Farm Workers  Service Center

Richard Estrada Chavez was born November 12, 1929 in Yuma, Arizona.  When he was eight years old Richard’s family was forced into migrant farm work when the family farm was lost to taxes during the Great Depression and migrated to California.

A as child Richard worked along side his family in the fields while also attending over sixteen schools.  As an adult Richard established a career as a carpenter.  As such he served to establish the Self-help Housing Program with the American Friends Service Committee and served on the State Rural Housing Commission.  He was a past president of the Delano Chapter of the Community Service Organization.

In 1966 Richard gave up the security of his carpentry job and joined his brother, Cesar Chavez, as a full time volunteer for the United Farm Workers organizing and fighting for farm worker civil rights.

In his long career with the United Farm Workers, Mr. Chavez has served in many capacities.  From 1972 to 1984 he served as Third Vice-President of the Union.  He was in charge of negotiations and field Operations, administering collective-bargaining agreements secured for farm workers through the struggle of farm worker strikes and boycotts.  Richard worked on both the grape and lettuce boycotts as the Director of the Detroit, Michigan boycott in 1972-73 and the New York City Boycotts in 1973-74.  He also served as Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Fund, a UFW service program for farm workers and Executive Director of the National Farm Workers Health Group that ran primary health clinics for farm workers.

Richard Chavez was the first director of the National Farm Workers Service Center, and continues to serve the Service Center as a board member.  The National Farm Workers’ Service Center builds affordable housing for farm workers and La Campesina, the farm worker radio network.

Mr. Chavez is a skilled carpenter and building contractor.  Many of the UFW offices, clinics and service centers have been designed, built and remodeled by Richard Chavez.

Mr. Chavez also serves on the Board of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation and attends speaking engagements on behalf of the foundation and the United Farm Workers Union.

Mr. Chavez has ten children, seven stepchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.  He resides in Keene, California.

Dean Lawrence Carter Sr., Dean of MLK Jr. International Chapel
Morehouse College

Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., is the first Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and tenured Professor of Religion, and College Curator at Morehouse College since 1979. He is also an adjunct professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine in the Master of Public Health Program. For forty-five years, Dr. Carter has studied and worked in fourteen American universities, colleges, and professional schools, spoken at over eighty different colleges, universities, and seminaries, and received over five-hundred speaking engagements from eighteen denominations, and traveled to thirty-three foreign countries. He has made over sixty radio and television appearances, including nationwide in England, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and continent wide in Africa.

Lawrence Carter was born in Dawson, Georgia, and reared in Columbus, Ohio. He holds the B.A. degree from Virginia University of Lynchburg in Social Science and Psychology, and the M. Div. degree in Theology, the S.T.M. degree in Pastoral Care, and the Ph.D. degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Boston University. He did further study at Andover Newton Theological School, The Ohio State University, Harvard University, Georgia State University, New York University, The University of Wisconsin at Madison, Brown University, Spelman College and George Washington University. He holds certifications in multi-disciplinary clinical training, clinical pastoral education, the editing of historical documents, and community non-violent training. He is also a licensed and ordained Baptist minister. He was a 1994 Fulbright Scholar in Brazil, and twice a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, in 1993 and 1996.

Currently, Professor Carter teaches Psychology of Religion, Religion and Ethics, and The Life and Thought of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., at Morehouse College. He also teaches Introduction to Spirituality and Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine. From 1982 to 2000, he lectured annually at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta on "Campus Ministry". From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Carter was a visiting Professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Each year at Bates he led a seminar at the Benjamin Elijah Mays Institute. While a member of the Boston University staff, he served as Baptist Counselor, Residential Counselor, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Afro American Center, and Associate Dean of Daniel L. Marsh Chapel. At the Harvard University Divinity School, he team-taught a course on “Orientation to Ministry.” Later he served as Coordinator of Afro-American Studies at Simmons College.


This event is produced by:

The Association for Global New Thought
Mailing Address • Phone: 805-563-7343 • Email: