Philadelphia

Past events

Commemorating 75 Years of India's Independence

Aug 18-20, 2022 - City Hall, and Church of the Advocate


A three-day conference revisiting the world-historic significance of the Indian Freedom Struggle, with an aim to interpret the ideas of the struggle for our times. There will be panel discussions on the legacy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, the Indian struggle as the beginning of the end of empire, the World Peace movement that grew out of the anti-colonial movement, the unique path towards socialism attempted by freedom fighters, and the role of the independent Indian state in continuing the struggle for liberation of the masses.


Revolutionary Love : Howard Thurman, The Civil Rights Movement, and The Moral Imperative for Our Times

Revolutionary Love : Howard Thurman, The Civil Rights Movement, and The Moral Imperative for Our Times

July 2nd, 2022 - Church of The Crucifixion, South Philly


The first event of the Year of the Indian Freedom Struggle will celebrate the life and legacy of Howard Thurman, whose revolutionary ideas provided a spiritual anchor around which the Civil Rights Movement would blossom. The Negro Delegation to India in 1936, led by Thurman, had a profound encounter with Mahatma Gandhi which changed American history forever. It paved the way for concrete nonviolent direct action to be used in the Black Struggle through Martin Luther King Jr., who was deeply inspired by both Thurman and Gandhi. We will have a documentary screening of 'Backs Against The Wall', presentations on the role of the Black Church in the Civil Rights Movement and Thurman's "Pilgrimage of Friendship", and a panel discussion on the moral revolution of values in our times, that Thurman, King and Gandhi stood for.

This event brought out the various forces and ideas that shaped the Black struggle, and the importance of reinterpreting these ideas for our times. After an introduction on Thurman's lifework and the role of his ideas today, there were presentations on the Black church and its historical place in the Black struggle, Thurman's trip to India and what it meant and brought to America, and a documentary screening that connected Gandhi, Thurman King, and the Civil Rights Movement. There was a panel discussion with community organizers who brought out the importance of a purposeful pedagogy for enabling the youth with tools to make sense of their history and the present, the legacy of nonviolence in the Black struggle, the personal rejuvenation and commitment that sincere engagements with Thurman's ideas lead to, and the meaning of revolutionary love in community practice. Finally there were cultural performances of poetry and music from the revolutionary traditions of the Indian and Black struggles.

A video recording of the event can be found here.

The Year is organized by members of the Saturday Free School for Philosophy & Black Liberation, based in the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, in partnership with the Gandhi Global Family.