The free exhibit, which opens to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, delivers a striking message about individual leadership and the difference one person can make in promoting peace through non-violent action. The display features photographs, quotations and historical information about three human rights leaders.
"We are honored to be able to sponsor one of only six Gandhi, King, Ikeda exhibits in the whole nation here at HACC's Harrisburg Campus," said Robert William, HACC's Director of Multicultural Affairs/International Education. "We live in a day and age where violence has stolen our loved ones from our midst. Nations continue to rise up against nations while the pursuit of peace for mankind continues to escape our grasp."It is easy to lose hope in the midst of such hopelessness but we are encouraged when we are reminded of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda. Their commitment to peace has made a huge difference not only in their lives but in the lives of future generations around the world," William continued.
Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., dean of the King International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, King's alma mater, has taken the initiative to promote the community building modeled by the three pacifists through this exhibition. Although the men were from different cultures, countries and eras, their lives followed a common path of profound dedication and achievement in addressing the plight of common people.Gandhi's civil disobedience and nonviolent demonstrations won greater freedom and ultimately independence for 400 million citizens of India in August 1947 after three centuries of British Rule. He was assassinated six months later on the way to evening prayers.
King's commitment to peace and justice inspired the movement for civil and human rights, giving voice to the hopes and dreams of the poor and dispossessed throughout the world. His "I have a dream" speech in 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. King was assassinated in April 1968.
Ikeda's work as a leading Buddhist philosopher, author, poet and educator has led to the non-violent democratization of Japan's feudalistic social structures and an international grassroots initiative of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation for global peace. He is president of Soka Gakkai International, dedicated to the realization of a humane society.
Of the exhibition, Carter said, "I conceptualized (it) with the hope that by examining the lives of these great individuals, viewers would be inspired to create value in the context of their own daily lives through the application of the ideals for peace and non-violence."
The exhibition is sponsored by HACC's Office of Multicultural Affairs/International Education and the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College. Co-sponsors are Soka Gakkai International-USA, Gandhi-King Nonviolence Coalition, and America's Promise of Greater Harrisburg.
The public is invited to view the free exhibit Oct. 2-12 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. A map of HACC's Harrisburg campus is available at http://www.hacc.edu/aboutUs/documents/HACC_Map.pdf
HACC serves more than 18,000 degree-seeking students in a 10-county region in central Pennsylvania. In addition, the college serves more than 35,000 students in its workforce development and community education programs. The college operates campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Gettysburg and York, as well as a rapidly growing virtual campus for online courses and a number of off-campus community sites.