Monday, March 16, 2015

Oak Park students talk social justice with Ghandi relative

Students in grades 3-5 at Oak Park Music Conservatory recently had the opportunity to conduct a Skype interview with Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi (known to his many followers as Mahatma).

Oak Park ES students Students have been exploring the roots of the American Civil Rights Movement in their classes taught by teachers Mick Rabin and Mary Beth Milliken. Social justice is an important component of their studies in cultural competence so the students have been reading about the life of civil rights legend, Congressman John Lewis, as well as the very inspiration for civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi. Mick Rabin reached out to Arun Gandhi who lived with his grandfather--the man who lead 300 million Indians to independence--toward the end of his life.

Arun Gandhi spoke with the students about his grandfather's nonviolence, finding positive ways to channel anger, and about carrying on the Gandhi torch of responding to the needs of the world's poorest and most oppressed. Now retired, the 80 year-old Arun Gandhi, recalled what it was like to live with his grandfather who modeled a life of simplicity and service to the needy.

The Oak Park students had a chance to ask Mr. Gandhi some questions about his own life and about the peaceful legacy of his grandfather. They composed and shared some poems in honor of Arun Gandhi's famous grandfather and heard some words of encouragement about leading by example and advocating on behalf of the people in society who have the least.

"Thanks to Mr. Gandhi, this will be a day that our third and fourth graders at Oak Park Music Conservatory will never forget," Rabin said.
For more information on the Skype session, email

News Coverage: