On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Frostburg State University held its spring 2013 Philosophical Forum, “The Gandhian Philosophy of Nonviolence in African Liberation Movements: Lessons for Our Time,” at 7 p.m. in the Atkinson Room 232 of the Lane University Center. This forum was lead by the phenomenal Dr. Gail Presbey, who is a professor of philosophy at the University of Detroit Mercy. This lecture covered the trials and tribulations that many African countries had faced, Mahatma Gandhi’s methods of nonviolence, and the influence of Gandhi’s methods of nonviolence of South Africa.
As you entered the room there were two sections of black chairs for the audience, a large screen to project Dr. Presbey’s presentation, along with a podium with a microphone attached to it. The Atkinson room was brightly lit and filled with about 30 people. The audience included students, members of the community, and FSU professors. Everyone in attendance had looked anxious to hear the wonderful words of Dr. Presbey.
Dr. Presbey first began the forum by telling the audience a little bit about herself. She is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Detroit Mercy, who teaches Ethics, Peace and Social Justice, and Philosophy of Religion. Mahatma Gandhi inspired her to learn more about the African culture and the methods of nonviolence. As Dr. Presbey lectured through her PowerPoint, just about everyone in the audience was taking notes and appeared to be following along as she zoomed through each slide. You can tell that she had thorough knowledge about Africa and the nonviolent protests led by Gandhi from the way she presented her information. As she lectured, she appeared to have a strong view on this topic based on how she delivered her presentation, referring to Gandhi she said, “He wanted to change people’s minds just in case they thought they were powerless.”
As Dr. Presbey continued through her presentation she talked about the background of Gandhi and what made him rise against the British authorities, Nelson Mandela, George Padmore, Johannes Nkosi, nonviolence in Ghana, and the Fifth Pan African Congress. By the end of Dr. Presbey's presentation, they left the room open for discussion and there were a lot of hands raised. A thirty minute discussion between the audience and Dr. Presbey went on.
This was a very informative forum and if you were not in attendance, then you missed a great presentation.
For more information, please visit: http://www.udmercy.edu/about/meet_faculty/clae/Gail-Presbey.htm