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UH President Dobelle Receives "Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award"

Award celebrates human rights and nonviolence in honor of those it's named for

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Sep 18, 2002

University of Hawaiʻi President Evan S. Dobelle was recently honored as the recipient of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award. The award, created to celebrate human rights and nonviolence, was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Kit, on the occasion of the showing of the exhibit "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace," at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Dobelle was selected to receive the award and recognized by Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, Sr., Dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, for his "outstanding career of leadership as an educator and administrator, in which he has dedicated himself to transcending difference and nurturing understanding within diversity among our fellow citizens."

"It is a distinct honor to receive such a prestigious award and I will strive to always uphold the ideals it represents," said Dobelle. "However, I am extremely humbled to be included in the same sentence as these remarkable individuals. These men dedicated their entire lives to the pursuit of peace — they were advocates for the least fortunate among us and crusaders for understanding and acceptance.

"I hope this award and exhibit inspire UH students, faculty, staff, and administration as well as the community, to always look deeper, work harder, and envision that greater understanding, knowledge and tolerance can be achieved."

Carter is the creator of the renowned exhibit featuring factual information, inspirational quotes, and colorful photographs of the three individuals for which the award is named: Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda.

Gandhi was a full-fledged revolutionary firmly committed to nonviolence. He took the lead in the long struggle for India‘s independence from Britain, and worked for elimination of racial discrimination in South Africa, promotion of Hind-Muslim unity, and abolition of untouchability. King was an advocate of non-violent social change strategies who fought to abolish racial prejudices. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which is defined by its commitment to nonviolence, non-cooperation with unjust laws. Ikeda is the president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist organization with more than 12 million members from around the world. He is a Buddhist thinker and educator who believes in creating peace through personal interaction and dialogue across different cultures.

The award in their names was created to celebrate the lives and work of three individuals from three different cultures and continents whose common path of profound dedication to peace has been recognized internationally. Previous recipients of the award include former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, and Ohio State University President William E. Kirwan.

The award was presented following the Aloha Peace Concert, an event recently held to commemorate the first anniversary of September 11 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, by Carter along with Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence; Dr. Michael Nobel, Chairman of the Appeal of the Nobel Peace Laureates; and Mr. George Takei, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Japanese American National Museum.