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Friday, January 17, 2014



Birmingham, Alabama (January 17, 2014) - As the nation prepares for the national holiday honoring the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation (AACF) in Birmingham, Alabama, announced the plans to name a proposed Peace Plaza in metro Birmingham for Dr. King’s primary mentor,  Mahatma Gandhi.  

Dr. King said, “The person who has influenced my life in terms of action more than anybody is Mahatma Gandhi.” (See www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDpd0oM2x_E). Dr. King said once, “Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics” for his campaign against segregation in the South; tactics which played out before the world right here in Birmingham. King’s dedication to nonviolence and passive resistance was the basis of him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Gandhi influenced such diverse world leaders as former South African activist, President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela; world respected Princeton professor/scientist, Albert Einstein; Burmese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi as well as countless others. 
Gandhi is considered the father of the Indian independence movement. He spent 20 years in South Africa working to fight discrimination. It was there that he created his concept of “satyagraha” (truth force), a non-violent way of protesting against injustices. Since Gandhi believed that exploitation was only possible if both the exploited and the exploiter accepted it, if one could see above the current situation and see the universal truth, then one had the power to make change. While in India, Gandhi's obvious virtue, simplistic lifestyle, and minimal dress endeared him to the people. He spent his remaining years working diligently to both remove British rule from India as well as to better the lives of India's poorest classes. He stressed unity of all the communities and he staked his own life to visit the riot-torn areas and restored peace there.
Because of his international influence in making ours a more united and peaceful world, the Board of Directors of the Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation has voted to name our proposed International Friendship and Peace Plaza the “Gandhi International Friendship and Peace Plaza” to honor the legacy of this great person. This plaza will be part of the Asian Cultural and Educational Center that the AACF is planning on having built, which will be a venue for all Alabama citizens to access Asian arts and culture, including dance, music, and fiber arts, as well as educational classes including languages classes for different Asian languages.

About Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation

Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation (AACF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation whose mission is to nurture and support artistic and cultural organizations within the Asian communities in the metro Birmingham area, and in the state of Alabama. These efforts will enable Americans of all cultures to enjoy and celebrate Asian arts and cultures. Encouraging interactions among different cultures through education and artistic and cultural programming will promote diversity, and international understanding and friendship. The mission will ultimately be fulfilled through an Asian Cultural Education Center, a classical Chinese Garden, and an International Friendship and Peace Plaza. For more information about the goals and activities of the Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation, go to http://www.alabamaasiancultures.org. For more information about the goals and activities of the Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation, visit www.alabamaasiancultures.org.


Mary Peppers
President, AACF Board of Directors
205.283.9100 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Member, AACF Board of Directors
205.516.2797 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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