This is a copy of the earlier live webcast. There were minor AV issues, so a better one will be posted soon.

Arun Gandhi spent two years during his teens living with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, learning firsthand about the challenges and triumphs of advocating for non-violent change.

These beliefs were directly challenged on January 30, 1948 when an assassin took his grandfather’s life but, from that day forward, Arun Gandhi dedicated his life and passion to ending senseless violence throughout the world.

Gandhi is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the fifth annual Ray and Mary Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Admission to both events is free and open to the public thanks to generous support from the USAO Foundation through the Ray and Mary Giles Fund.

Exposed to violence from a young age while growing up in South Africa, Gandhi had to confront his own desire for revenge and, in time, displace it with a quest for justice.

Working for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India, Gandhi, along with his late wife, Sunanda, created projects designed to aid the socially and economically oppressed in India. In the late 1980s, the couple came to the United States and founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, which seeks ways to apply the principles of non-violence to social problems.

Today, Gandhi remains dedicated to spreading the message of non-violent change by sharing his message of peace with audiences all over the world.

Dr. Chris Walker, associate professor of psychology and chairman of the Giles Symposium committee, considers Gandhi’s life and message to be the perfect fit for the annual symposium.

“Arun Gandhi has experienced the violence and oppression of institutionalized racism firsthand and has dedicated his life to lifting others out of similar situations through his writing and advocacy.”


2012 Giles Panelists

MEET OUR 2012 PANELISTS Prior to the evening lecture, a panel discussion examining social advocacy in Oklahoma will take place in the USAO Ballroom from 2-4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Tania Walsh, LCSW | Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Tania Walsh graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2001 with a master’s degree in Social Work.  Prior to becoming employed by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Walsh worked as a therapist for the Oklahoma County PACT program for almost four years. Walsh also has served consumers in Oklahoma by performing duties as a mental health aide, case manager and medical social worker.  For the past five years, Walsh has assisted law enforcement agencies in training their officers in up to date and relevant mental health training.  In this role she organizes CIT trainings across Oklahoma and provides mental health in-service trainings to police officers, probation and parole officers, as well as correctional officers. Walsh also currently oversees the PACT programs, Behavioral Health Case Management, Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T) training, the day reporting program, female diversion programs and jail diversion programs.
Brandon Pasley | 2004 graduate of USAO 
Program Manager for the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) at the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General. The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and their families with address confidentiality when establishing a new address unknown to his/her perpetrator. Participants are provided with a substitute address for use when interacting with state and local government agencies. He has also worked as a victim services liaison with the Women’s Service & Family Resource Center in Chickasha.
Dan Straughan | Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance
The Homeless Alliance is an Oklahoma City not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the system of care for the homeless through collaboration with service providers, city government and local businesses. The ultimate goal of the Homeless Alliance is to end homelessness in Oklahoma City by facilitating collaboration, preventing homelessness and increasing awareness. 









Ray & Mary Giles

Ray Giles dedicated his life to public service and to the state of Oklahoma. During a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, Giles was awarded three Battle Stars, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal for his service in Europe. He returned to Caddo County in 1945 and assumed the role of wheat farmer. Giles became active in local politics, serving on the State Board of Agriculture and ultimately as an Oklahoma State Senator, a position he held from 1976 to 1992. 


On the bustling floor of the Oklahoma State Senate, Giles was an icon. Year after year, the senator from District 23 voted his conscience, represented the agenda of the farmer, and supported the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 


Like her husband, Mary Martin Giles was dedicated to public causes, particularly education. She attended the Oklahoma College for Women in the early 1940s. She taught in Carnegie schools for five years and was a member of the Grady County Mineral Owners Association as well as her church. She was passionate about farming and issues related to farming. 


Ray Giles passed away in 1995, followed by Mary in 1998. Their legacy of service and commitment to family, education, and agriculture in Oklahoma lives on through the Ray and Mary Giles Lectureship at USAO.