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Sudarshan Kapoor

Honoring Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor: Championing a Legacy of Social Work

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Los Angeles/Apr 19, 2024 Kapoor/Ramesh/A.Gary Singh

Celebrating National Social Work Month in March provides an annual opportunity to acknowledge the profound impact of social workers on society. In this special tribute, we shine a light on the remarkable legacy of Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, esteemed professor emeritus in the Department of Social Work Education at Fresno State.

In Fresno State's serene Peace Garden, Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor honors the memory of the revered Cesar Chavez, a tradition he upholds with reverence each March. This year, as Kapoor marks his 90th birthday, he reflects on a life dedicated to the pursuit of peace. For him, non-violence is synonymous with love and tranquility, serving as a guiding principle throughout his journey.

A pivotal figure in the establishment of Fresno State's Peace Garden, Kapoor attributes its creation to the impassioned advocacy of the university's students. This sanctuary, adorned with statues honoring luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez, stands as a testament to Kapoor's enduring commitment to peace and justice.

Kapoor's association with Fresno State spans over five decades, beginning in 1967 when he joined the faculty of the Department of Social Work Education. Rising through the ranks to become a professor emeritus, Kapoor's dedication to his craft garnered national recognition. In 2023, he was honored as a NASW Social Work Pioneer, a testament to his invaluable contributions to the profession.

Rooted in his upbringing in Panjab, India, Kapoor's ethos of peace and non-violence finds inspiration in the teachings of Gandhi. His transition from politics to social work was driven by a deep-seated desire to serve marginalized communities—a commitment that has defined his illustrious career.

At Fresno State, Kapoor's influence extends far beyond the classroom. As a macro social worker, he instilled in his students a passion for activism and social justice, drawing inspiration from the legacies of Gandhi, Chavez, King, and Mandela. His mantra, "lose yourself in the service of others," embodies his lifelong mission.

Colleagues and students alike attest to Kapoor's transformative impact. Dr. Mitzi Lowe, a former student turned colleague, credits him with shaping her understanding of service and advocacy. Similarly, Corinne Florez, along with her family, acknowledges Kapoor's role in instilling a deep sense of social responsibility.

Even in retirement, Kapoor's commitment to peace and justice endures. His involvement in Fresno State's Peace and Conflict Studies Program and his civic engagements underscore his unwavering dedication to effecting positive change.

As we reflect on Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor's enduring legacy, his imprint on Fresno State and the broader community is unmistakable. His lifetime of service serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring future generations to champion social justice and pursue peace relentlessly.

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