Shown left to right: Ahmed Meer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Mrs. Sucheta Kripalani, Acharya Kripalani, and Jaswant Krishnayya. Courtesy MIT India/MISTI
MIT India: Celebrating MLK Jr. Day 2022
Published by MISTI, 15 May 2022
"As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today in 2022, we are excited to share a connection to MIT that illustrates the global nature of the institution throughout history. Through the MIT South Asian Oral History Project, we discovered two MIT alumni from India who took a momentous road trip in the early 1960’s during the height of the Civil Rights Movement with the purpose of seeing the United States and learning about the movement in the South. Jaswant Krishnayya [SM '60, EE '61] and Ahmed Meer [SM '61] spent their summer touring through the Berkshires to the southern tail of the Appalachian Mountains, making notable stops in Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Tuskegee, Montgomery, Gulfport, and New Orleans. During their tour, they formed close relationships with student activists in the South who educated, guided, and supported them throughout their travels.
"In Atlanta, Krishnayya and Meer attended and participated in the first Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) training course at Morehouse College. It was there where they met Dr. and Mrs. King, who addressed the group and took a photo with the two outside."