MSNBC's Ali Velshi: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy

Small acts of courage matter—and sometimes they change the world. Our history books are filled with the stories of those who fought for democracy and freedom against all odds, from Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. These iconic struggles for social change illustrate the importance of engagement and activism and offer a template for the battles we are fighting today. But using the right words is often easier than taking action; action can be hard, and costly.

More than a century ago, MSNBC host Ali Velshi’s great-grandfather sent his seven-year-old son to live at Tolstoy Farm, Gandhi’s ashram in South Africa. This difficult decision would change the trajectory of his family history forever. From childhood, Velshi’s grandfather was imbued with an ethos of public service and social justice, and a belief in absolute equality among all people―ideals that his children carried forward as they escaped apartheid, emigrating to Kenya and ultimately Canada and the United States.

In Small Acts of Courage, Velshi taps into 125 years of family history to advocate for social justice as a living, breathing experience―a way of life more than an ideology. Join us in-person or online to hear him relate the stories of regular people who made a lasting commitment to fight for change, even when success seemed impossible. Learn how we can breathe new life into the principles of pluralistic democracy.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.


Bernard Osher Foundation


Photo by NBC Universal.

Image - Ali Velshi

Ali Velshi

Host, "Velshi"; Chief Correspondent, MSNBC; Weekly Economics Contributor, NPR’s "Here and Now"; Author, Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy; X @AliVelshi

Image - Rana Sarkar

In Conversation with Rana Sarkar

Consul General of Canada