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Charis welcomes Deepa Iyer in conversation with Aparna Bhattacharyya for a discussion of Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection. A roadmap for those who are ready to deepen their commitment to social justice from racial justice advocate, Deepa Iyer. To engage in social change at this moment in time requires consistent attention, deep reflection, and committed collective action. This event is co-sponsored by Raksha. Raksha, Inc is a Georgia-based nonprofit with a mission to promote a stronger and healthier South Asian community through confidential support services, education, and advocacy. Raksha works towards healing, empowerment, and justice for survivors of violence.
We are living in a period of overlapping social, economic, and environmental crises, accompanied by failures in public systems and institutions. It's not surprising, then, that when we attempt to engage in social change efforts, many of us feel like we are on a seesaw, swinging from outrage to overwhelm. For those who are just beginning their social change journeys to those who are weary and disillusioned, how can we effectively anchor our commitments to equity, solidarity, and justice?
This is the entry point for SOCIAL CHANGE NOW: A GUIDE FOR REFLECTION AND CONNECTION, Deepa Iyer's heartfelt offering to individuals and groups seeking to initiate or deepen their actions in service to social change values. Relying on two decades of work supporting social movements, Iyer introduces a new approach called the social change ecosystem framework, which includes a map of ten roles, from visionary to storyteller to disrupter to experimenter, as well as practices to identify values and strengthen our social change ecosystems. Over the past three years, people and organizations around the world have used the framework to respond to the pandemic, express solidarity during the uprisings against anti-Black racism, and support multiracial coalitions struggling for reproductive rights, immigrant and refugee protections, and climate justice.
Social Change Now goes well beyond presenting ideas and frameworks. It's also a practical guide that contains detailed descriptions and real-world examples, reflection prompts (with room to write responses), and accessible tips that can immediately be put into action. Social Change Now is a resource that will accompany individuals and organizations not only in times of crisis, but throughout their lifelong social change journeys to build connected communities and equitable systems in our world.
Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection enables readers to individually and collectively chart practical pathways and strategies for creating equitable, just, and life-affirming communities. For any educator and professional seeking to help build the anti-oppression capacity of their students, colleagues, or community, this book is an excellent place to start --Jazmin Pichardo, Assistant Director of Diversity Training & Education, University of Maryland
With her book, Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection, Deepa Iyer lovingly offers us a roadmap and opportunity to reflect on who we are and who our people are. As so many of us grapple with how to show up for our movements in the pursuit of liberation, this book is a powerful reminder that we don't do this work alone, and we don't have to.-- alicia sanchez gill, Executive Director, Emergent Fund
Deepa Iyer: Over the course of two decades supporting social movements, Deepa has played many roles: weaver, frontline responder, storyteller, and guide. Her political and community homes include Asian American, South Asian, Muslim, and Arab ecosystems where she spent fifteen years in policy advocacy and coalition building in the wake of the September 11th attacks and ensuing backlash. Currently, Deepa leads projects on solidarity and social movements at the Building Movement Project, a national nonprofit organization that catalyzes social change through research, relationships, and resources. She conducts trainings, uplifts narratives through the Solidarity Is This podcast, and facilitates solidarity strategy for cohorts and networks. Previously, she served as executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) for a decade, and also held positions at Race Forward, the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, and the Asian American Justice Center.
Deepa’s first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (The New Press, 2015), chronicles community-based histories in the wake of 9/11 and received a 2016 American Book Award. Deepa’s second book, a guide based on the social change ecosystem map, is available in late 2022 (Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection is available here). Deepa serves on the advisory council of the Emergent Fund. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland in the Asian American Studies and Public Policy programs. Deepa is an immigrant who moved to Kentucky from Kerala (India) when she was twelve years old. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University.
Aparna Bhattacharyya: Aparna has served as Executive Director of Raksha since 1998. She started her career as a victim advocate in the City of Atlanta and helped coordinate the 1996 Olympic Crisis Response team. Much of Aparna’s work is focused on crime victimization and gender-based violence in immigrant communities and providing training on the needs of underserved communities. Over the years, she has been a part of creating organizations like Tapestri, Inc and International Women’s House to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee survivors in Georgia. She was a White House Champion of Change in May 2013 with other Asian American Women leaders. She has also received the Georgia Commission on Family Violence Gender Justice Award, and the Dekalb County Domestic Violence Task Force’s Deborah C. McDorman Award for her work in Georgia. Aparna was recognized by the Georgia State University with The Distinguished Alumni Service Award by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and in 2018 she received the Hope for Tomorrow Award from International Women’s House for her advocacy work.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
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A roadmap for those who are ready to deepen their commitment to social justice from racial justice advocate, Deepa Iyer.
To engage in social change at this moment in time requires consistent attention, deep reflection, and committed collective action.
"Powerful...Iyer catalogues the toll that various forms of discrimination have taken and highlights the inspiring ways activists are fighting back. She] is an ideal chronicler of this experience."NOW IN PAPERBACK The nationally renowned racial justice advocate's illumination of the ongoing persecution of a range of American minorities
-The Washington Post