Last week, I spotted a cardinal sitting on a nest of twigs and branches on a tall shrub right outside my living room window. My son and I have been mesmerized by her as she makes her journey into motherhood. Cardi Bee, as we call her, has been teaching me a lot about maintaining a sense of purpose. She is very clear about hers. She’s single-mindedly focused on making sure that her eggs hatch, that they are protected, that they survive. She doesn’t seem deterred or distracted, not by spring storms or her own hunger, and not by the other…

It’s bound to be an unsettling, challenging, and confusing month. Are we ready?

Fogginess. Doom-scrolling. Distraction. Anxiety. Yes, to all of that? If you’re on the same road as I am, here’s a resource that might help. Based on the social change ecosystem map, I put together a reflection and action guide that’s tailored for the elections. You can find it here.

The social change ecosystem map (October 2020)

The guide includes a seven-step process to identify our values, causes, roles, ecosystems, and sustainability plan. Here are some examples of how people and organizations are playing various roles during the month of November.

Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher (Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, EdD) and Deepa Iyer

For both of us, 9/11 and its aftermath were transformative times, and catalyzed our work in documentation, research, teaching, and advocacy. As we mark the 19th anniversary of 9/11, we offer resources and tips for educators seeking to teach young people about how the world changed in the wake of this historical moment and how Muslim, South Asian, Arab, and Sikh communities have been affected by the post 9/11 era. …

by Deepa Iyer and Trish Tchume

In the summer of 2020, we (Trish Tchume and Deepa Iyer) developed What’s In Your Movement Pantry, a tool for people engaged in social change efforts. You can find the tool along with a worksheet to help you move through the shelves of your movement pantry over here. Below, you can read about how we came to the idea of a movement pantry as a metaphor for how we stock, share, and replenish practices, relationships, and frameworks to create systemic change and build power.

How did all this come about? Trish is a first…

For South Asians committed to ending state violence against Black people, it has always been clear that our work goes further, that we must also work to undo anti-Blackness within our own communities. The hard conversations with our parents and our uncles and aunties about white supremacy, anti-Black racism, and solidarity are not usually easy or fruitful.

But there are moments of clarity and windows of possibility.

Many people have now heard the story of the Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, located just three doors down from the 3rd precinct which was burned down on May 28th in Minneapolis (read the NY…

When crises such as the pandemic or violence against Black people catalyze us into action, how do we make sense of our roles, purpose, and ecosystem?

Before You Read Further! Thank you for visiting! If you want to skip the intro below, you can find the ecosystem map, meanings of the roles, and a reflection guide all here ( Please be mindful of the attribution parameters, laid out in detail in the guide you’ll find at that link.

I am a rapid responder but over the past few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world, I have…

Hindutva nationalism, or Hindu nationalism, is a right-wing political ideology rooted in the beliefs of supremacy and superiority: “Hindus first” and “Hindus only.” It’s on the rise in India through discriminatory government policies and state-sanctioned violence targeting Muslims, Dalits, and religious minorities (read this and this). Its presence is also evident in the United States through academia, politics, and connections between the Trump and Modi Administrations (read this, this, this, this, this, and this).

Those of us who are Indian and/or Hindu in the United States cannot look away and ignore the impact of Hindutva nationalism in India and in…

Movement leaders often wonder: “How can I keep doing this work that I love and believe in — at the pace I’m going?”

Over the past three years, I have participated in the Solidarity Summit, a space for movement leaders working on racial justice issues. We meet regularly to build relationships, sharpen our political analysis, and learn about each other’s communities. Not surprisingly, our conversations often come back around to a similar question: How can I keep doing this work at the pace I’m going?

Maintaining individual and organizational sustainability has become a critical question for people leading movements for…

How often do you say, “I stand with …”, to show your support for communities and causes? We pledge to stand with people in Kashmir and New Zealand who are affected by human rights violations and hate violence. We pledge to support causes from Black Lives Matter to Abolish ICE to Repeal the Muslim Ban. Solidarity has become a buzz word to signal what our values are and how we plan to show up for people and causes.

How can solidarity be more than a word, a transaction, a state of mind? How can it be a practice that we…

The non-profit sector is my home. I remember walking into my first non-profit organization in 1998 and knowing instinctively that I belonged there. Non-profit culture is imbued with a sense of freedom and flexibility, with hope and possibility that we can create social change through our efforts. But, non-profit and movement spaces can also be extremely frustrating and challenging.

“Welcome to the non-profit industrial complex”: many people commonly use this phrase to critique the ways in which corporate practices have influenced movement spaces. Indeed, when I was an executive director of a small non-profit, I regrettably engaged in many of…

Deepa Iyer

Author of We Too Sing America; Host of Solidarity is This podcast; Senior Advisor at Building Movement Project; South Asian American activist/lawyer. @dviyer

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