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Exceptionalism & Oppression: Revisioning Caste

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Date and time
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Doors open at 6:30pm

Join us at GBH Studios in Brighton at 7:00 pm for a panel discussion on one of the least known forms of hierarchical oppression: Caste. It is an ancient form of division and the subject of Ava Duverney’s shocking new film, Origin, which examines a writer’s journey through India, Germany and America to understand caste and its enduring impact.

Our panelists include: Suraj Yengde, W.E.B. Dubois fellow at Harvard University, who plays himself in “Origin”, Tufts professor Ravi Shankar, whose new book explores race, shame, the criminal justice system and what it means to be a brown man in America; Arun Rath, host and executive editor of GBH’s local All Things Considered; and moderator, Chellamal Keshavan, current Masters in Public Policy Candidate at the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.

Together they will explore their personal reckonings of growing up in the U.S. yet not escaping caste, how caste intersects specifically with anti-Black racism in America, and the ways in which individuals and society perpetuate oppressive structures.

Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter will deliver the welcoming remarks.

In 2019, Senior Investigative Reporter, Phillip Martin did a 4-part series on the issue, that was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.
Read Part one,Part two,Part three,Part four

Dr. Suraj Yengde is completing his doctorate at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. He is the author of the bestseller, Caste Matters (2019) and a co-editor of the award-winning anthology, The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections (2018). Caste Matters was listed as the “Best Non-fiction Book of the Decade” by The Hindu.
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Arun Rath has worked and produced for a variety of programs for (W)GBH for more than 20 years, in a career that has spanned public radio and television and national work for NPR and PBS. Rath currently hosts the local broadcast of GBH’s All Things Considered, and was named “Best Radio Personality in Boston” for his work hosting “In It Together,” a radio show and podcast that broadcast nightly during the height of the pandemic.
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Pushcart prize winning poet, translator and professor, Dr. Ravi Shankar has published 17 books including most recently the Memoir Magazine Book Prize and Connecticut Book Award finalist 'Correctional' (University of Wisconsin Press, 2022). He teaches creative writing at Tufts University.
Chellamal Keshavan, BS, is a dedicated and fervent advocate for racial equity and systemic change. She is the former chair of the Medford Human Rights Commission, and a certified doula and lactation counselor.

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