This week, Ayana is joined by a Dalit American civil rights activist. The Dalit, formerly known as "untouchables", are the people considered to be the lowest stratum of the castes in India.
Thenmozi Soundararajan, in a profound conversation detailing the wounds of caste within the United States and across the world, Thenmozhi brings just conviction and soul-filled commitment to the fight to annihilate caste-based supremacy. The very involvement within systems of punishment, carcerality, and discrimination deepens a wound that separates us from each other and from the broad web of life. Speaking to the ways that carrying the trauma of caste manifests within the body, Thenmozhi emphasizes the importance of slowing down to process the grief and pain caused by mindless oppression.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit American Civil rights artist, organizer, and theorist who has worked with organizations around the world to address the urgent issues of racial, caste, and gender equity. Her intersectional, cross-pollinating work helps to create a more generous, global, expansive, and inclusive definition of South Asian identity, along with safe spaces from which to honor the stories of these communities. She was also an inaugural fellow of the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist, Atlantic Foundation for Racial Equity, and is a current fellow at Stanford Center for South Asian Studies. She is also the author of the newly released book The Trauma of Caste by North Atlantic Books.