Students are invited to join the 2nd Essay & Art Contest on Civil and Human Rights


Racism in the US and casteism in India are something these both countries are plagued by. The fight against racism and casteism are never-ending yet the fight cannot be dropped for the sake of the greater good.

Both American racism and Indian casteism twist the notions of purity and pollution to foster and maintain untenable levels of structural social and cultural inequity. Forceful black segregation followed by white self-segregation to affluent neighborhoods and better-endowed school systems is eerily similar to how Dalits were kept segregated in India.

For their part in trying to eradicate the inequality, over the years, both have instituted various forms of welfare subsidies and affirmative action programs as attempts to expiate past inequities.

However, casteless group like Dalits have been facing the brunt across South Asia and the diaspora. They have been facing centuries of various forms of discrimination, oppression, and societal segregation.

While caste discrimination is illegal in India, caste oppression persists and persons belonging to Dalit communities remain socially, economically, and politically marginalized.

Similarly, in the United States, despite the legal successes of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, race-based inequities continue to impact Black communities and other people of color in myriad ways.

From Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., activists fighting identity-based marginalization, exclusion, and oppression have long seen parallels between the struggles against caste discrimination and anti-Black racism.

In order to create an awareness among the younger generation to build a more holistic and inclusive future, Dalit Solidarity Forum, Hindus for Human Rights, and Indian American Muslim Council are launching the second annual Essay and Art Contest on Civil and Human Rights.

The aim of the event is introduce the age-old ideas of racism and casteism, bring together South Asian American students from grades 6-12 to reflect on the intersections between caste discrimination and anti-Black racism.

The student has to express their ideas through either an essay or a work of art. The deadline for the submission closes on March 15. For more information to participate, visit the official website.