Suraj Yengde is an award-winning scholar and activist from India. He is an inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Suraj is India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) in the nation's history.
Suraj is a published author in the field of Caste, Race, Ethnicity studies, and inter-regional labor migration in the global south. Currently, he is involved in developing a critical theory of Dalit and Black Studies.
Suraj was recently featured in a multi-part series on Caste in America sponsored by the Pulitzer Center at WGBH.
Suraj is an academic activist and a noted public intellectual in the transnational movement of Dalit rights. He is actively involved in building solidarities of Dalit, Black, Roma, Indigenous, Buraku and Refugee people’s solidarities in the Fourth World project of marginalized peoples. He is a passionate Human Rights attorney by qualification from India and the UK, who is also an anti-caste and anti-racism advocate, syndicated columnist at The Indian Express, The Huffington Post, The Print, The Citizen, Globe & Post, The Mexican Times, The Conversation, among others. His writings have appeared in Al Jazeera, The Sunday World, , The Wire.in, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star. He is frequently invited by the media to offer expert advice on the issues of caste, migration, race relations and international law. He was featured in the independence day special of "The Economic Times" magazine and BBC series on caste.
Suraj has worked with leading international organizations in Geneva, London, and New York. Suraj is also an activist in the transnational movement of Dalit rights. He is a co-convener of Dalit-Black Lives Matter symposium and Dalit and Black Power Movement. He runs a monthly Ambedkar Lecture Series at Harvard. He is the author of forthcoming Caste Matters with Penguin Random House and co-editor of The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections (Allen Lane, 2018), and Associate Editor of CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion published by Brandies University Library.
His recent work with the philosopher Cornel West has received global attention and calls for unity between the African Americans and the Dalits.
Suraj has delivered over 200 lectures including keynotes at international academic conferences and seminars across the world on the issues of casteism, racism, institutionalized discrimination, diversity and inclusion.
Suraj offers consultations to the government and non-governmental policy-making bodies on the issues of human rights, social justice, cross-border migration and organizational strategies for campaigns and advocacy. He is a convenor of "India For Diversity" movement.
Suraj also holds a research associate position with the department of African and African American Studies. He is also a convenor of the Dalit Film Festival.
photo credit: Meredith Nierman