Dr. Suraj Yengde is an award-winning scholar and activist from India. He is an author of bestseller Caste Matters. The book went to reprint within a week of it's publication date. Caste Matters was recently featured in the prestigious "Best Non-fiction Books of the Decade" list by The Hindu.
Suraj 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 is nominated to India's highest literary award, "Sahitya Akademi" and is a recipient of "Dr. Ambedkar Social Justice Award" Canada 2019, "Rohith Vemula Memorial Scholar Award" 2018.
Suraj was recently featured in a multi-part series on Caste in America sponsored by the Pulitzer Center at WGBH. Suraj inaugurated a popular column 'Dalitality' at the Indian Express that centers on the issues of caste in India. Dalitality is the currently the only column in the print media to have Dalit centric opinions.
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 Hindustan Times, The Huffington Post, The Print, The Citizen, Globe & Post, The Mexican Times, The Conversation, among others. His writings have appeared in Al Jazeera, BBC, The Hindu, LiveMint, The Sunday World, The Wire.in, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star, Open Democracy. 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 co-editor of The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections (Allen Lane, 2018), and associate editor of Southern Journal of Contemporary History, and 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, and a Non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is also a convenor of the Dalit Film Festival.
photo credit: Meredith Nierman