For Intersectionality: Beyond standard issue ‘diversity & inclusion’ conversations in contemporary India
by Virapandy Thulasimani on Monday, September 18, 2017
- Session type
- Technical level
In its most effective culmination, this workshop envisions realizations and a nuanced positioning for the participants in relation to the dialogue regarding inclusion and diversity, in India
Often, it is claimed that India embodies ‘Unity in Diversity’. But on another end our conversations regarding inclusivity and diversity mostly seem to be centered on gender alone. It is encouraging to see the dialogue broaden to include sexual orientations, gender identities and differentiated physical abilities. Yet, our country is a melting pot of religion, language, caste, ethnicity, and geographies. We are woefully inadequate in our conversations surrounding diversity. Even Uber, the frat boy of silicon valley, talks on a wider spectrum of diversity when it talks (https://www.uber.com/diversity/). So what is stopping us from having a broader approach?
A dialog as this is extremely relevant in the context of today’s post-truth politics.
This workshop will generally wade through activities designed to
(i) Open up the collaborators (participants)
(ii) Sensitize the collaborators on different dimensions of individual identity
(iii) Exchange of perspectives and experiences between the collaborators
(iv) Provide relevant viewpoints from feminist theories, critical theories etc.
(v) Highlight evidences from socio-economic studies
Projector and screen, Stickies, pen, markers, adhesive tapes (we can make the arrangements
An open mind. And 2.5 hours of your attention. We take it for granted that if you are there for the workshop then you are interested in participating in the dialogue around diversity or the lack of it
Workshop will be facilitated by Gayatri & Vira
An engineer / MBA currently working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). At UNDP Gayatri focuses on promoting rural enterprises through a National Rural Livelihoods Mission funded by Government of India. She engages with a diverse set of people across the length and breadth of the country – from state capitals to remote villages
Vira prefers to use words like ‘business agilist’ for a professional outlook and ‘cat herder’ for his everyday work. Essentially a Business Analyst on a Thoughtworks team that puts in place solutions, mostly tech, for clients across domains. Apart from that he plays a role in furthering Thoughtworks India’s ‘diversity & inclusion’ initiatives (which includes workshops as these).
Beyond work he travels, primarily to engage with life and culture in different corners of the world. And when he cannot travel, he delves in history, current happenings, social justice, philosophy. And he indulges in some endurance activity or other - distance running, triathlon, trekking, cycling, biking, fasting et al when he can. He has a preference for the unorthodox and random happenstances.