- Organized by Equality Labs, in partnership with Alphabet Workers Union, Neelam Social and Ambedkar Association of North America, Radical Rhythms aims to issue a call to abolish caste by adding caste equity protections in their workplaces.
Dalit civil rights organization Equality Labs, in partnership with Alphabet Workers Union, Neelam Social and Ambedkar Association of North America, is hosting Radical Rhythms, a virtual global concert on August 10. The virtual event will feature prominent speakers including Equality Labs founder and executive director Thenmozhi Soundararajan, as well as leading Dalit artists such as Sumeet Samos and Ginni Mahi. They are coming together to create awareness and demand that Big Tech companies, such as Google, actively protect their caste-oppressed workers by making caste a protected category in all their countries of business.
“In the wake of recent caste discrimination that has been taking place at Google, Dalit organizers and tech workers are uniting to demand caste equity and to issue a call to abolish caste by adding caste equity protections in their workplaces,” Equality Labs says in a press release. “This system has created generations of trauma and violence, affects over 1.9 billion South Asians worldwide (including 5.7 million South Asian Americans) and is rampant in organizations that employ South Asians across the world.
A 2017 report conducted by Equality Labs revealed that 67 percent of Dalit Americans felt they were treated unfairly at their workplaces. The report, ‘Caste in the United States — A Survey Of Caste Among South Asian Americans,’ showed the prevalence of caste discrimination, not just in the workplace, but on campuses as well. It revealed that one in four Dalits experienced physical assaults, two out three, workplace discrimination, and one in three, discrimination in education.
Organizers say the event aims to dismantle this deeply rooted discrimination that dehumanizes hundreds of millions of people daily. “Through Radical Rhythms, we hope to continue to inspire and build a movement rooted in love, empathy, and equity as we unite to make our workplaces and communities free from caste discrimination.”
Speakers at the Aug. 10 event include Pa Ranjith, filmmaker and founder of Neelam Cultural Center; Dalit leader Chandra Shekar Azad; Maya Kamble, a Dalit tech worker, and president of the Ambedkar Association of North America; Prem Pariyar,a Nepali Dalit rights activist and organizer; Will Wiltschko of the California Trade Justice Association; as well as tech workers from Alphabet Workers Union and the broader tech sector.
Dalit artists scheduled to perform at the Aug. 10 event include Isaivani, a Gaana artist from Tamil Nadu; Oppari artists Seyilrani and Lalitha, also from Tamil Nadu, Sumeet Samos, a writer and anti-caste rapper from Odisha, who’s currently at Oxford; Mahi, an anti-caste rapper from Maharashtra; Abisha, a filmmaker and rapper from Chennai; Vipin Tatad, a rapper from Delhi; and Ginni Mahi, a folk musician from Punjab.
The event will have two premieres on Aug. 10 to ensure accessibility for global audiences. India premiere: 6 pm IST; North America premiere: 6 pm PST | 9 pm EST.