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On Healing the Trauma of Caste

February 16 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PST


Caste is one of the oldest systems of exclusion in the world. It negatively impacts 1.9 billion people worldwide, crippling their quality of life. With its roots in India, the caste system ranks people into five castes that are based on spiritual purity and their deeds in past lives. For anyone born into a culture where caste is rampant, it determines who and where they worship, choices and advancement in education and career, even personal relationships-in essence their entire lives. Brahmins, who created this system in Hindu scripture, are at the top of the caste system and have benefited from centuries of privilege, access, and power because of it. Dalits, who sit at the bottom of this hierarchy, are branded “untouchable” and sentenced to a violent system of caste apartheid with separate neighborhoods, places of worship, and schools.

Dalit American activist and author Thenmozhi Soundarajan, has been working to end caste oppression around the world for decades. In her work, she endeavors to help Dalit individuals and families heal through international solidarity with other oppressed people, working together to dismantle caste apartheid. Thenmozhi’s work is a call to action to end caste apartheid, grounded in Dalit feminist abolition and engaged Buddhism.

Join Thenmozhi Soundararajan for a powerful conversation on the ongoing trauma of the caste system and Dalit people’s fight against oppression. Sharing from her latest book, The Trauma of Caste, in which she examines caste from her feminist, abolitionist, and Dalit Buddhist perspective; tying Dalit oppression and the fight against that oppression to the ongoing liberation movements among Black, Indigenous, Latinx, femme, and Queer communities.

Presented by CIIS Public Programs (California Institute of Integral Studies).


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