I grew up in Ann Arbor thinking it was the most diverse and open-minded place, and frustrated that it was an echo-chamber. My biggest fight in high school was asking for Diwali to be a school holiday. But coming to the University of Michigan was a wake-up call. It wasn’t as diverse as I thought. People were not open-minded (I mean, we were entertaining bringing Richard Spencer). Most people I met had privilege they did not realize they had, and I had built myself into a community I did not enjoy very much.
I joined EditBoard my freshman year to keep in touch with journalism, which had carried me through high school. However, I found that the topics we talked about were almost never relevant to me and who I was. I say “was” because I have grown since then. Three years ago I came in as an Indian-American, a writer and a dancer. Then I became an artist and leader. I became an activist through my organization the South-Asian Awareness Network and truly understood what it meant to be a South-Asian woman on this campus. I was naive and realized oppression does exist here, and finding discourse is important.
I have always been unabashedly me. Maybe I’m shameless, but I’ve never felt ashamed. My identity is the most important thing to me, and I wield it like a sword. In this era of social change, I believe we need to highlight the voices of those who are unheard, which is exactly what MiC is doing and why I was drawn to this space. I think the world is becoming interdisciplinary, and I am excited to explore this path.
Through podcast voices are literally, heard. Journalism is integrating into mediums that are not just visual, and we have the potential to reach ears as well as eyes. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to spearhead this addition to MiC with two other amazing individuals, each of us with strong identities and passions and the goal to fight norms and encourage discussion.