Student FRDM Initiative
Most U.S. universities and colleges have student clubs with a wide range of goals, e.g. Amnesty International to Ultimate Frisbee, targeting and impacting small or large local or global interests. Since 2006, International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) has championed the great cause of addressing caste-based discrimination, and resulting inequalities, visited upon more than 260 million of the world’s most marginalized, vulnerable, and socially excluded population, known as “Dalits” or “Oppressed people.” This group has been victimized, discriminated against, and excluded from mainstream development progress based on their caste, or work and descent, in South Asia, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and respective diaspora in the West. ICDR offers numerous opportunities for students to get involved in this important movement to establish Dalit Rights.
As the Anti-Apartheid Movement, regarding South Africa, was fueled by involvement of the U.S. academic community (faculty and students) during 1980s and 1990s, ICDR envisions similar leverage for our efforts to end caste and descent-based discrimination, a contemporary apartheid affecting hundreds of millions globally. To this end, ICDR envisions facilitating “Student Friends of the Dalit Movement” clubs, or Student FRDM clubs, in Universities and Colleges in the Western world.
The following is a list of ICDR proposed activities for “Student Friends of the Dalit Movement” clubs:
• Bridging with Dalit diaspora organizations in North America and in Europe;
• Bridging with Dalit organizations and communities in host countries in South Asia;
• Collaborating to develop projects to combat caste and descent-based discrimination;
• Collaborating on student trips to South Asia;
• Providing webinars, speakers, and visiting lecturers;
• Collaborating with faculties on international development activities, including curriculum development;
• Fund raising partnership for income generating activities in Dalit communities in South Asia;
• Providing volunteer opportunities.
Any interested university or college students or faculty members should contact: Mr. Mikuak Rai, ICDR Communications Director (email@example.com), Mr. DB Sagar, President, ICDR (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dr. DK Gurung, Founding Member, ICDR (email@example.com)
Note: The Student FRDM initiative was introduced during the 1st Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights, March 19th-21st. 2015, held on the campus of Trinity Washington University in NE Washington, D.C.