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A call for Google and Big Tech to protect caste-oppressed workers

“Global Voices Come Together for Caste Equity”

San Jose, CA – On August 10th, Equality Labs in partnership with Alphabet Workers Union, Neelam Social and Ambedkar Association of North America, will host Radical Rhythms: A Global Call for Caste Equity, a virtual global concert. This event will feature leading Dalit artists, leaders, and tech workers who 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 the countries in which they do 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. The caste system has created generations of trauma and violence, affects over 1.9 billion South Asians (including 5.7 million South Asian Americans) and is rampant in organizations that employ South Asians across the world. With 2 out 3 caste-oppressed Americans facing workplace discrimination, caste equity is a workers’ right and it is a call being heard around the world.

Through the Radical Rhythms concert, the organizers 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.

The show’s lineup features some of the most powerful Dalit artists!

  • Isaivani – Gaana artist from Tamil Nadu, India
  • Seyilrani and Lalitha– Oppari artists from Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Sumeet Samos– writer and anti-caste rapper from Odisha, India (currently in Oxford, UK)
  • Rapper Mahi G- anti-caste rapper from Maharashtra, India
  • Abisha – filmmaker and rapper from Chennai, India
  • Vipin Tatad – rapper from Delhi, India
  • Ginni Mahi– folk musician, Punjab, India

Speakers:

WHAT: Radical Rhythms: A Global Call for Caste Equity

WHEN: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 6 pm PST | 9 pm EST | 6 pm IST (there will be two premiere launches)

WHERE: RSVP here

WHO: Equality Labs, Alphabet Workers Union, Neelam Social and Ambedkar Association of North America

Supporting quotes:

“Alphabet Workers Union – Communications Workers for America local 1400 is excited to be part of this historic collaboration after Google canceled a talk on caste equity by Equality Labs Executive Director Thenmozhi Soundararajan and retaliated against Senior Program Manager Tanuja Gupta. Leadership has refused to engage with hundreds of workers demanding that caste be made a protected category in the US code of conduct. This is a historic moment as we host internationally recognized Dalit artists and speakers to show that the impact of Google’s unwillingness to address caste in its workplaces and products is a global human rights and workers issue.” – Alphabet Workers Union Statement.

“Wherever South Asians go, they bring caste with them. And it informs so many of the ways that they not only engage with other members of the South Asian community but also fit within the larger ‘racial hierarchy.’ We have been fighting for caste equity for years and continue to do so with our partners. We won’t stop until all are protected from caste-based discrimination in their places of education, work and recreation.” – Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Dalit rights activist and co-founder of Equality Labs.

“People ask, ‘Why are they always talking about caste?’ I would say Caste is the main issue. Wherever I go, my caste follows me there. I’m marked only by my caste identity. And it’s been my personal struggle for years to get past it.” – Pa Ranjith, filmmaker and founder of Neelam Social.

 “The fight for the civil rights of caste-oppressed people is a workers’ fight. Caste-oppressed workers have the right to a safe workplace and this is why AWU is committed to this fight. Caste should be recognized as a protected class and be included in anti-harassment policies within our industry, and it should be possible to call attention to discrimination without facing retaliation.” – Yousif Kelaita, member of the Alphabet Workers Union.

“Ambedkar Association of North America is a  Dalit civil rights organization whose members represent the caste oppressed communities in North America. With membership across the US, many of our organizations work with tech workers and contractors who face caste discrimination within the North American IT sector. Equality Labs recent report  has findings showing that almost 2 in 3 Dalits are known to face workplace harassment. There is a blatant lack of competency that corporate America has in recognizing and providing redressal for employee grievances related to caste. We hope through Radical Rhythms and other initiatives, we can create change and protect the interests of caste oppressed workers across the sector.” – Maya Kamble, president of the Ambedkar Association of North America.

“ We need to come together as workers to address caste across the world. As a Dalit worker who faced caste discrimiantion as a restaurant worker, grocery work, and later as a student. I have seen how ugle the face of caste can be in my homeland of nepal and in my new home of the United States. But I also have seen the power of interfaith,intercaste, and multiracial coalitions to meet caste discrimation with the call for caste equity. From the Cal State University to Google, the movement for caste equity is not going anywhere and we ask everyone to join us. — Prem Pariyar – Nepali Dalit Rights Activist, California and lead organizer of the Cal State University Caste Equity Movement.

“This event holds great significance in bringing attention to caste in a global context which has been time and again thwarted by dominant caste Hindu groups and bureaucracy.” Sumeet Samos, Anti-Caste Scholar, Rap Artist.

The Mooknayak
The Mooknayakhttps://www.themooknayak.co.in
The Mooknayak is dedicated to Marginalised and unprivileged people of India. It works on the principle of Dr. Ambedkar and Constitution.

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