Co-sponsored by the Asian American Cultural Center at Yale and the Yale Law School, Yale’s 2018 Pan Asian American Heritage Month Opening Keynote will be delivered by Deepa Iyer, a South Asian American writer, lawyer, and racial justice advocate. Her first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (The New Press 2015) received a 2016 American Book Award and was selected as a top 10 multicultural non-fiction books of 2015 by Booklist. Iyer’s areas of expertise include the post 9/11 America experiences of South Asian, Muslim, Arab and Sikh immigrants, national security and immigration policies, and racial equity and solidarity practices. Iyer is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion and a member of the 2017 Soros Equality Fellows cohort. This event will also feature performances by a wide variety of talented Asian and Asian American Yale students.
Iyer served for a decade as the Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) where she helped to shape SAALT’s work on civil and immigrant rights issues. Her experiences at SAALT form the basis for her first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future.
Iyer’s current work includes a collaborative project around rapid response coordination in the wake of criminalization policies and efforts and a solidarity project which includes a monthly podcast called Solidarity Is This, available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/solidarity-is-this/id1251648447?mt=2. Iyer received her training in the non-profit and governmental sectors. She has served as Legal Director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), Staff Attorney at the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), and Trial Attorney at the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice where she fashioned an initiative to address post 9/11 backlash with two other attorneys. Iyer has published opinion editorials in The New York Times,CNN.com, The Nation, The Huffington Post and The Guardian.
An immigrant who moved to Kentucky from Kerala (India) when she was twelve, Deepa graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University. She blogs at www.deepaiyer.com and tweets at @dviyer.