With the first presidential debate happening tonight at Hofstra University, I’ve been thinking a lot about where the candidates stand on the issues I care about: human rights, reproductive rights, international trade, and labor rights. This is not, however, a post on the candidates. This is a post on rights and litigation, on grassroots activism and tea. This is a post about a woman named Sukti Dhital.
Please excuse me for fan-girling, but Dhital is pretty much the coolest person I’ve ever met. Born in Kathmandu, Dhital experienced what she calls an “unconscionable level of inequality” particularly plaguing women and other marginalized communities. As a child, she moved to Flint, Mich. and watched her friends’ parents lose their jobs at the General Motors plant, one after one. Coupled with a crumbling educational system plagued by budget cuts, Dhital knows first hand the loss that comes with economic inequality. She is also a graduate of Northeastern University, class of ’06, and is the deputy director of New York University’s Bernstein Institute for Human Rights. She also is a co-founder of the legal empowerment organization Nazdeek, which is based in both Delhi and Assam, India. Today, I got the chance to hear her speak as a Daynard Public Interest Visiting Lecture at Northeastern’s School of Law, and as always, I took to Twitter.