Sunday Meeting: South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy

A panel of activists will tell us about the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy.

The presenters are Sejal Lal, Sameena Siddiqui, Samia Khan, and Jovian Radheshwar. They will speak for approximately 10 minutes each.

Sejal Lal was born to South Asian parents, and grew up in Surrey in a confusing diasporic whirlwind of classical Indian dance classes, classical Western violin lessons, and grew up listening to 90's R&B. She also has a degree in Environmental Geography, where she began learning about natural resource management and the true history of colonization on these unceded Coast Salish Territories. Sejal's learning about her place here on these territories, as a settler, and a young womxn of colour, is where she gets her drive to talk about identities, race, gender, justice and goodness - and music is her outlet. Sejal is a member of the hip-hop/R&B collective Laydy Jams, an all-womxn-of-colour group featuring a mix of 3-part harmonies, electric violin, with a bit of 90's throwback. We work to promote minority empowerment, the arts, and social justice amongst youth.

Jovian Radheshwar is a rap artist, poet and recording artist. 

Born in Bombay and raised in New York, Jovian taught Black Studies and Political Science in Santa Barbara, California. He currently lives in Vancouver where he teaches Political Science at Douglas College. Jovian finds in rap a powerful medium for making a statement both personally and politically.

As MC Bitter Buffalo on the album “No Hooks” (2012), Jovian collaborated with Bobby Musgrave (Pensive Blue Polar Bear) and Ed Keenan (DJ California Condor) in exploring the endangered nature of existence in a technologized modern world. As part of the Endangered Species collective, he performed shows in Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, Goleta, and Los Angeles, California. 

Ajay Bhardwaj is a documentary filmmaker and PhD  candidate in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Studies (from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) and another MA in Mass Communications from the AJK Mass Communications Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.  Bhardwaj has been making documentaries since 1997, starting with Ek Minute Ka Maun ( A Minute of Silence), on the martyrdom of former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s student union Chandrashekhar Prasad. He has explored and interrogated narratives of culture, politics, history, and identity in Punjab in a documentary trilogy: Milange Babey Ratan De Mele Te (Let’s Meet at Baba Ratan’s Fair); Rabba Hun Kee Kariye (Thus Departed our neighbours) and Kitte Mil Ve Mahi (Where the Twain Shall Meet). His documentaries have been reviewed in academic journals and screened at international film festivals, academic conferences, community and activist events.

Sameena Siddiqi is a PhD student in Art History at UBC. She was born in India and studied at Shanti Niketan, the premier institution focusing on fine arts in India.

Samia Khan is a recent graduate from UBC. She was born of Pakistani parents in Surrey, where she has grown up.

  • Sejal will address the issue of our responsibility toward justice for the First Nations.
  • Sameena will speak of the condition of minorities, particularly Muslims in India and our work to raise awareness on the issue.
  • Samia will speak of anti-Muslim bigotry in Canada and its effect on Muslims.
  • Jovian will speak on the need to organize against fascism and racism and the question of "toxic masculinity."

The mission of SANSAD is to develop a secular democratic South Asian diaspora in Canada. Their goal is to create a secular democratic force within the South Asian diaspora through education and engagement in the struggle for peace, social justice, human rights, democratic rights, and a sustainable world.  Their concerns embrace their homelands, adopted land, and other lands where people share our interests.

All are welcome to attend. Join us at 10 am for BYO coffee, tea, and socializing. At 10:30 am we start our presentation and discuss topics of interest to our members.

The BC Humanist Association was formed in 1984 and we have a regular attendance of over 30 people at our Sunday meetings.

Click here for more details on how to find the Centre. Our events are independent of the Seniors' Centre and are open to people of all ages and backgrounds.

October 22, 2017 at 10:00am - 12pm Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Oakridge Seniors Centre
650 W 41st Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 2M9
Google map and directions

Will you come?

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