Open-uri20180205-4-89bwhe_thumb

Kavita Das

Freelance Writer

New York

Kavita Das

I worked in the social change sector for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness to public health disparities to most recently, racial justice. Now, I'm an award-winning writer focusing on culture, race, social change, feminism, and their intersections, featured in Longreads, NBC News, The Atlantic, Quartz, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Aerogram, and other outlets.

Open-uri20180613-4-1jxgvbw_profile

Struggling with a Puzzling Illness, Then Living with Its Answer: A Conversation with Porochista Khakpour

Given Khakpour’s gifts as a writer and her candor about her health struggles, an issue to which I relate, I’ve eagerly anticipated her upcoming memoir, Sick, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to talk with her about it.
Los Angeles Review of Books Link to Story
Open-uri20170612-4-r1m30b_profile

Oral Histories to Help Readers ‘Better Understand the World’

Just after graduate school, writer Mimi Lok worked on a project that validated her belief in the power of storytelling. A volunteer researcher and interviewer for an anthology called “Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives,” Lok collected the stories of refugees. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and was a chance, at last, to really ‘go deep’ with people’s stories in a way I couldn’t before,” Lok told NBC News.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20170502-4-1x4nk3w_profile

India has changed a lot in 70 yrs. But arranged marriage remains norm.

When non-Indians ask me if I had an arranged marriage, I sometimes slyly reply: “in a sense.”. I’m an Indian American born and raised in the United States, married to someone who grew up in India. But it was our mutual friend, a white woman from Oregon — not our families — who played matchmaker. When I explain this to them, I know it is not the answer they expected.
The Washington Post Link to Story
Open-uri20170502-4-1snklbh_profile

Immigration and Infertility: Talking with Shanthi Sekaran

A central conflict in Lucky Boy—the loss of parental rights by immigrants held in US detention centers—was at the heart of “Shattered Families,” a 2011 report I helped push out into the world when I worked at Race Forward, a racial justice organization.
The Rumpus Link to Story
Open-uri20161116-4-14geh6g_profile

Anoushka Shankar and NY Philharmonic Is a Debut 35 Years in the Making

Anoushka Shankar is not new to performing her father's compositions. But, because the piece includes several interludes of improvised sitar solo, there's opportunity to make it her own. "Having played it for a few years, in the beginning I really focused on improvising and 'what would my father have done' in order to try and be true to the piece," she said. "Now, I don't do 'what would my father have done' so much as feel confident that I know that, and ask how I can bring myself into it."
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160922-3-1mf9hg0_profile

'Good Girls Marry Doctors' - Family, Obedience, Rebellion

But just as important to Bhattacharya was that the anthology have a unifying theme while including many, diverse voices. "The whole point of creating this book was to weave it out of an assortment of voices," she said. "Writing this book based on only one person's experiences would have been more like a memoir, and less like taking a survey of an entire community of women whose opinions have never been sought out before." Bhattacharya added that she wanted to give many South Asian American women the opportunity to be heard and share their experiences. "That can only happen when a diverse array of women are all speaking their truths at the same time," she said.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160713-3-44k0j3_profile

Thanu Yakupitiyage Is Amplifying Sounds, Immigrant Voices

Whether she's marching in a rally for immigrants' rights or spinning tracks after hours as a DJ, Thanu Yakupitiyage is challenging geopolitical and sonic borders.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160713-3-2b3spq_profile

From Red Carpets to Banana Peels, Rebecca Louie Is Paving Her Own Path

Rebecca Louie is as at home in a compost heap as she is when covering red carpet events.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160713-3-lh3fch_profile

Tanwi Nandini Islam Is Crafting 'Bright Lines' and 'Beautifully Universal' Scents

Tanwi Nandini Islam pours herself into everything she creates — whether it's a novel or a perfume, an article or a scented candle.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160322-3-wd3aq0_profile

Envisioning and Enacting Racial Justice: Rinku Sen the Force Behind Race Forward

The topic of race has been coming up more and more these days, but often the conversations aren't nuanced or informed by facts or history. For Rinku Sen, president and executive director of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines, race comes up in most of her conversations—and that's all right with her because, as she explains, "every issue I've ever come across has a racial dimension.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160322-3-mnniao_profile

Force for Good: Angie Wang on Waging Peace and Forging Hope

There's a saying that often those who move mountains are themselves firmly rooted. That paradox perfectly defines the life and work of Angie Wang, Executive Director of Peace Is Loud and longtime advocate for women and immigrant rights issues. Wang was born in 1973 to Noel Shung Wang and Tami Tsu, Taiwanese immigrants who settled in California, where Noel studied Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
NBC News Link to Story
Open-uri20160322-3-1mk1rjs_profile

Drawing Inspiration: A Conversation With Visual Artist Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh is a South Asian American visual artist who has earned accolades and awards and exhibited her bold and inventive work all over the world. She’s also one of my oldest friends. Not only did we share many common experiences of a desi upbringing in New York City, our mothers were also high school classmates in Calcutta.
The Aerogram Link to Story

About

Kavita Das

Kavita Das worked in social change for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness, to public health disparities, to racial justice, and now focuses on writing about culture, race, feminism, social change, and their intersections. Nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in Longreads,The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Washington Post, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Quartz, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Colorlines, and elsewhere. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar (Harper Collins India, Fall 2018), is a biography about the Grammy-nominated Hindustani singer, who played a pivotal role in bringing Indian music to the West. Connect with Kavita on Twitter @kavitamix

Open-uri20180205-4-89bwhe_profile_large

Skills

  • Writing
  • Strategic Communications
  • Marketing (MBA)
  • Project Management