Nayantara Sen

Associate Trainer
Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation
Nayantara Sen is an activist, educator, storyteller and fiction writer. With a background in community organizing, social justice training, non-profit management, and interdisciplinary social justice programs curation, Nayantara works to advance racial and reproductive justice, immigrant rights, and cultural activism. She is an Affiliate Trainer with RaceForward and BorderCrossers, Communications Manager at, and Board Member of CAAAV. She writes curricula, facilitates racial justice trainings, and consults with clients on equity strategies. She is a Masters candidate in Creative Fiction Writing and Social Movements at NYU.

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Choice Points in Speculative Fiction: Creative Storytelling for Systems Change

Science fiction and fantasy get treated as the antidote to many of popular culture’s ills -- genres in which radical possibilities for justice can materialize as long as they are envisioned. But in practice, their most frequently recurring tropes (and their most financially profitable properties) are little more than fanfiction for the empire: ‘chosen’ protagonists fight dark-skinned embodiments of evil, characters of color consistently get sidelined and villainized, and the struggles of poor, working-class people of color remain invisible. Speculative fiction narratives across all genres rarely engage with structural racism, and are often stuck in a “diversity” narrative that relies on a sprinkling of POC characters in a binary hero vs villain framework. Surely, us nerds deserve better -- and in this workshop, we’ll do better. This hands-on writing workshop is for anyone interested in the powerful, strategic use of speculative fiction for changing social narratives -- whether your preferred medium is novels, movies, television, literature, comics, or video games. We’ll practice strategies to extrapolate from concrete scenes – the building blocks of story – to race-explicit, structural analysis,, and we'll identify strategies for “systemic storytelling.” Participants will come away with at least one workshopped story idea, along with a slew of writing prompts, tips for best practices, new creators to check out, and hopefully a few new potential collaborators.

Speakers: Nayantara Sen, Channing Kennedy

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Racial Justice Leadership Institute- A Pre-Conference Training

(Requires separate registration. To register:

The Racial Justice Leadership Institute, developed by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, is an interactive training for those who wish to sharpen their skills and strategies to address structural racism and advance racial equity.  Unlike “diversity trainings” which primarily focus on interpersonal relations and understanding, the Institute emphasizes how to challenge and change institutional racial inequities. 

Training Components: 

  • Racial Justice Values & Vision
  • Key Concepts: Different Dimensions of Racism / Structural Racism
  • Implicit Bias and Systems Analysis
  • Opportunities to Advance Racial Justice 

Participants will:

-build a clear understanding of key concepts such as racial equity and structural racism;

-learn to talk about race constructively within their organizations and with their constituents; 

-gain tools and practices for counteracting racial bias in their work and practices;

-identify opportunities and next steps for applying concepts and strategies to advance racial equity.

Speakers: Nayantara Sen, Terry Keleher