Shweta Moorthy, PhD currently serves as Research Director at Race Forward. Born and raised in New Delhi, India and now living in the US, she considers it her life’s work to fight for social justice wherever life, immigration and capitalism takes her. Shweta cut her teeth in social justice movements for Palestine, nuclear disarmament, actions against US imperialist wars in Afghanistan while in India, and in Black liberation, and caste abolition spaces in the US. Shweta has over ten years of research experience, with a significant proportion of that time spent in developing and implementing a research justice vision that is compatible with and moves towards achieving social justice change. She has authored publications such as Leading With Race: Research Justice in Washington County, set up Portland’s first community-driven hate violence tracking system through Portland United Against Hate, and research capacity building work among communities of color in Oregon.
Presentations from Facing Race 2020
Every Country Is Special: Taking off the Racist Goggles of American Exceptionalism
Why is the United States talked about as if it’s unique despite being similar to so many other nations? How is this the “land of the free” if there are slaveowners on our money? Why is the idea that America was never great offensive to so many people? This interactive workshop builds understanding of what some call American exceptionalism: the idea that the U.S. is the best or most free nation to ever exist. This idea filters out the experiences and stories of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color that contradict that narrative.
In our session, we will explore the racial ideas underpinning the “greatest nation on Earth” motto by tying white innocence and national pride to the real practices of erasing or even celebrating stolen land and lives. Can decolonization, reparations, and national pride coexist? Participants will build some shared language about the United States’ myths that exempt it/us from accountability for its/our human rights violations. We will practice a root-cause analysis and then apply it to countering these myths, and finally share some of the tools and frameworks that are keeping racial justice global.Speakers: Malcolm Shanks, Shweta Moorthy