Image for post
Image for post

Race and power. Two powerful words packed with ineffable force. They have led us to march, protest and die. They resulted in hard won battles of independence in Asia and Africa from European colonialism. They resulted in the rise of the U.S. civil rights movement and, only 25 years ago, the end of apartheid.

These global events have shaped my journey.

As a Brown immigrant South Asian American woman, I am acutely aware of centuries of racism. As a person born in Bangladesh, I know intellectually of the racism that resulted in European domination and British colonization of South Asia for over three hundred years. I am a proud descendant of a people and a family who fought for independence from the British. I recall my late chocolate-brown grandfather, Serajul Islam, telling me that he was the first “Black man” who received a Mechanical Engineering degree from the U.K-based Manchester University. But he was angry as he recalled that he grew up in an India when signs insultingly excluded Indians from buildings and areas by proclaiming “No dogs and no Indians.” …


Image for post
Image for post

No words can sufficiently describe the scale of the loss and grief caused by the novel coronavirus. Its human toll is unimaginable. Millions of people have lost, or will lose, their jobs. At least 300 million children around the world are missing school. Cities have become ghost towns. As human beings, we are all struggling to adapt to this extraordinary reality at a deeply personal level. We are also concerned about how this pandemic will reshape our future.

Yet, I am inspired by our collective will to care.

We know of daily acts of heroism by doctors, nurses, healthcare providers and first responders. I am deeply grateful for the scientists and public health professionals who are relentlessly focused on learning more about this virus and creating a vaccine. In many countries, these practitioners and researchers are either nonprofit or government employees. I am equally grateful for our workers who ensure that stores are stocked and that other vital services continue. …


Image for post
Image for post

WOMEN AND THE GARMENT INDUSTRY: POWERFUL CONSUMERS, MARGINALIZED WORKERS

This is the first in a series of posts focused on women in the clothing and garment industry. Subsequent posts will focus on women in the global garment supply chain.

When you buy clothes, do you think about where they came from? Do you wonder who made them? Do you know that different components of one item of clothing may be made by workers in several countries? …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store