Berkeleyside is postponing the Idea Makers conversation scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 19, due to security concerns around the topic of our event and heightened safety risks due to ongoing current events. 

The plan for Thursday’s event was to discuss the contemporary context of caste in California and the push for caste equity through grassroots activism and Senate Bill 403, which Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed two weeks ago.

In 2001, Dalit activism and caste discrimination in the U.S. were thrust into the spotlight when a Berkeley landlord was convicted of sex trafficking young Dalit women from India. It was a turning point for South Asian organizing in the U.S. and prominent local activists and advocacy groups.

But those pushing for caste equity, including our guests, have been met with threats and harassment. And there has been an increase in Islamophobic violence and rhetoric over the last week, targeting Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities in the United States.

The safety of our speakers and audience is paramount and Berkeleyside does not want to put anyone at risk.

Berkeleyside is committed to hosting a conversation around caste, oppression and the future of activism. We’re also looking forward to discussing how the ongoing fight to eradicate caste apartheid intertwines with other current civil rights movements.

We’ll be sharing a new date for our event soon.

Berkeleyside will refund ticket holders through Eventbrite. 

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Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...