photo by shruti parekh

photo by shruti parekh

Sonny has been active in movements for social and economic justice since high school.  He received his Master’s Degree in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2003, where he studied and practiced the art of using education as a tool for liberation.  Since moving to NYC in 2003, Sonny has worked in the labor movement for the union UNITE HERE, was a Community Organizer at the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), a Community Organizer at the Sikh Coalition, and a Humane Education Instructor with HEART.

Sonny regularly writes essays and articles on race, religion, and social justice  for a variety of publications including the Huffington Post, India Abroad, The Langar HallColorlinesSikh ChicLeft TurnAsian American Literary Review. Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (9th Edition), and Open City Magazine. He is also a 2014-2015 Open City Fellow for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, covering stories in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Sonny has been designing and facilitating workshops and classes related to issues of oppression and strategies for creating social justice for over 15 years, and has given talks and/or facilitated workshops for institutions such as SOUL: School of Unity and Liberation, National Lawyers Guild, CUNY Law School, Cardozo Law School, Center for Constitutional Rights, Occupy Wall Street, Bowdoin College, Fordham University, Queens College, International Honors Program (SIT), Interfaith Center of New York, United Methodist Women, ALIGN-NY, Breakthrough, and public schools throughout NYC (grades 4-12). He is also a part of the training teams at Border Crossers, which trains educators on racial justice, as well as Race Forward.

Examples of classes and workshops he has led include:

  • Anti-Oppression Reflection and Practice
  • Unlearning Racism
  • Talking About Race in the Classroom
  • Education for Liberation: Popular Education Facilitation
  • Fight the Power!  An Introduction to Organizing for Social Change
  • An American Tragedy: Sikhs, the Oak Creek shooting, and post-9/11 racism in America
  • Addressing Bias-based Bullying in Schools
  • Islamophobia and Post-9/11 Backlash Violence
  • The Sikh Revolution: Sikhism and Social Justice
  • Sikhism 101
  • Immigrant Rights and Xenophobia in the United States
  • Social Issues in Education: Heterosexism (weekend workshop)
  • Exploring Differences and Common Ground: Dialogue on Gender and Sexism (semester long class)

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