Boston Study Group (BSG), an organization dedicated to working towards a just and equitable society based in Boston (MA), was a proud contributor in the Third Annual Conference on Caste at Brandeis University, organized between April 28-30 2017.
Opening the conference, the Brandeis University president, Ronald Leibowitz, termed caste as a key human rights issue of the current times and commended BSG’s participation in the planning and execution of the conference.
On Saturday April 29, Brandeis University inaugurated the bust of B R Ambedkar in the presence of Lisa Lynch, the Provost of Brandeis University and several other enthusiastic Ambedkarites from Europe, North America and Asia. This inauguration was made possible by BSG and Heller school of Social Policy at Brandeis university. The bust was made in Nagpur, India and was transported to the Goldfarb Main Library at Brandeis.
BSG hosted three round-tables discussions during the conference on Sunday April 30: on caste and religion, international solidarity, and patriarchy. The round table talks featured prominent members from the field of religion, gender studies, African-American activists and an organizer from the Roma community. The conference also saw the presence of a high-level delegation from Sant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University, India, which participated in several panels in the conference.
A cultural program, Sur-tal, was hosted by BSG on Saturday April 29 to mark the 126th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar. This program, emceed by sisters Jagruthi and Pragathi Maroju, featured a performance by Pandit Sudhakar Chavan, a renowned classical singer from India. There was, in addition, an inspiring speech by young Swadeep Kamble on Ambedkar’s vision and the reading of poems. On display at the venue were collages on Ambedkar’s life made spontaneously by young sisters, Rema Roshan Lal and Priya Roshan Lal.
As part of the evening, BSG honored Dr. Shobha Singh, Dr. Laxmi Berwa, Thenmozhi Soundararajan and the Late Dr. Omar Khalidi for their pioneering work in the cause of anti-caste advocacy in the US.
An event of such importance and scope required a considerable degree of planning and dedication by BSG and it is proud to have contributed in a variety of ways – such as arranging panels, videography and a cultural program. It was through the dedication of its volunteers that BSG was able to be of assistance to Brandeis University in making the conference a success