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America is Not a Melting Pot

In Updates by Punita Rice

I wrote a little bit about the misunderstood concept of the “melting pot” over at Medium. Here’s the link. PS – You may also like these posts: some thoughts on American tragedies, and a post on the 2016 election. The art used in the featured image for this post is based on an original art piece called “Crowded,” by artist …

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Find your weird and run with it

In Updates by Punita Rice

Last month, I shared a guest post about one of my favorite weird lessons, over on the blog of Doug Robertson writer of “He’s The Weird Teacher,” and the usual host of the weekly #WeirdEd Twitter chat (Wednesdays at 10pm EST). Weird Ed is a chat for teachers and other education leaders to come together to chat about all things weird that they do …

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The Spokesperson Phenomenon – EdWeek

In Updates by Punita Rice

Last week, Education Week Teacher published an essay I wrote about the spokesperson phenomenon — that thing that happens in a classroom, where a student (almost always, a student of color, though other minority and/or marginalized identities also experience this) is expected or positioned to serve as a representative for their entire culture, race, or other category of people. (I’ve …

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Why Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly is Important

In Updates by Punita Rice

There are a million names from as many backgrounds, so it can feel overwhelming to expect teachers to get every single name right. But pronouncing students’ names correctly does matter. Here, I’m sharing YouTube video I recorded on why pronouncing names correctly is important, and I’m also sharing my list of practice ideals for how teachers can get names right. Read on for …

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An Interview with a Broadway Star

In Updates by Punita Rice

For the ISAASE Be Inspired project, I interviewed Vishal Vaidya, who you might know from his recent run as Larry the Cameraman on Broadway’s Groundhog Day (or from #Rifftober). I’ve also known Vishal for over 20 years (we even performed a duet version of Christina Aguilera’s I Turn To You in our middle school talent show together, and acted in plays …

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The Aerogram – Workplace Discrimination Against South Asian Americans Can Be Traced Back to the Classroom

In Updates by Punita Rice

My friend and colleague Ruchika Tulshyan (a speaker, journalist, and the author of The Diversity Advantage) and I co-wrote a piece about how workplace discrimination against South Asian Americans can be traced back to the classroom, especially in light of the model minority myth, published this past week in The Aerogram. Here are some of the takeaways from our article: …

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The Problem with Apu

In Updates by Punita Rice

The Simpsons is a great show. But Apu sucks. For a variety of reasons — including the fact that there’s so little representation of South Asians on tv in the first place, and that the depiction of Apu as simultaneously the perfect model minority and immigrant, and the depiction of him as a joke that encompassed all stereotypes about South Asians …

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Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly Should Be a Big Deal – EdWeek

In Updates by Punita Rice

I wrote an essay for Education Week Teacher about why pronouncing students’ names correctly is — and should be — a big deal. In the piece, I spoke about why mispronouncing students’ names is problematic (and can be a kind of microaggression), what my own experience has been with my own name, information about the ISAASE Name Pronunciation Guide, and actionable …

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A Chat with Poet Pavana Reddy

In Updates by Punita Rice

Pavana Reddy (who you may already be following on Instagram — she’s also known as @mazadohta!), is an amazing, beautiful, inspiring poet. You can sample her lovely poetry on her Instagram page (here), hear it on Anoushka Shankar’s album Land of Gold, or read it in her first book, Rangoli. I got to connect with and interview Pavana for ISAASE’s Be Inspired project. We had a …

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An Inspiring Conversation with Lady Pista

In Updates by Punita Rice

Have you heard of Lady Pista? Sumangala Narendrakumar (aka Lady Pista) is a recording artist and DJ whose music is a blend of dancehall, electro-house, and world music. A couple months ago, I reached out to Lady Pista to connect about the ISAASE Be Inspired project, which aims to inspire young South Asian Americans by sharing diverse profiles and stories …