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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 21, 2002

(Mahwah) – M.C. Raj, co-founder and longtime (through 1995) director of India’s Rural Education for Development Society (REDS), will speak at Ramapo College of New Jersey Tuesday, October 29th at 4 p.m. in The Trustees Pavilion. Outcaste (Dalit) Liberation in India” is his topic.

Once known as Untouchables, Dalits (the broken or down-trodden) are some 400,000,000 strong. The Dalits live in colonies adjacent to caste villages. Viewed as unclean meat-eating folks, they are relegated to poor land and separate wells. They are counted as Hindus, yet they are unwelcome in the temples. Intermarriage with their supposed caste betters is often met with violence. . . or worse. India’s constitution, written in large part by Dalit Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, contains language outlawing untouchability and serving as a foundation for legal claims reminiscent of those made during the Jim Crow era of the civil rights movement in the United States.

Founded in 1984, REDS has established a compelling voice in the international community. It is recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO). It made important contributions to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, despite opposition from the Indian government. And it has been recognized, through awards and appointments, for its nationwide leadership in struggles for justice and human rights.

A degreed student in philosophy, theology, and sociology, M.C. Raj remains active in REDS with an eye to developing a wider network to address issues on a national level. He has published books and articles dealing with the practical and theoretical aspects of REDS’ participatory training methodology, as well as Dalit rights, globalization, pluralism, and analysis of caste and class.

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Environmental Studies and the Office of International/Intercultural Education at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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