Look for application opening

Your ideas are vehicles for social justice and we are here to help you publish them. When you write and share your ideas through the right venues, they can reach out to many actors, ranging from students, policy makers, to world-class professors. Your ideas can initiate a debate, espouse solidarity among change agents, and spark social change. Come join hands with us in the mission of fighting social injustice with the help of writing. Apply by 5 March.

On Jun 11, 2022  Rabina Luitel shares her writing
journey with Dalit Reader’s Writing for Social Justice (WSJ) workshop. Please listen to her and join this campaign to raise voice for voiceless Dalit people.​

To learn creative thinking, analytical writing and smart presentation skills

Writing for Social Justice Workshop is designed to equip current and aspiring social activists and change agents who could benefit from communicative skills to fight social injustices, such as caste-, gender-, colour-based or any form of discrimination. These skills include creative thinking, analytical writing and smart presentation as a means to effect social change. Creative thinking is a smart skill that enables you to reflect, formulate, and present ideas imaginatively and in aesthetically impactful ways. Analytical thinking and writing enable to research and process new information and data, as well as to organize and present your ideas well. Smart presentation skills enable you to dialogue, persuade, and influence the change agents with your idea.

For joining the fight for social justice in Nepal   

Any hierarchical system is a denial of equality and social justice. Nepal retains several forms of hierarchical social systems, key ones being caste and patriarchy. They are embedded into shaping the “rules of the game” of influential state and social organizations and institutions. Therefore, the organizations and institutions are discriminatory and exclusionary in systematic but not always in obvious ways due to intrinsic interplay of formal and informal laws. They promote decision-making that is backed by unequal access, forms of patronage and coercion and mediated by personal, political and institutional loyalties. The implications surpass the bound of sufferings by victims, usually Dalit and women, to failures of political reform and development efforts. Finally, the caste and patriarchy as a structure encompass both Dalit and non-Dalit men and women and implicate all lives in the structure. 

With the help of successful experts 

The confidence in this approach comes from the Dalit Reader’s pilot batches of the “Writing for Social Justice Workshop” conducted in both Nepali and English languages. These pilot demonstrated convincingly the effectiveness of facilitated and mentor-led workshops over a sustained period to build confidence and to improve a set of creative thinking, analytical writing, and smart presentation skills. This led to the publication of social and political views in leading national dailies by Dalit and non-Dalit women and men who otherwise lacked access and experience. The theory of change behind these initiatives is that writing on the issues of social justice based on reflection and dialogue, aided by discussion and peer feedback among the participants, gives support and space for individuals to speak for their liberation.

And experienced facilitators/mentors

Nepalis and Americans with years of experience both teaching writing and publishing Op-Eds and research articles will facilitate the workshop. We will also invite other experts of writing and communication (including from US universities), as well as experienced activists on the subject matters on the ground, as needed; we have great interest and pledge of support from experts in both areas. Each participant will be assigned a mentor from a pool of sub-editors and writers of Nepal’s English national dailies to provide them in-depth needs-based support in brainstorming/generating ideas, structuring them into correct form, and developing them into commentaries.  The facilitators are as follows: 

    1. Gauri Nepali, Writer and social activist
    2. Leena Dahal, Multimedia producer and former Op-Ed Editor
    3. Lina Gurung, Assistant Professor, Kathmandu University
    4. Shiva Hari Gyawali, Writer and Social Activist
    5. Subhash Nepali, Writer, Policy Analyst and Political-Economic Expert
    6. Tom Robertson, Former Fulbright Nepal Director and Environmental Historian who writes about Nepali history
    7. Shyam Sharma, Associate Professor, Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University

For structured workshops and one-on-one support

The “Writing for Social Justice Workshop” is an intensive graduate-level course which is conducted for 2.5 hours every Sunday for twelve weeks. The facilitators serve as guides or mentors for the reading, writing, and presentation skills. In every workshop, the participants enter into reflection and dialogues based on the assigned readings and presentation. They practice drafting, revision, and editing skills with a focus on the content and social objectives of their writing, which we have found is what truly motivates them. Peer review partners, collaborative writing through the use of cloud documents, and goal-driven feedback from instructors/mentors are some of the features of the course.

If you meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Current or aspiring social activists or change agents
    • Have a functional command over Nepali and English reading and writing
    • Have completed a minimum of higher secondary school (12) level 

Writing for Social Justice Workshop is for participants from all backgrounds who are interested to conduct research, participate in dialogue, and write about their learning from research and dialogue for social justice. The participants who register for this seminar are individuals interested in critical appreciation and understanding of social justice, caste and patriarchy, social movements, power relations, or just curious to know more about voiceless people and development failures in Nepal. Admissions will be granted to those applicants who demonstrate commitment to the writing for social justice.

And can accomplish the following requirements:

    • 80% participation in twelve weekly workshops
    • Completion of assigned readings of around 60 pages a week
    • Publishing 2 opinion pieces and one commentaries by the end of course
    • Full participation in discussion with guest speakers and media house visits
    • Active engagement with the assigned mentor

Here are the required materials for application:

    • A 200 – 300 word  essay explaining what motivates you to participate in this writing workshop. 
    • A 100 – 200 word essay elaborating in which of the social issues from Nepal (caste/ethnicity, gender, religion, or social injustice in general) you are interested to write on.
    • A 100 – 200 word essay elaborating in which of the professional areas (advancing indigenous knowledge, writing to influence, re-writing/re-narrating Nepali history, or influencing the public ) you are interested to work on.
    • A 100 – 200 word personal essay explaining to us if you need a scholarship to participate in this workshop

Fees and Financial Support

Our facilitators contribute voluntarily, but DR charges a fee of NPR. 20,000, including 50% security deposit, which is returned upon successful completion of the workshop; the rest will support logistics and support DR’s social justice initiatives.

Accepted applicants will have to admit within a week, submitting a security deposit of NPR. 20,000 in the Dalit Reader’s bank account set up for “Writing for Social Justice Workshop.” The 50% of the security will be refunded to those who complete the workshopclass successfully. 

DR provides scholarship for competent and deserving candidates. Please apply for scholarships if you need financial assistance. The participants receiving DR scholarship will have to deposit NPR 10,000 as a security deposit, which will be refunded upon successful completion of the workshop. 

Scholarship funds come from sponsorship by DR friends. Please visit this site if you want to sponsor one or more participants.   

Timeline

    • Application deadline: 5 March
    • Result Announcement: 7 March
    • Admission by selected candidates: 18 March
    • Meeting with mentors and facilitators:  2 April
    • Class start: 9 April

Venue

The workshop will be organized in zoom or virtually; and hence, the participants from outside the Kathmandu vallye are  strongly encouraged to apply. 

Contact

Anju K.C.
Program Coordinator
E-mail: wsj@dalitreader.org
Mobile: +977 9841761241

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