Co-founder, Young Educated Tibetans Initiative (YETI)
Shaokyi is a senior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee pursuing a double major in Creative Writing and Economics with a minor in Corporate Strategy. She was born in Dharamsala, India and currently lives in Northern Virginia with her family. She is passionate about service, writing, entrepreneurship, and community building. In addition to co-founding Project YETI, she works as a TA for Tibetan language classes and serves as an Executive Board Member for Vanderbilt Alternative Spring Break.
BETTINA APTHEKER, PhD
Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
A scholar of history with a national reputation for talent as an instructor, Dr Aptheker taught one of the country’s largest and most influential introductory feminist studies courses for nearly three decades at UC Santa Cruz. Starting out in 1980 as the sole lecturer in the Women’s Studies Department, she became the department’s first ladder-rank faculty member in 1987, and was honored with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001. Aptheker, who received her Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz, also won the “Award for Excellence in Education” by the California chapter of the National Organization for Women. She was awarded the Dizikes Award for Teaching Excellence by the Division of Humanities at UC Santa Cruz in May 2017, and became the inaugural chair for the Peggy & Jack Baskin Foundation Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies, a position she will hold through June 2020. She teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on African American Feminist History, Feminist Pedagogy, and Feminism & Social Justice.
Dr. Aptheker’s 2006 memoir, Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech and Became A Feminist Rebel, can be purchased with a book signing at Machik Weekend. Described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a “stunning memoir,” it traces her role in major historical and political events ranging from her co-leadership of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, the movement against the war in Vietnam, and the trial of Angela Davis, to the building of the Women’s Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz.
Native American Program Manager, Grand Canyon Trust
Deon Ben is originally from the community of Tohatchi, New Mexico, and rejoined the Trust’s Native America Program in 2016. Prior to joining the Trust, Deon worked for the Grand Canyon National Park’s Vegetation Program. He earned his B.S. in environmental studies at Northern Arizona University and is currently completing his M.S. in environmental science and policy at NAU. Growing up on Navajo land, Deon experienced the perfect mesh of traditional knowledge and environmental education, which led him to his graduate work focusing on incorporating traditional ecological knowledge to address animal husbandry and grazing within tribal communities that are facing climate challenges. Deon enjoys the isolation and natural beauty of his traditional homeland and looks forward to positive environmental change.
Chef and Co-Owner, Dawa's
Dawa is the co-owner of Dawa’s Restaurant in New York City. After travels in India, Nepal, Paris, and Milan, Dawa has been exposed to different types of global cuisine. In 2016, she opened Dawa’s in partnership with her father and uncle. Together, they designed the menu to offer farm to table dishes from Tibetan/Himalayan and Western cultures alike. The restaurant has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Eaters, and other local newspapers. They also had the opportunity to cook at James Beard Foundation for chefs under 40 from Queens. Dawa was born in Nepal, attended TCV and CST, and later Delhi University. She came to the United States in 2004 and started her culinary career cooking for a family, when a job quickly turned into a passion. While pursuing her culinary career she has worked in Jean George’s Mercer Kitchen, Rouge Tomate and Reynard. Combining her father’s recipes and her culinary experience, Dawa aims to bring local and seasonal ingredients to make authentic and quality food in her restaurant.
PhD Candidate, Emory University
Tsering is studying Environmental Anthropology looking at conjunctures of grassroots environmental initiatives in Golok and Yulshul in relation to statist developmental and environmental policies, particularly the ways policies are translated, communicated, and implemented on the ground by local officials and community leaders. Tsering graduated from Reed College in 2012 with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. He has worked at—Shanshui Conservation Center—an environmental NGO conducting biodiversity research and conservation work in Kham and Amdo (2012-2016). He worked with Tibetan pastoralist communities in Yulshul and Golok to build community-based resource management groups to conduct biodiversity monitoring, waste management, and human-wildlife conflict resolution. In 2016, he published an ethonography, titled Guardians of Nature: Tibetan Pastoralists and Their Natural World.
TENZIN CHOEPHEL, PhD
Senior Aerospace Engineer, Pratt and Whitney
Tenzin was born in India and educated at the Tibetan Children’s Village schools in Dharamsala. He obtained a doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics with a minor in computational science from Pennsylvania State University. As a senior aerospace engineer at the American jet engine manufacturer, Pratt and Whitney, in Connecticut, Choephel spends much of his time at his computer, analyzing the performance of commercial fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters. The work he does not only supports the design of new gas turbine engines but also the efficient operation of the engines currently in service or flight test phase. Choephel is also on the board of Tibetan Scientific Society, an organization in India established by a team of Tibetan PhD students. The society has organized a number of national-level conferences and scientific events aimed at promoting higher education and specialization in scientific and technical fields among Tibetans in exile.
Senior, Fridley High School, Minneapolis, MN
Choesang is a senior at Fridley High School in Minneapolis, MN. As a Lamton mentee, has been attending Lamton's free tutoring sessions since his 10th grade. As a first generation children of Tibetan immigrant parents, Choesang feels that Lamton programs provide him the crucial and essential support and guidance he needs to apply to colleges.
Choesang is one of the six high school students from MN attending Machik Weekend this year.
Associate Research Scientist
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Dekila is an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She is currently designing a new program at Yale that provides environmental training to religious leaders from around the world. Prior to that, Dekila founded and ran Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She was the WWF US Director for the Greater Mekong Program for 5 years before that and also worked for WWF in the Eastern Himalayas for 5 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Environmental Studies from the College of Wooster, Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development from American University, Washington DC. Dekila – who speaks Sikkimese, Tibetan, Hindi and Nepali – worked extensively on community based conservation in the Himalayas and led the development of regional climate change adaptation and sustainable solutions for hydropower in the Mekong region. Dekila also serves as the environmental advisor for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, where she coordinates over 55 monasteries and nunneries in the Himalayas that are carrying out environmental projects such as reforestation, climate mitigation, and freshwater conservation. More information on these projects can be found at www.khoryug.info.
Director of Federal Government Relations
The Nature Conservancy
Nav serves as Director of Federal Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, a position he has held since he moved to Portland, Oregon in 2014. Nav spent a decade working on federal policy issues in Washington, DC, serving as Managing Director of Fauna & Flora International Inc. Nav is an advocate for environmental conservation and also a passionate voice for diversity, inclusion and LGBT equality. He was raised in a multicultural environment by his Burmese refugee grandmother in Bangalore, India and was inspired to explore the world by his Swiss godparents. Nav holds a BA and law degrees from Bangalore University; a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights from the National Law School of India University, and an advanced law degree from Cornell Law School. Nav is the recipient of Cornell Law School's 2015 Alumni Exemplary Public Service Award.
Ph.D. Candidate, City College of New York
Tenzing grew up in the Himalayas (in Nepal and in boarding school in India) and traces her passion for studying nature back to that childhood surrounded by forests and the critters that lived in them. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the Lohman Lab at the City College of New York. Her research interests lie in studying the patterns of Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) diversity along altitudinal gradients and teasing apart the underlying ecological and evolutionary processes of that diversity. Her work is driven by a desire to study the effects of climate change on biodiversity and community dynamics in aid of developing more nuanced conservation practices and guidelines particularly in Himalayan ecosystems, which are currently vulnerable to climate change. She is also interested in increasing access to science education in Nepal, and thinking of ways to make science accessible and fun for people of all ages.
Director, YindaYin Coaching Inc.
Rinchen was born and raised in Amdo Ngawa, Tibet. She received her primary and secondary education India. In 2010, she received a full scholarship to study in United World College Red Cross Nordic in Norway. Upon completing her UWC education, she continued her undergraduate studies at Duke University in North Carolina. At Duke, she was a Davis and Johansson International scholar and Hart fellow. She was also the founder of the project “Youth Empowerment Through Creativity” that primarily focused on giving workshops and mentorship to Tibetan students in India. Currently, she is the director of YindaYin Coaching Inc. in New York City. Besides her work in the field of education, she is also a passionate photographer and mountain lover.
GESHE YESHI GAWA
Director, Tibetan Programme, Tibet Open House
Yeshi Gawa was born in 1979 in Bathang, Tibet and grew up in India. He studied Tibetan language and literature and Buddhist philosophy at several institutions, such as Sarah Tibetan College and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. He holds a Geshe degree (PhD) in Buddhist Philosophy from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. Geshe Yeshi Gawa has a strong record of teaching and lecturing and among his publications is his authorship of “Historical Book of Bathang,” among many other well-received publications. In March 2016 Yeshi Gawa was appointed a Director of the Tibetan Programme of the Tibet Open House in Prague, Czech Republic, a project realized by the Linhart Foundation.
Losang Gyatso was born in Lhasa, grew up in the UK, and has lived in the US since 1975. After his studies at San Francisco's Academy of Art, he worked as an art and creative director at several advertising agencies in New York City during which period he won most of the major advertising awards. He started painting in the early 1990s as a means to reconnecting with Tibetan aesthetics and ideas. Gyatso has exhibited in group shows at The Fowler Museum, CU Art Museum, The Rubin Museum, The Dorsky Museum, and the Loyola University Museum of Art.
Simply Tibetan, Simply Delicious
Born in Dharamsala, India, Tencho Gyatso was educated at the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school and St Bede's College in Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas. She was deeply committed to serving her community in India before immigrating to the United States in 1998. Tencho Gyatso settled in New York City where she and her husband owned and operated the popular eatery, Tibet on Houston. She later moved to Boulder, Colorado before moving to Washington,DC in 2007 where she continued her service to the Tibetan community and, along the way, expressed her great passion for Tibetan food culture through a popular blog called Simply Tibetan, Simply Delicious.
DR. SONIA JARRETT
Pediatric Resident, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Sonia is a pediatric resident at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Born in Shanghai, she grew up moving between various cities in China. She started volunteering with Machik in 2006 as an English teacher in the nascent years of the Summer Enrichment Program. Her undergraduate studies were in English Literature at Cornell University. Through the non-traditional Humanities and Medicine program, she attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She is passionate about bridging gaps in underserved communities, particularly in education and health care.
PhD Candidate, Columbia University
Laja is a PhD student in International and Transcultural Studies department at Teachers College, Columbia University. Born and raised in Amdo, Tibet, Laja first came to US for his master’s degree in 2014. As a young Tibetan receiving post-graduate studies in North America, Laja sees the privileges from where he stands, and resolves to give back to his community the same support and love that made all his dreams possible.
BOLORTSETSEG MINJIN, PhD
Bolortsetseg is a Mongolian paleontologist who focuses on protecting the fossils heritage in her native country. She received her Ph.D. in 2007 from a joint program between the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York. Shortly after completing her graduate work, she founded the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs (ISMD), which over the past 10 years has launched expeditions that have discovered new fossil species, has sponsored and trained Mongolian graduate students in paleontology and geology, and has inspired children in the remote Gobi Desert through on-site educational programs. In 2012 Bolortsetseg played a pivotal role in stopping the sale of an illegally collected skeleton of Tyrannosaur baatar from Mongolia, and coordinated the repatriation, return, and exhibition of this specimen in Mongolia and since then over 30 stolen dinosaurs have been repatriated. She received a 2009 Earth Award from Wings WorldQuest and is a 2010 Emerging Explorer of National Geographic. In 2013, she was awarded a Polar Star by the Mongolian Government for her efforts to protect the fossil heritage of Mongolia. Her latest project involves creating a community based a dinosaur museum that includes local parks the Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag) and Tugrugiin shiree in Mongolia.
Program Development Specialist, Get Ready Program
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Nordon was born in Chandigarh, India and lived there until she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1998. Since then, she has been living in Minnesota where she attended Carleton College and graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Biology.
She served with Americorp (College Possible) for 2 years before starting her work with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. She is currently pursuing her M.A. degree in Organizational Leadership through St. Catherine University.
LOSANG RABGEY, PhD
Executive Director & Co-founder, Machik
Losang Rabgey holds a PhD in gender and anthropology from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies where she was the first Tibetan to become a Commonwealth Scholar. Losang and her sister Dr Tashi Rabgey co-founded Machik, whose mission is to incubate social innovation for Tibet. In 2006, Losang was recognized by the National Geographic Society as one of eight Emerging Explorer from around the world for her innovative work in bridging cultural divides. She also serves as a founding Mentor with National Geographic Society, guiding young explorers. Born in India and raised in Canada, Losang first returned to Tibet with her family in 1987.
TASHI RABGEY, PhD
Research Professor, George Washington University
Strategic Director & Co-founder, Machik
Tashi Rabgey is a Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School, specializing in contemporary Tibet and Sino-Tibetan affairs. Through interdisciplinary research initiatives she has led on public policy and governance in Tibet, Professor Rabgey's work has enabled the development of new inquiries into the institutional structure and process of China's policymaking in Tibet. Before joining the Elliott School, Professor Rabgey was a faculty member of the University of Virginia East Asia Center where she was co-director of the University of Virginia Tibet Center. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University specializing in political and legal anthropology, as well as law degrees from Oxford and Cambridge where she studied as a Rhodes scholar.
Tsering has worked tirelessly to provide quality education for children and youth in rural Tibet. She continues to invest extraordinary time and energy to projects supporting the Chungba Valley community. She received the 'Special Achievement Award' from the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce at its annual Evening of Excellence in 2014 for her lifelong dedication to community service and citizenship.
Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project
Mariam Rauf is a community educator on gender violence (GV) and an advocate for social justice and women’s rights. As the Outreach Program Manager at the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP), she leads the organization’s communications, training, and outreach programs. Mariam works closely with local and national leaders to address GV and the challenges faced by survivors. Prior to joining DVRP staff, she was on its board of directors including serving as board president. Previously, Mariam worked as the managing editor of a public health nonprofit’s external and internal communications. In between, she was a public servant with the U.S. government, where she stressed the importance of cultural competency and humility, while also advising officials on policy decisions involving regions in the Middle East and South Asia. Mariam is a proud Baloch and intersectional feminist who spends her free time photographing the streets of New York.
As a member of a generation that is often noted for putting themselves in front of the camera, James has found his place behind it, where he enjoys the fact that his view is always changing and perspective transforming. His interest in filmmaking began as a fourth grader when learning the countries of the world, and questioning a single dotted line across a blank map of China. The history that unfolded from behind that line fueled the next ten years of his life, as he set out to interview Tibetans-in-exile and assemble his first documentary. James’ passion for storytelling intensified in 2015, during which he spent three months traveling down the Mekong river in order to document the impacts of climate change and hydropower dams on the river’s wild-catch fishery. Now a sophomore at Duke, James hopes to continue making documentary films, highlighting individuals whose stories may have slipped off of the map, yet whose perspectives are central to our understanding of our planet, each other, and ourselves.
TENZIN DAWA SAMPHEL
Freelance Motion Graphics Artist,
Creative Circle Musician, Artist Intelligence Agency
Dawa is a motion graphics artist and music producer who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. His passions for graphics lead him to work on animations for world famous DJ’s as well as network TV. For the past five years he has worked at NBC Universal in Washington DC for shows like Meet the Press, Today Show, and NBC’s Nightly News. Dawa and his brother Ngawang Samphel work together in their band Indiginis. Where they have produced original electronic music and remixed artists for the past two years while performing live including once at Webster Hall. They once had the opportunity to work along side world famous DJ BT at Skywalker Ranch where they worked side by side on his 9th studio album. Dawa currently is represented by DC creative agency Creative Circle where he works as a freelance artist for hire while doing music with Colorado based record label Artist Intelligence Agency and Indie Music Group.
TENZIN WANGMO SHAKYA
Journalist/Producer, ABC News
Wangmo is a first generation Tibetan-American Journalist/Producer with ABC News in NYC. Wangmo graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism with a Masters in Broadcast Journalism and earned her BA in Journalism and Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University. She’s been producing stories for the past nine years in mainstream media and the non-profit sector. She was a former breaking news correspondent at the San Mateo County Times and The Oakland Tribune. Her work has been published in San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, UptownRadio.org, Northattan, PBS Thirteen.org, ABC News and various other online media sites.
Manager, Client Solutions Team, LinkedIn Canada
Kalsang manages the Client Solutions team at LinkedIn Canada, prior to this role she held various positions at LinkedIn including leading the Account Manager team focused on the Education vertical in North America. She has been with LinkedIn since 2013. As the Manager of Client Solutions Canada, Kalsang partners with the Head of Marketing Solutions in Canada, to build and execute on the growth strategy for the Marketing Solutions business in the Canadian region. Her team partners with Media Agencies and Marketers across all verticals to drive client success through insights and proactive consultation. Kalsang is passionate about building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, currently, she is the President of Women at LinkedIn, which is LinkedIn's largest Employee Resource Group with over 20 global chapters. She leads a global team of leaders to realize the group's vision of creating economic opportunities for women in the workforce. Additionally, Kalsang is the Co-Founder for the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) Council in LinkedIn Canada, which has the objective of building a more diverse and inclusive workforce where every employee feels a sense of belonging. Her focus on diversity and inclusion draws on her belief that building a strong sense of belonging is fundamental to employee success and engagement.
TENZIN DAWA THARGAY
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Co-founder, Young Educated Tibetans Initiative (YETI)
Tenda is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Chinese. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and currently lives there with his parents and grandparents. Tenda's family commitment to service above self and his Tibetan Buddhist faith compel him to pursue a life and career of service to others. Outside of running Project YETI, he is a Resident Assistant for a freshman dorm and virtual intern with the U.S Department of State developing a corpora of Tibetan language words for the Foreign Service Institute.
PhD Candidate, Cornell University
Namgyal (ཚེ་དཔག་རྣམ་རྒྱལ།) is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Cornell University & Field minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. His dissertation specifically investigates about the ways in which the Mohican people today reconnect with their ancestral homelands in the Northeast, and explores how lands/places intersect with indigenous identity, sociocultural (re)production and political belonging within the context of settler colonialism.” Namgyal was born and raised in a semi-nomadic area in Choni (ཅོ་ནེ།) County in Amdo. He graduated from Duke University in 2010 with a B.A. in Anthropology. He spent a service year working for Seva Foundation as a Research Associate through Duke University’s Hart Fellows Program. Namgyal has managed community development grants including from Canada Fund, Davis Projects for Peace, and DukeEngage to implement solar energy projects in Tibetan and other ethnic minority areas in Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces. He has contributed articles to journals such as Central Asiatic Journal, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and Asian Highlands Perspectives and presented on his research at Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) and American Ethnological Society (AES) conferences. He also serves as a Graduate Intern at American Ethnological Society and as an Advisory Board Member at Seva Foundation.
Derrick Vocelka was Vice-President of Human Resources and Community Services in Yosemite National Park. After 30 years in Yosemite, Derrick retired to Bishop, California in the Eastern Sierra. He remained engaged with conservation issues as a mediator between multiple interests in what was then the largest river restoration in the United States, 62 miles of the Owens River. As an avocation, photography - particularly landscape photography - has always been an interest and personal private pursuit. Since 2005 Derrick has been an avid supporter of and volunteer for Machik, and co-coordinator of the Eastern Sierra Friends of Machik.
Machik Advisory Board
Nelson Walker began his filmmaking career while a student at Brown University, working on documentaries for Discovery Channel, History Channel and PBS’s NOVA with the Rhode Island-based company Providence Pictures. He later moved to New York to pursue an MFA in Film Directing at Columbia University. While at Columbia, Nelson began working with cinema vérité pioneer and legend, the late Albert Maysles as a camera assistant and second camera. Along with his wife, Lynn True, Nelson has directed award-winning films, including iThemba|Hope (2005), Lumo (2007), and Summer Pasture (2012) with Tsering Perlo, which won the prestigious Peabody Award for documentary films. His most recent film, In Transit (2014), was made in collaboration with Albert Maysles. Nelson’s cinematography has appeared in many highly lauded films, including The Gates, Watchers of the Sky, King Georges, Dior and I, and Iris. Nelson is currently the acting board chair of the Maysles Documentary Center, where he also curates and directs the annual film series, Congo in Harlem. He also serves on Machik’s Advisory Board and became the first person to teach film to students in Chungba.
EMILY YEH, PhD
Professor and Department Chair of Geography
University of Colorado, Boulder
Emily conducts research on nature-society relations in Tibetan parts of the PRC, including projects on conflicts over access to natural resources, the relationship between ideologies of nature and nation, the political ecology of pastoral environment and development policies, vulnerability of Tibetan herders to climate change, and emerging environmental subjectivities. Emily’s book Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development (Cornell University Press, 2013), which explores the intersection of political economy and cultural politics of development as a project of state territorialization, was awarded the 2015 E. Gene Smith Prize for best book on Inner Asia from the Association of Asian Studies. It was also named a “best book of 2014” by Foreign Affairs for the Asia/Pacific region. She is also co-editor with Chris Coggins of Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands, and with Kevin O’Brien and Ye Jingzhong of Rural Politics in Contemporary China.
Limited copies of Dr. Yeh's book, Taming Tibet can be purchased with a book signing at Machik Weekend.
Nomadic Survival Charity
Youdon is a retired UK midwife, public health nurse and lactation consultant. She works to find ways to increase maternal and child health awareness in remote communities and provide basic midwifery training. Her main aim is to protect maternal and infant lives. Born in Tibet, educated in India and the UK. In her private life she has always maintained a special interest in Tibetan dance and music. She set up the first UK community dance performance group in 1993.
Justice Policy Institute
Jason is the Director of Policy and Research at Justice Policy Institute, and organization dedicated to ending society's reliance on incarceration. Jason has also held staff positions with two justice systems, the Washington, D.C. juvenile department, and the adult probation and parole agency covering Portland, Oregon. He has worked on research and policy projects with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the U.S. Justice Department, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Washington Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has a Masters in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto from his hometown, Toronto, Canada.
United Nations Development Program
Kirti is currently working as programs assistant for Global Program on nature-based development in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He has a MA degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. He wrote his master’s capstone paper on conservation and spirituality on the Tibetan Plateau and his research interest is finding nexus between conservation, development and spirituality. Kirti was a program fellow at Machik while he was doing his second year of graduate school focusing on Machik's Social Entrepreneurship and Education program in Tibet. Kirti was born in northeastern part of Tibet where he spent his childhood. He later came to India and attended TCV. Kirti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India. At JNU, Kirti worked as a secretary for the International Student Association of JNU and served on the Executive Council of Tibet Forum, a student-led non-profit that held regular discussions and debates on Tibet.
Nyima is currently studying Nursing and hopes to specialize in Pediatric Nursing. She was born in Bylakuppe, India and currently lives in Minnesota. Nyima has served as a board member for Regional Tibetan Women’s Association of Minnesota since 2014. She is passionate about animal rights and believes that we have a moral duty to help them.
RALPH LITZINGER, PhD
Professor, Duke University
Dr. Ralph Litzinger is a professor of Cultural Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Duke University. He received his doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Washington in Seattle. His early research focused on the culture and politics of the ethnic borders in China. He has published on Marxist nationality theory in China, on ethnic and indigenous revitalization in the post-Cold War global order, on gender and ethnic representation, and on ethnographic film, photography, and popular culture in China and elsewhere. His current research is engaged with questions of border ecologies, bio-politics, activism and advocacy in labor, education rights, and the environment. In all of his research, teaching, and thinking, he is committed to forging an anthropology of critical advocacy and activism, one which addresses structures of domination, exploitation, and inequality and the struggle to make the world a better place