My name is Nikita Srivastava. I am an Indian woman who carries herself with the confidence of a heterosexual white male. Now, I don’t intentionally act like a white man. It kinda just happened. Apparently, if a woman demonstrates confidence in her abilities, intellect and strives for success, then she is acting like a white man. (Sorry, not sorry)
Why are you calling it the Nikita Initiative?
I started this site for one reason only: I want to be the change I see in this world. During the British rule of India, Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian lawyer, stated that “you must be the change you want to see in this world.” In addition to being a civil rights leader and ending tyranny by using pacifism, Gandhi inspired me to be the change I needed in this world. On this site, I will share my research, my experiences, and my overall thoughts about any social justice issues, civil rights, racial equality, intersectional feminism, and anything else along those lines. My goal is to not attack people’s already established beliefs but to challenge them to look past them. To achieve this goal, I need to be the change I want to see.
If I want to help combat racism, then I must understand racism. If I want everyone to believe in equality, then I must understand intersectionalism feminism. If want to help those in poverty, then I must understand the complexities of institutionalized biases. (Does that make sense? No? Well, I tried.)
Hence, the site is called the Nikita Initiative.
So, who am I?
At this point, you’re probably asking: what qualifies this chick to write about these issues? I am glad you asked, because I love talking about myself.
I have my bachelors degree in political science and criminal justice, with a minor degree in sociology, from the University of Dayton. While acquiring my Juris Doctor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, I worked as a researcher and writer for the law school’s Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice Blog. With the knowledge I acquired from these universities and my own experiences with racism and sexism, I can add some perspective to the ongoing debates about equality.
If that did not convince you, then I encourage you to read my earlier work. Specifically, read I Speak Hindi, I am Hindu, and I’m an American. This piece summaries my journey as a minority woman in a predominantly white law school.
What to expect.
Throughout this site, I will continue to expand the research I conducted for the UC Social Justice Blog along with writing reviews for books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts relevant to social justice. I will also share personal anecdotes and advice. And, I’ll share my previous blog posts. I will attempt to answer your questions about privilege, being a true ally, and how to keep fighting the good fight. Hopefully, I will inspire at least one person to fight for change.
Here is what not to expect: a Facebook-style status update on trending topics. My goal is not to shout at the haters by using all capital letters or argue how my opinions are superior. Rather, my goal is to present perspectives on various issues backed with thorough research.
I believe knowledge is power and withholding information keeps certain people in power. That is why I believe we must arm ourselves with knowledge before jumping to conclusions, enacting policies, and electing our future leaders.
That is all for now Internet. I look forward to writing more and documenting my “social justice warrior” journey. Stay tuned!