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Jai Birdi

Jai Birdi migrated to Canada with his siblings and mother in the mid-70s. After spending a few years in northern BC, Jai moved to the west coast in the early 80s. He started his career in social services and advanced from a line position to senior management. Jai feels that his experiences in the migration processes, living in diverse communities, and professional roles in diversabilities helped him in cementing his beliefs in equity and inclusion. Jai’s passion for understanding and proactively overcoming caste-related barriers developed out of curiosity rather than experiencing caste discrimination or oppression.

 Some of the initiatives Jai has led with a wonderful team of volunteers have resulted in the establishment of the Chetna Association of Canada; the installation of memorials for Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Bust of Dr. Ambedkar at Simon Fraser University and portraits at various other institutions in BC); the establishment of the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture Series; and influencing local governments to pass proclamations as a means for enhancing awareness of Dr. Ambedkar and his philosophy.

 Jai is presently the executive director of the Chetna Association. He looks forward to further advancing inclusion through strengthening partnerships and influencing local governments to add caste as a protected category to existing legal frameworks, and establishing a center or an institution for emancipation using the philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar as a guide.

Short promotional video, 1: How can we react to caste discrimination with power and resilience?

Full interview, Part 1:

Full interview, Part 2: