About & Contact

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Photo by Adam Perez, in New York

Hello, and thanks for visiting my site.

I’m a journalist and audio producer. I report, write and make radio. My work has aired and published in numerous outlets, including NPR, PRI, Studio 360, Marketplace, KQED’s The California Report, Here & Now, 70 Million, The Atlantic, WIRED, Harper’s, The New York Times and Foreign Policy.

My motivations lie in producing gripping, thought-provoking stories that illuminate the way the world works; challenge, validate, and expand peoples’ perspectives; inform policy; hold the powerful accountable; and empower communities. I’m interested in collaborating on dynamic projects focused on achieving these results and more and am actively looking to join a team. I have 13 years of experience reporting and producing audio and have worked as a full-time freelancer since 2013.

My work most often covers power structures, politics, inequality and identity, with an emphasis on revealing injustices and challenging assumptions. I’m also attracted to avenues for stories that are offbeat and link local and global consequences, and am especially experienced in covering the South Asian diaspora. My family is from India and the Philippines.

In 2020, I’m reporting and producing a narrative audio story on the future of policing, a story on COVID-19’s effects on housing security (thanks to a grant from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and South Asian Journalists Association), and continuing ongoing reporting on caste in the United States (thanks to support from the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association) — among other projects. In my spare time, I produce and host the podcast Loitering: The Occasional, But Lovable, Traveling Minipod, named after the “Why Loiter” movement fighting for women’s right to safe space. Loitering’s current life form is an audio newsletter delivered straight to your email inbox (subscribe here!).

A little about my history: From 2009 to 2011, I was based in Shizuoka, Japan, where I taught English on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), and founded, produced and hosted Shizuoka Speaks, a grant-funded podcast on racism, immigration and education in Japan. From 2013 to 2015, I was based in Lucknow, India, where I studied Urdu and reported on the world’s largest election, politics and social issues from India’s most populous and politically-significant state, the swing state of Uttar Pradesh. I was an African Great Lakes reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation in Uganda in 2016, named a “rising star” and a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism in 2017, and received an honorable mention as an AIR New Voices Scholar in 2019.

My stories are used as educational materials in journalism, social work, criminal justice and religious studies courses, and cited in books and research papers that discuss digital media in an international context, politics, economic growth, gendered violence and sexualized minorities. They’ve also been honored and recognized by the South Asian Journalists Association and Religion News Association, among other organizations.

Over the years, I’ve covered debates on South Asian revisionist history in American textbooks; accent bias in voice recognition technologies; language politics; a woman’s gun; the evolution of SantaCon; Hindu nationalism; Beyoncé and the Bible; sectarian violence; sports betting; queer communities; an alleged state-sponsored murder of a “Facebook journalist;” the sand mafia; vote polarization; teachers in immigration limbo; bodybuilding; bail reform; and caste. I’ve gone politicking with Uganda’s top female politician, spent a day with a lookalike of India’s prime minister, and immersed myself in the world of America’s longest-running Asian beauty pageant. I’ve also written about my friend Kim Wall.

My work and professional development have received generous support from the Suruga International Institute in Japan, Anne O’Hare McCormick Memorial Fund, International Women’s Media Foundation, South Asian Journalists Association, Asian American Journalists Association, Religion News Association, Religion News Foundation, Association of Independents in Radio, Fund for Investigative Journalism, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Freelance Investigative Reporters & Editors, and Economic Hardship Reporting Project. I regularly speak at conferences and in classrooms about writing for the ear, the particularities of covering South Asian politics and the diaspora, and working as a (female) freelance journalist.

I’m currently based in Oakland, California, reporting and loitering in the places I grew up and beyond.

2 Comments

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Leave a Reply

  1. You article is informative and educational. Thanks for it.
    You should know that PAC Republican Hindu Coalition’s founder Shalabh Kumar (Shali Kumar) is a fraud. He isn’t a billionaire or a tycoon. He has a small factory in Carol Stream, a western suburb of Chicago. He is living in a house worth around $450,000.
    He isn’t a megadonor, but a BS-er
    Please check this:
    https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C90016924&cycle=2016

    Also check 2018 and 2020 reporting.
    You can also check all the documents filed and notices received by Republican Hindu Coalition

    Thanks.

    • Thanks, Abdul, I appreciate your positive feedback! And thanks for this info about Kumar and the RHC. I have also noticed the same on Open Secrets. Let’s be in touch if that’s ok with you? Thanks again.

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