NEXT Up: Acting locally and globally with anupama jain

anupama jain

anupama jain. Photo by Porter Loves.

Founder of the diversity consulting company, Inclusant — a social enterprise committed to promoting more inclusive communities — anupama jain has been researching, teaching about and publishing on topics including gender and race, immigration, the American Dream, and stories of belonging for 20 years. anu moved to the U.S. from India when she was a child and grew up in New Jersey. She lives in Squirrel Hill with her partner, John Stoner, who works in the History Department at Pitt. The pair is known to enjoy traveling the world to places like India, South Africa and Thailand.

Monday, August 28

Knowing from experience that I never get around to exercising if I wait until late in the day, I am going to start with water aerobics at the JCC.

Then, I will conduct training sessions Downtown for a nonprofit, helping them identify what inclusion means for their staff, clients and the region.

In the evening, I am going to treat myself to a yummy dinner at Coriander on Murray Avenue — not only will they make the food super spicy if you ask for it, they don’t complain if I sit there for a couple hours catching up with friends, or sometimes just reading email.

Tuesday, August 29

In the morning, I will pop over to the North Side to chat about LGBTQ+ issues with a local leader I have not previously gotten to know — their organization may also have space rental options and I like to vary the neighborhoods where I convene meetings.

I will spend the day finalizing my syllabus for a course I teach at the University of Pittsburgh called “Gender & Leadership.” The result of collaboration between the program in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies and Residence Life’s Living Learning Communities, this course engages 10 first-year students in experiential learning that connects inside- and outside-the-classroom education.

anupama jain

anu jain and John Stoner at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa.

Wednesday, August 30

It seems like most of us spend too much time in meetings, but this morning will start with one that I really look forward to and that energizes me. Four of us have been working all year on a new diversity leadership program called Creating Confluence, which focuses on the positive values of differences coming together.

Then, it is off to Phipps Conservatory, one of my favorite places in the city, where there is a current exhibit incorporating beautiful glass art. Since it is a Wednesday in the summer, I also get to browse at the green market outside.

The day will end with a PGH Versatile PhD networking social hour in Lawrenceville at The Abbey; the group brings together people with academic backgrounds who are interested in breaking out of their silos and exploring varied careers. The Abbey is located conveniently close to my co-working space, The Global Switchboard, which connects globally-minded individuals and organizations.

Thursday, August 31

Do you know about the 2011 proclamation declaring Pittsburgh a Human Rights City? I am going to learn more about it from scholar-activist Jackie Smith, who is among a dedicated group of local people working on issues like affordable housing through a human rights lens.

Then, I will head to Commonplace Voluto in Garfield so I can get an update from Amanda Gross, of the American Friends Service Committee, about their upcoming programs for Youth Undoing Institutional Racism.

anupama jain

The Creating Confluence team at The Global Switchboard (L to R: Leigh Solomon Pugliano, anupama jain, Lizzie Anderson, Monica Ruiz). Photo by John Stoner.

Friday, September 1

I will catch up with Peggy Outon of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management. Peggy is one of many female leaders who has been a great mentor to me since I moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 and transitioned away from being a full-time academic to creating a career that crosses sectors.

The day ends with a visit to Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn with filmmaker Chris Mason to see some new art, run into other friends and maybe meet some new people.

Saturday, September 2

One of my favorite activities is eating out with friends, so in between catching up on housework and administrative tasks, I’ll have a lunch date with a fellow Bryn Mawr College alum at Chendgu Gourmet Sichuan restaurant on Forward.

John and I will spend the evening at a Wigle Whiskey party at their Barrelhouse.

Sunday, September 3

I am going to take the day off from work because research shows it will make me more productive in the long run (really!). The day includes brunch with a South Hills friend, Lisa Brown, a great conversationalist who is equally passionate about social justice, Vacation Bible School, the Girl Scouts and immersive theater.

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