Dhanya Addanki

Associate Web Editor

I am most comfortable in the company of others, trying to find foundation in a single word or phrase upon which I can build a mighty story. 

As Associate Web Editor at Sojourners, I'm always asking how we can bring different layers and perspectives to stories. I navigate between reporter, opinion writer, and editor, all through the lens of understanding how policy, representation in media, and language affect people groups and individuals. Through this, I construct stories of privilege, identity, and culture and study how these factors affect issues of justice, equality, equity, and faith in comunities across the globe. I am curious about how people in poverty, people of color, and marginalized people are represented in our current media. And I ask, how do these representations affect our culture today? How can we change negative representation and give the people power through story? 

I was born in South India and raised in South Texas and experience culture shock almost daily. When I'm not doing journalistic things, you can find me curled up in a blanket watching 90s cartoons. 

Posts By This Author

ICE Raids Near Sensitive Locations Stoke Fear in Immigrant Communities

by Dhanya Addanki 03-02-2017

Image via Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock

No one has yet been willing to provide information about what Rising Hope Mission Church pastor Keary Kincannon calls a "confusing ordeal."

"We have no idea where they are, and we’re hearing reports that guards won’t even give detainees their one call," Kincannon said.

The Skin We’re In

by Dhanya Addanki 03-01-2017
Our Religion Will Not Save Us From Hate

In Indian American communities, we usually believe that being a certain kind of immigrant can save us. If we dress properly, no one can call us foreign. If we’re documented, no one can question our legal status. If we are highly educated, no one can accuse us of being lazy immigrants. If we (especially women) don’t go to bars, no one can accuse us of bad behavior.

We’ve convinced ourselves that if we melt into what we call American culture — into white culture — we can get by without getting killed.

The two men targeted by a racist and violent white terrorist were the quintessential “good immigrants.” But their stories of success — working at Garmin, receiving Masters degrees from the U.S. — did not protect them from hate. Economic status or education do not matter in the face of an extremist who equates skin color with terrorism.

 

Faith Leaders Rally After ICE Detains Group Leaving Church

by Dhanya Addanki 02-17-2017

Photo by Dhanya Addanki/Sojourners

“The practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement right now are not in line with who we say we are as a government and a country,” Kumpf said. “What they did was legally on the line of violating the Sensitive Locations Memo. That’s extraordinarily morally reprehensible.”

Drafted in 2011, the Sensitive Locations Memo places restrictions on ICE enforcement in sensitive locations such as schools, places of worship, and hospitals. Many at the gathering felt that the sensitive lines of sanctuary were crossed on the morning of the Feb 8.

The Global Playbook of the Extreme Right

by Dhanya Addanki 02-16-2017
Q&A with 'Hate Spin' Author Cherian George

Cherian George: "One of the bitter ironies is that the extreme right the world around, although they may detest each other, are remarkably similar in the way they operate and in their world views. They believe in a certain purity of identity. They often use similar tactics."

This Captain America Fights Hate Crime

by Dhanya Addanki 02-01-2017

Image via JP Keenan/ Sojourners 

Deeply tied to Singh’s spirit are his thoughts about justice and equality. They are not only ideals of the Sikh faith and intertwined in his spiritual practice, but a natural state of being for Singh — especially since he started his Captain America performance art.

 

Marching On: 6 Women's March Participants in Their Own Words

by Dhanya Addanki 01-23-2017

Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

On Jan. 21, more than 1 million women and men around the world rose up and became part of a resistance.

Here are just a few of those faces — six people who showed up to make their voices heard at the Women's March on Washington. They each marched for individual reasons, but found common ground among the crowd.

Experiencing Inauguration Day as an Immigrant

by Dhanya Addanki 01-23-2017

Image via JP Keenan/ Sojourners 

 America is beautiful because we have the power to define what it means to be American. 

Too often, we immigrants define what is "American" by what white culture tells us it should be. We internalize colonialism and let it run thickly in our veins: We give our offspring English names because we’re embarrassed of our language, or afraid that our children won’t be accepted with anything too “exotic.” We eagerly give up a culture that so proudly raised us. I’ve watched as we villainize black people and turn our backs on undocumented immigrants.

 

18 Arrested at Anti-Death Penalty Protest

by Dhanya Addanki 01-17-2017

Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

“We are standing with families who have had their loved ones murdered and families who have had their loved ones executed or put on death row,” said Shane Claiborne, co-director of the Red Letter Christians, who was arrested during the protest.

“Violence is a disease not the cure,” he continued, “as families themselves say, remember our loved ones but not with more killing. That’s our message today.”

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