The Spokesperson Phenomenon – EdWeek

by Punita Rice Teaching

Education Week Teacher Punita Rice Spokesperson

Last week, Education Week Teacher published an essay I wrote about the spokesperson phenomenon — that thing that happens in a classroom, where a student (almost always, a student of color, though other minority and/or marginalized identities also experience this) is expected or positioned to serve as a representative for their entire culture, race, or other category of people. (I’ve … Read More

Why Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly is Important

by Punita Rice Teaching

Teachers - Pronounce Names Correctly in the Classroom

There are a million names from as many backgrounds, so it can feel overwhelming to expect teachers to get every single name right. But pronouncing students’ names correctly does matter. Here, I’m sharing YouTube video I recorded on why pronouncing names correctly is important, and I’m also sharing my list of practice ideals for how teachers can get names right. Read on for … Read More

An Interview with a Broadway Star

by Punita Rice Culture

Vishal Vaidya Broadway ISAASE

For the ISAASE Be Inspired project, I interviewed Vishal Vaidya, who you might know from his recent run as Larry the Cameraman on Broadway’s Groundhog Day (or from #Rifftober). I’ve also known Vishal for over 20 years (we even performed a duet version of Christina Aguilera’s I Turn To You in our middle school talent show together, and acted in plays … Read More

The Aerogram – Workplace Discrimination Against South Asian Americans Can Be Traced Back to the Classroom

by Punita Rice Culture

Discrimination against South Asian Americans in the workplace and the classroom

My friend and colleague Ruchika Tulshyan (a speaker, journalist, and the author of The Diversity Advantage) and I co-wrote a piece about how workplace discrimination against South Asian Americans can be traced back to the classroom, especially in light of the model minority myth, published this past week in The Aerogram. Here are some of the takeaways from our article: … Read More

First Time I Saw Me… Hasn’t Happened Yet

by Punita Rice Culture

Mindy Lahiri - #FirstTimeISawMe Indian American Woman - The First Time I Saw Me Hasn't Happened Yet

Did you see the “First Time I Saw Me” campaign on Twitter a few months ago? Black Girl Nerds and Netflix collaborated earlier this year and started a campaign centered around diversity and representation in the media, and pushed the use of the hashtag #FirstTimeISawMe to collect stories from people sharing the first time they saw themselves. (Two of the … Read More

The Problem with Apu

by Punita Rice Culture

The Problem with Apu is a Problem with America

The Simpsons is a great show. But Apu sucks. For a variety of reasons — including the fact that there’s so little representation of South Asians on tv in the first place, and that the depiction of Apu as simultaneously the perfect model minority and immigrant, and the depiction of him as a joke that encompassed all stereotypes about South Asians … Read More

Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly Should Be a Big Deal – EdWeek

by Punita Rice Teaching

Dr. Punita Rice for Education Week Teacher

I wrote an essay for Education Week Teacher about why pronouncing students’ names correctly is — and should be — a big deal. In the piece, I spoke about why mispronouncing students’ names is problematic (and can be a kind of microaggression), what my own experience has been with my own name, information about the ISAASE Name Pronunciation Guide, and actionable … Read More

A Chat with Poet Pavana Reddy

by Punita Rice Culture

Pavana Reddy mazadohta

Pavana Reddy (who you may already be following on Instagram — she’s also known as @mazadohta!), is an amazing, beautiful, inspiring poet. You can sample her lovely poetry on her Instagram page (here), hear it on Anoushka Shankar’s album Land of Gold, or read it in her first book, Rangoli. I got to connect with and interview Pavana for ISAASE’s Be Inspired project. We had a … Read More

An Inspiring Conversation with Lady Pista

by Punita Rice Culture

Inspired by Lady Pista - Recording Artist and DJ - Full Interview with Punlearning

Have you heard of Lady Pista? Sumangala Narendrakumar (aka Lady Pista) is a recording artist and DJ whose music is a blend of dancehall, electro-house, and world music. A couple months ago, I reached out to Lady Pista to connect about the ISAASE Be Inspired project, which aims to inspire young South Asian Americans by sharing diverse profiles and stories … Read More

A Chat with Natasha Sumant of Gundi Studios

by Punita Rice Culture

Natasha Sumant of Gundi Studios

Have you seen the instagram account Gundi Studios? In Hindi, “gundi” means female thug — and since outspoken South Asian women aren’t typically appreciated in South Asian communities, Natasha Sumant (the artist behind Gundi Studios) started the project as a way to celebrate courageous women, and reclaim the term gundi. The art and fashion coming out of Gundi Studios is fantastic, but … Read More