Lessons Learned from the Climate Impact Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST)

My voice is terrible in this video, but here’s a peek at some of the work I do. I was Technical Coordinator (among other things) for a wonky, small USAID-funded climate adaptation project in Vietnam for about 3 years. Basically, we helped municipal planners understand climate risks, and provided them with tools to adapt to changes. Good fun. By far Vietnam is my most favorite country to work in! Some pics if you’re interested. Can you spot me?

This webinar shares lessons learned from a successful urban planning and climate adaptation pilot activity called the Climate Impact Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST). In Vietnam, CIMPACT-DST supports integration of climate change considerations into planning activities in several cities and provinces.

First piloted in the coastal city of Hue, the tool was quickly picked up by dozens of communities and provinces across Vietnam. The success of the pilot is due in large part to incorporating long-term sustainability techniques in the design and implementation phases. Lessons learned from implementation are covered in the webinar.


Pixar‘s  Sanjay’s Super Team 

“For the first time, Pixar has two original films that will be released this year. The Good Dinosaur will follow Inside Out in November, and with it, a brand new short.

‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ will be the first Pixar film starring a character of color. Director Sanjay Patel drew on his childhood experiences to create the 7 minute short, which chronicles a Hindu prayer ritual with his father.

It’s also the first time religion is the subject in a Pixar film. The short concerns Sanjay daydreaming about the Hindu gods as ancient superheroes, not unlike Marvel’s The Avengers…

Patel is the third Asian American director at Pixar, joining Ronnie del Carmen, co director of Inside Out, and Pete Sohn, director of The Good Dinosaur. He was candid in describing the difficulties of embracing his Indian heritage as a boy and even into adulthood…”

Keep reading at  pixarplanet

[ Follow SuperheroesInColor on facebook / instagram / twitter / tumblr ]
Race Row on Mount Everest: Sherpas Square Off Against Racist Western Climbers
The documentary ‘Sherpa’ captures an intense battle between Sherpas and entitled Western climbers—including one very racist American.

When disaster struck Mount Everest in 2014, an unprecedented avalanche wiped out 16 Sherpas but left dozens of wealthy Western climbers untouched. Mourning evolved into a Sherpa strike, and deep-rooted tensions erupted after more than half a century bubbling below the surface.

Who better to showcase the racial standoff than a privileged white American?

South Asia has a rich sexual history that is forgotten by western liberals who laugh at Raj in “The Big Bang Theory” or who are quick to call out LGBTQ issues in the region without placing them in their relevant colonial context. In doing so they forget or choose to ignore how it was the British who imposed these backwards ideas on the region that went contrary to the traditional ways of thinking and practising.
In this regard colonialism has gone full circle as it first caused the problem and now white saviours are claiming to have the solutions to bring the former colonies into modernity. The spread of “equality” is presented as a Western value, when it is not. Diversity and equality were more present in many South Asian communities than they were in Europe, were homosexuality was frowned upon and discouraged.

I love that Leavanny makes clothes for other pokemon, so today I started wondering what it would be like if over time Leavanny started adorning themselves differently with different plants based on the humans that lived around it!

I have four more designs for other locations, but these were the first four I got to… plus a Metropolitan one because I am hipster aesthetic trash

For those of you who are unaware, Qandeel Baloch is a Pakistani woman who was very big on social media and was often critiqued for posting “racy” or “inappropriate” content that was disapproved of by the South Asian (but mainly Pakistani) community. She was murdered by her brother because he thought she was bringing dishonour to her family, although people believe there might be another side to the story since photos of her were released with a mufti (Islamic scholar). There are actually people justifying this “honour killing” because they believe murdering somebody is justified as long as it’s to restore honour to the family. This absolutely appalling and despicable mentality runs rampant in South Asian communities and it needs to be addressed. Women’s lives are not yours to take, control or assign worth to. Unsurprisingly there are Pakistani men who support this murder because they too view women as property and objects they own and can choose to dispose of when they feel like it. To these men, and all men- women are not your possessions. You do not have the right to us, to our lives. It is a sad day when this needs to be said but the fact is, South Asian communities hold this disgusting mentality that it is justified to fucking kill someone if you think they are behaving inappropriately. Our lives BELONG TO US. I am so tired and sick of these communities that are brainwashed and fed the same sick attitudes and beliefs. I am really fucking tired of people using religion and the idea of retribution from God to control and police women’s behaviour. It is absolutely a Muslim problem and it is absolutely a Hindu problem, and above all- it is a South Asian problem. Policing and controlling women’s behaviour to what men believe is appropriate is a very large problem in our communities and we need to acknowledge that the way these men do it is using religious beliefs that come with Islam and Hinduism.

People act like Western fashion is the pinnacle of the fashion world and I’m just like???? Have you seen the luxury in South Asian fashion??? The elegance of a silk sari, the power of a big red bindi and a turban, the sleek, trim lines of a sherwani is unparalleled in the fashion world. The West knows nothing of the luxury that the people of South Asia have been creating for thousands of years

My grandmother went from being an Indian to a Pakistani to a Bangladeshi all within one lifetime, without ever moving from her home.
—  Dr. Moneeka Zaman, a Bengali physician who spoke to the first year medical students at my school. She discussed the way social constructs such as ethnicity, nationality, and culture can dynamically shift; thus creating new spaces and boundaries that alters our understanding of these concepts

Here’s a masterpost of resources to aid in learning South Asian languages! This is by NO means comprehensive. A very limited number of languages are represented here. This search was really frustrating because the more I looked, the more I realized how many dozens of South Asian languages are simply not represented or their existence acknowledged. If you have any resources/languages you’d like to me to add, please let me know! 


Balochi Basics
UChicago Resource List

Everyday Language Learner
King’s College Resources
Bengali Masterlist

Common Phrases (1)
Common Phrases (2)

Cornell Burmese Resources
University of London Resources

Grammar (1)
Grammar (2) 


King’s College Resources

General Overview
Primary Grade Resources





WUSTL Hindi-Urdu Resources
Hindi-Urdu Flagship Resources
Columbia Hindi-Urdu Resources


Swarthmore Resources

Virtual Persian
Resource Masterlist (1)
Resource Masterlist (2)



King’s College Resources
Language Reef
Gujarati Learner
Gujarati Masterlist

Video Series


UofIowa Resources
Language Reef


Khams Tibetan
Language Materials

Kharia-English Dictionary 

Learning Basic Khasi

Kurukh Grammar

Learn Kokborok

Language Reef
Literature Resources
Common Phrases 

Grammar (1)
Grammar (2)
Basic Phrases

Maithili Sentence Structure
Background and Linguistics

UofIowa Resources
Common School Phrases

Common Phrases 
Language Reef



Nepali: Beginner’s Primer
UofIowa Resources
Nepali Masterlist (1)
Nepali Masterlist + MP3 Lessons (2)


Resource Masterlist 

King’s College Resources

King’s College Resources

Grammar Overview
Grammar and Vocab

Sindhi Masterlist

Sinhala Basic Course 
AISLS Sinhala Studies
Sinhala/Tamil Dictionary

Swarthmore Talking Dictionary

Writing Tamang

Tamil Reader/Grammar
AISLS Tamil Resources

Learning Telugu
UofIowa Resources
Columbia Resources

Emory Resources
Tibetan Masterpost (1)
Tibetan Masterpost (2)
English-Tibetan Dictionary


Common Phrases (1)
Common Phrases (2)
Common Phrases (3)
Common Phrases (4)

Mango Languages (Bengali, Dari, Dzongkha, Farsi, Hindi, Malayalam, Pashto, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu)
Livemocha (Farsi, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu) 
Duolingo (Hindi) 

Other Resources
So You Want to Learn a Language? (has resources on a ton of languages!)
Digital South Asia Library
Digital Dictionaries of South Asia (this resource is awesome!)
UChicago Recommended Resources
Omniglot (has some basic info for a lot of languages)
Languages of India Mastersite


The Famous “Pushkar Lady”

Papu is a woman from a tribe in Rajasthan, India. She has become a local celebrity, having been photographed countless times over the past decade. She owns a small business selling jewelry with her husband Chotu and sister Manori. She has also been able to support her family earning money from the photographs taken of her. A website has been dedicated to her, called The Papu Photo Project, which helps women who have been attacked due to insufficient dowry.

All photos taken by Stuart Cohen.

Here is a list of some resources available for South Asians dealing with mental illness - please reblog to share and let me know if you have anything you’d like to add! Many of the sources below have triggering content, so please be careful! Resources that are South Asian specific are marked with an asterisk (*).

Self Care/Mental Health Related Masterposts

Back to School with Mental Illness

Self-Care Masterpost (1)

Self Care Masterpost (2)

Many of these groups have great resources even if they are specific to a certain region.






South Asian Network (SAN)*


Heart Mind International*

SHARE* (more research focused)

AAPA (more research focused)


Desi LGBTQ Hotline* ( (908) 367-3374

Available Thursdays and Sundays 8-10 PM EST

Tumblr Blogs


Related Articles/Links

The Silence About Mental Health in South Asian Culture is Dangerous (several triggers)

Tackling the Stigma of Mental Health in the South Asian Community (several triggers) 

South Asian Mental Health Myths

Why Don’t South Asians Talk About Mental Health?

Open Letter: We Need to Talk About How Mental Health Affects South Asian Men (several triggers)

National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (comprehensive list of U.S. based organizations)

Please let me know if there’s something you’d like added as this is by no means comprehensive!

Things brown/south asian tumblr will probably never address:

Antiblackness that actually involves the input of black south
asians & black people in general

Ignoring the fact that South Asia is comprised of 8
countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Maldives,
and Sri Lanka.

Lack or complete ignorance of north east indian culture and

Cultural hegemony India tends to have over representing South Asia

Discussion of caste which doesn’t reduce it down to an old practice that doesn’t actively shape an individual’s life in a variety of ways that are not exclusive to socioeconomic struggles.

How the discussion of the South Asian diaspora focuses
mainly on those living in the West.


Steve McCurry making a name for himself off of the
exploitation and exotification of South Asian faces and bodies (see: Sharbat Gula: known globally merely as “The Afghan Girl”

Ignorance of the issues Adivasi peoples face across South

Exploitation of the bodies of South Asian women for
surrogacy by Westerners.

Savarna appropriation of Avarna arts redeeming it anew with
culture now that it’s been mutilated by forward castes. (ie: Appropriation of Sadir into modern day Bharatnatyam)

The creation of good and bad brown/south asian dichotomy in the West Post 9/11 (ie: Indian peoples are characterized/seen as intelligent spiritual peaceful people while Pakistani and Afghani peoples are characterized/seen as violent terrorists or oppressed women who are labeled under islamophobic terms such as “radical muslim”

The lack of discussion about the South Asian diaspora in the
Caribbean and South America.

Discrimination against Black African students living in
South Asia.

Portrayal of Hinduism & Buddhism as peaceful religions while Islam is portrayed as violent and backwards.

Complete ignorance or writing off of Southern & Northeast Indian cultures by North Indians and Northern South Asians alike as not being authentically Indian or only discussing it when talking about the different regions of India.


How Bollywood has stolen, appropriated, and made racist
caricatures of Indians and Non-Indians who are not Savarna North Indians. (See: Chennai Express, blackface meant to represent native Hawaiian peoples seen in the Hawa Hawai song in Mr. India, Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen, etc)

Misogyny and sexual violence against Dalit women.

Erasure of brown skin in South Asian media, replacing brown skinned South Asian women with extremely light skinned South Asian or white women calling them the ideal faces of South Asian womanhood and beauty.

Feel free to add to this

Reclaim the Bindi Week is back and I hope everyone is ready to post until social media is flooded with South Asian pride! If you are new to #reclaimthebindi, this is a campaign that fights cultural appropriation by promoting those who identify with the bindi reclaiming their cultures across social media platforms! 

This week is going to be focused on combatting colorism/shadism in South Asian communities in collaboration with #unfairandlovely. For my darker-skinned South Asians, please feel free to use this week to share your stories and experiences! 

What is our goal?

To reclaim our culture from appropriators by flooding social media with selfies, pictures, anecdotes, stories, art, ANYTHING reclaiming your culture and/or combatting shadism. You don’t have to wear anything related to your cultural identity to participate - anything works!

When is this happening?

March 8th - 14th! 

What should you do?


  • Reblog this post to spread the word! 

From March 8th-14th:

  • Post selfies with you wearing a bindi, art, stories, photography, poetry, ANYTHING reclaiming your culture with the tag #reclaimthebindi and #bindi so that we all can see them (please make sure you tag your posts with at least #reclaimthebindi otherwise they won’t show up in the tag)!
  • If you identify as being darker-skinned, I want you to do the same but please use the hashtag #unfairandlovely, as well! Again, you don’t have to wear anything related to your cultural identity to participate! 
  • Follow the reclaimthebindi blog
  • You can post on INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER NOW! Use the same hashtags and follow the movement @reclaimthebindi!
  • Submit your selfies and other posts to the reclaimthebindi blog so even more people can see them!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask