Jayanta Patra

2011 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: Dharanidhar College | Place of Origin: India

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My MCN Story:

"While I was a student at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, I was exposed to many national and international issues that should be addressed and discussed on a bigger platform. Along the way, I found MCN and got connected with them. I attended seminars and workshops organized by MCN and subsequently participated and exchanged my own ideas and concerns. It was a great and very interesting platform for youth to speak out. My time with MCN helped me a lot in terms of connecting me with researchers, experts, professionals, students, and professors to discuss international issues and think up solutions. Now I am using my network and expertise gained from MCN to fulfill my daily professional work."

Student Leadership:

"As a student leader, I've learned two very important lessons about leadership. They are:

  1. Control your anger and frustration when in any sort of conflict- remaining calm and collected is the best way to resolve conflict
  2. Dialogue and discussions are the best tools to attract people with opposing viewpoints."

First Experience with Social Impact Work:

"I was a football player in my village in India when I was younger. One time after a game, a person from a higher caste said “we shouldn’t play anymore matches where Dalit (a member of the lowest caste in India) are playing as we are touching them during the game." He said this because there is still a lot of pre-existing caste discrimination happening in present day India. Outraged that this discrimination still exists, I used these games as a platform to talk about the caste system; and over time, we began to have more dialogues and discussions on these difficult topics. The conversations we had were eye-opening and brought to light perspectives that hadn't been brought up before. I learned then that communication is very important and is the first step in creating social change."

Today:

"Currently, I am working with Oxfam India as a Project Officer. Oxfam India is a non-profit organization working for the marginalized and deprived communities. As a social justice leader, I had an interest to work for the marginalized communities for their all-round development. Now I am taking care of Community Led Organizations for their capacity, networking, and advocacy skill building."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.