Manju Rajendran is a member of AORTA as of October 1, 2015. Manju also works for Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, her family’s food justice restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She presently serves on the national committee of the War Resisters League and as a board member of the ACLU of North Carolina.
Manju brings 22 years of local, state, regional, and national-level experience in liberation education, strategy, fundraising, community organizing, and communications. Her work is grounded in popular education pedagogy. Manju has shared her skills in projects including grassroots organizing efforts, cooperatives, transformative justice experiments, popular education and oral history spaces, environmental justice organizations, progressive publications, and statewide campaigns. She loves how creative resiliency-building, collective healing work, and nourishing meals integrate with social transformation.
Manju is a queer, working class, South Asian immigrant woman who grew up in North Carolina. Her father organized with the local NAACP chapter and her mother was active in public schools, so she was brought up in meetings and community gatherings. She brings an expansive network of intentionally-sustained relationships with peers and mentors with her, especially from across the Southeastern US, and remains accountable to the communities who raised her. She hopes her AORTA work can support participants in planting seeds for strong and joyful futures.