Manju Rajendran is a former AORTA worker-owner, who served as a Core Trainer with AORTA from 2015-2020. In her time with AORTA, Manju supported the success and integrity of scores of organizations, including unions, academic institutions, national powerhouses, cooperatives, collectives, and grassroots groups through training, conflict mediation, and coaching. Manju departed worker-ownership in AORTA in January 2020 to launch her own facilitation and training practice for social justice organizations, emphasizing the skills of organizing strategy, healing, and conflict transformation. Below is her bio from her days at AORTA:
Manju Rajendran has been a member of AORTA since October 1, 2015. She brings 25 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 been honored to be a part of grassroots organizing, cooperatives, transformative justice experiments, popular education and oral history spaces, environmental justice organizations, progressive publications, and statewide campaigns.Manju is a trainer with Ready the Ground Training Team and she presently serves as a board member of the ACLU of North Carolina. She helped launch Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, her family’s food justice restaurant. Manju 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.