Priyanka Kalra found Humanity in Action as she was searching for opportunities that called for action in the face of the injustices she witnessed throughout her life.
“No matter what you are doing or where you are in your life, you can always make an impact and bring in positive change.”
“When you come from a developing country, one thing that you recognize very early is your privilege. Everything that you have or you own is something that the person right next to you might not have. I realized this early on when a girl my age, instead of going to school, cleaned the house next door. Since then I have been trying to fill that gap with small or big actions.” During her first year in postgraduate Journalism work, Priyanka discovered Humanity in Action and felt compelled to apply.
Consciousness-raising is a defining strategy of her activism. As a Senior Fellow, Priyanka created a campaigned entitled “No Straws Attached” for her Action Project.
She aimed to reduce the number of disposable straws used by businesses, through social media engagement and organized participation of local businesses in India and Australia. However, she was faced with initial resistance in her campaign to reduce waste. Priyanka notes,
“Getting people to care about something not impacting them visibly in the present while [also] compromising on their immediate comforts turned out to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.”
She realized she needed to adapt to her audience better to gain traction. Thus, she designed a new approach: offer businesses who agree to go strawless advertising on the campaign’s social media platforms. Through this, Priyanka was able to convince these organizations the potential for exposure and positive press they could receive from the change.
With her degrees in law, journalism, and media and communication, Priyanka is devoted to writing and fighting for awareness of the issues she believes in. She finds activism crucial to these endeavors and hopes to impart this knowledge to the future generations of Humanity in Action fellows. Priyanka continues to work with Humanity in Action and is currently working to support Senior Fellows in developing their project management skills through resources, workshops, and mentorship.
“I strongly believe that the moment we become aware of the struggle or pain of people/animals far away from us, we will start to treat them and their existence as importantly as we do ours and our families.”
As a Project Manager with Elsevier, Priyanka works to inspire and assist young people in fighting for change and challenging their privileges to shape a more just world.