Dalit Solidarity Forum USA

Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA, Inc. (DSF) was founded in 1999 to provide visibility to and to engage in activism to condemn discriminations and violence faced by Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”). Due to the caste system, an ancient system of human classification still practiced in India, and today, globally as well, Dalits are rejected and socially excluded as “outcasts” by the rest of the Indian population. They are everyday victims of structurally embedded discrimination in all social sectors; forced to live in extreme poverty; subject to constant dehumanization, and unspeakable violence. DSF strongly believes that caste-based discrimination anywhere is a human rights violation and strives to continue to raise awareness and to be proactively involved along with Dalit communities to claim human dignity as our right.


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Our Mission

To provide international visibility to the violation of human rights against Dalit communities in India and globally.​

To network with Dalit and all leaders committed to human rights to bring about policy changes that secure equal rights for Dalits.

To claim recognition of the intellectual traditions, cultural richness and historical significance of Dalit communities.​

To promote activism, education, policy changes, and movement towards self-sufficiency among Dalit communities.​

Our team

Roja Suganthy-Singh Chair

Dr. Roja Suganthy-Singh (she/her/they) is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY. Her activism and research focus on the intersections of race, class, caste, gender, and sexuality in a post-colonial and transnational feminist lens. Providing a global outlook, Roja provides dialogues on a wide range of subjects including cross cultural interactions, world cultures, indigenous cultural studies, and global gender studies. She continues to be deeply involved in Human Rights advocacy in India, especially in education of girls and youth from Dalit communities in Tamil Nadu. Her writings have appeared as book chapters and she recent published book, Spotted Goddesses: Dalit Women’s agency-narratives on caste and gender violence has been recognized in academic, and activism circles. She is one of the co-founders of Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA. She is member of the Executive committee of India Civil Watch International and the Board of ARSEO (Advancement of Refugee Students Educational Opportunities). Roja serves on the editorial board of J caste, an online peer reviewed global journal on social exclusion. Her favorite activities include gardening, painting, cooking, and nature walks. Roja lives in Rochester NY with her dog Rey Skywalker and is the proud mother of Nivedhan (pronoun “he”) and Eklan (pronoun “he”). She is a series editor for Bloomsbury Press on caste and intersectionality studies.
Lorraine Knox Board Member

Lorraine was born in a small town called Witbank, South Africa, and came to the United States in 1999. Lorraine has been married to Gregory for 30 years and together they have two children, Kayla and Calvin, all who are the love of her life. Lorraine is a qualified high school Physical Education teacher and also taught Communications at one of the universities in South Africa, while at the same time teaching at a Christian Primary School where she was Head of Department and Senior Primary Supervisor. Not being able to teach in the United States, Lorraine took to volunteering and focusing her time on community and school activities to stay connected and influential in children’s lives. Lorraine was the Akela for the Boys Scouts troop for five years while serving on the PTO committees at three schools. Lorraine has wofrked in various healthcare sectors. scertors. Lorraine has been involved with DSF since 2005 as a friend, advisor and advocate. She believes in fighting for what is right in life and for anything that is. based on Human rights principles. Lorraine lives her life by 5 mottos…. Authenticity, loyalty, integrity, honest and the belief that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met’
Ivan Nedds Board Member

Ivan Nedds is the founder of Lisbeth Linley foundation. He continues to work in the financial sector in the state of New York with over five decades of experience in the field.
David Omdahl Board Member

David has a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and has worked as a Neighborhood Planner in Boston. He has worked for an educational software company in Silicon Valley and has tutored children at an elementary school in how to use computers. Raised by a widow, David has a strong interest in the well-being of women and their children.
Rev Dr Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar Board Member

Rev Dr Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar is a Theologian and a Lutheran Pastor, serving two congregations in Corydon, Indiana, for the last five years. Dr Evangeline is an academician who served as Professor of Theology and Women’s Studies at the United Theological College, Bangalore for sixteen years, at which time, she also served as the Dean of Doctoral Studies. As a renowned Dalit Feminist Scholar, Evangeline’s writings include several articles on Body Theology. Dr Evangeline also taught at two seminaries in the USA - Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC., Trinity Lutheran Seminary, since her time in the USA (Since 2014). Dr Evangeline serves on the Board of the Lutheran Ecumenical, Interfaith Relations Network, a national body of the ELCA as the sole representative of the synod. She is also the Reference Theologian from the ELCA named to serve on the planning team for the next General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in 2023. Dr Evangeline continues to serve on the Board of Studies for PhD in Christian Studies in a reputed Christian University (SHUATS, Allahabad,) in India. Rev Dr Evangeline is a member of the Racial Justice Team of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod since its inception two years ago and focuses much on Gender Justice and Racial Justice issues, in Church and Society.
Dadasaheb Tandale Board Member

Dadasaheb Tandale (he/him) is an Ambedkarite Feminist scholar and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA. Prior to his Ph.D. Dadasaheb has been contributing to the anti-caste work for more than a decade in India. His area of interest is socio-economic and political inclusion of marginalized communities for equitable society; his research particularly focuses on intersections of global maternal health inequity, caste, gender, health rights, land rights, and climate justice for Dalits in India and marginalized populations globally. His professional competency includes research, advocacy, communications, project management, and partnership with government, non-government agencies, and communities. Dadasaheb is the recipient of a fellowship from SAADA (South Asian American Digita Archive) organization in the USA for writing an oral history project of the Ambedkarite community and their anti-caste movement in the U.S. He is Board of Member of Dalit Solidarity Forum which is one of the oldest organization in the USA working for Dalit Rights globally.
Sunita Viswanath Board Member

Sunita has worked for over 25 years in women’s rights and human rights organizations. Sunita co-founded Hindus for Human Rights in June 2019. In 2001, Sunita co-founded the international women’s human rights organization, Women for Afghan Women (WAW), and served as Board Chair of WAW until January 2022. Sunita has edited "Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future” (Palgrave McMillan, 2003), a book of essays. For her work with WAW, Sunita was awarded the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Award in 2011. Sunita co-founded Sadhana in 2011 in order to mobilize Hindu Americans to connect their faith to social justice and human rights, and serves on Sadhana’s Executive Board. She was honored by President Obama at the White House in 2015 as a “Champion of Change” for her work with Sadhana. In 2021, Sunita was recognized by Center for American Progress as one of 21 “faith leaders to watch.” Previously, Sunita worked with The Sister Fund and the Funders Concerned About AIDS. Sunita is an advisory board member of Population Media Center, which uses entertainment-education and mass media to promote social and cultural change. Sunita is one of five Hindus appointed to NYC Mayor-Elect Eric Adams’ Faith Transition Team; and the only Hindu in the December 2021 Marquis Who’s Who list of faith-based influencers. Sunita lives in Brooklyn, NY and Taos, NM with her husband Stephan Shaw, their sons Satya, Akash and Gautama, and her parents.