“I have been a social justice activist and mental health advocate since day one. Embedded by my family, culture, and religion, every aspect around me has shaped those roles. Psychology is the best discipline because you understand why people do things which is needed when advocating for people.

Growing up, I always knew that I was a person of color. I went to school where all of us were South Asian so I never really felt out of place. But I feel that a lot of people of color have that experience in their life where they didn’t fit in. Especially when it came to TV, there was no South Asian representation, or if there was, it was so stereotypical that it hurt to watch.

I want to be the person that can be the representation that I didn’t have. I never really knew anybody in Psychology that I could look up to. I always wanted to see what other people are doing so that I could know what I should do too. Now, I want to be that person that other people can look up to.

In 2020, I attended various Black Lives Matter protests in Fraser Valley and just recently there have been Farmer’s protests all around the world in regards to the problems in India. From a psychological lens, the BLM protests were inevitable. At some point, there had to be a breaking straw. I went to those protests because I wanted to be there and support this community. There is so much police brutality that occurs, it is affecting all of them— it is intergenerational trauma. When you listen to their speeches and see them speak about it, it really hurts you because you can feel what they are feeling.

If you want to understand or help people in any way, regardless of which field of psychology you enter, you need to be empathetic. With the pandemic and protests, psychology has put myself in their shoes to understand what is happening but I have also done the reverse and asked why has police brutality occurred.

Performative action is still needed because you need to share information so that people can understand what’s going on, but you can’t stop there. You have to take it one step further. You got to continuously educate yourself, join protests, donate, and make changes yourself.”