Decolonization and Reclamation

Speaker Schedule

10:00 EST

Workshop: Decolonizing Environmental Justice 

As concerns for the climate crisis worsen, it is more necessary than ever for environmentalists to be efficient, inclusive, and influential. This workshop explores the intersection of environmental issues and Indigenous issues, and discusses decolonization as a necessary tool for increasing the knowledge and productivity of environmentalists.

3:00 EST

Decolonizing LGBTQ+ Identities: The Ilankai/Eelam/Sri Lankan Tamil Experience

Human Rights Symposium and Ninaivu: Memory Archive present "Decolonizing LGBTQ+ Identities: the Ilankai/Eelam/Sri Lankan Tamil Experience". This panel discusses the effects of colonialism on the ways that migrant and racialized LGBTQ+ people experience their identities. The four panelists are LGBTQ+ Ilankai/Eelam/Sri Lankan Tamil people and will be discussing their experiences of Queer expression and understanding their identities within the cross roads of colonial implications. The panel consists of North American Tamil speakers D’Lo, YaliniDream, Sunthar Vykunthan, and Thiviya Navaratnam.

5:00 EST

Encounters: The Great Derangement

In collaboration with UConn Reads and Dodd Impact, the Human Rights Symposium presents an event with Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement.



D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comic. In 2020, he started QORE, a Queer South Asian Comedic Artists Collective, that was created in response to rising ideology of intolerance both in Modi's India and Trump's America. QORE currently hosts space in LA for South Asian Artists for Black Lives


Sunthar Vykunthan

Sunthar Vykunthanathan is a Tamil-Canadian born and raised in Scarborough, Canada. He is a stand-up comedian, poet, and the producer of HOME – an LGBTQ+ friendly, Tamil-centric, feminist comedy show. Through his art Sunthar shares his perspective of love, conflict, identity, sexuality and masculinity.



Thivya Navaratnam

Thiviya is a queer Tamil organizer from Queens, New York. She currently works as the Operations Manager at The Bell. She is a stand up comic and creator of Sanniyans, an inclusive comedy show. To help advocate for the rights of marginalized Tamils in Sri Lanka, Thiviya previously supported PEARL as an US Advocacy Officer.



YaliniDream is a cultural worker with over twenty years experience using artistic tools for healing, organizing, and dignity with communities contending with violence and oppression. Yalini consults with Vision Change Win, performs with Brooklyn Dreamwolf, serves on the National Committee of the War Resisters League, and co-coordinates Maynmai