Meet Deepa Ranganathan: A Q&A with our New Editorial Manager
Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?
Thousand Currents is an organization I have admired for years now. I am particularly impressed by the unique wealth of wisdom it holds since its presence in the philanthropic landscape for 30+ years. I deeply align with Thousand Currents’ commitment to trust based philanthropy and their leadership in centering solidarity and trust in the way it moves resources. In the trying and confusing times that we are all experiencing right now, it is people who are at the grassroots and working hard against patriarchal, capitalist and white supremacist forces who instill hope in me. They are setting new examples of independent living and sustenance and reminding us of the human value of endurance and resilience. What a privilege it is to be witnessing that through Thousand Currents.
What will be your new role at Thousand Currents?
I am the new Editorial Manager at Thousand Currents. A part of the larger communications team, I will be supporting the organization in telling stories of human and planetary survival and abundance and the critical role of Indigenous leaders, women and young people in it. I will be in-charge of knowledge production and play a key role in synthesizing and researching information about the key areas of work that Thousand Currents supports–food, climate and economy–to the larger audience within and beyond philanthropy. We are in dire need for bold leaders and bolder examples to counter unfair practices that have been normalized for centuries. I see Thousand Currents as a key player in changing this narrative and questioning the status quo and I am very proud and grateful to be supporting that in my role.
What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?
I have dedicated my career to uplifting stories that center the perspectives and lives of some of the most invisibilized and unacknowledged communities of the world. I am passionate about centering joy in everything I do and infuse a self-reflective practice in my work ethic. I think it is very important to pause and ponder and it can be a radical way to counter the hustle culture that has, unfortunately, engulfed us all. I have been a storyteller for a decade now and recently reflected on all that I learned during this time. I have donned the hat of a communications manager, a fundraising associate, a content director, a sub-editor and a freelance writer. In each of these roles, I have strived to find a way to center the narratives of communities doing incredibly difficult and, sometimes, daunting work with rigor and hope. I hope to continue to be an amplifier through my new role at Thousand Currents.
What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?
My deepest hope is for the communities to believe in their own leadership and wisdom. There is so much to learn from each other and if our ancestors have taught us anything, it is that mutual learning and respect is fundamental to human civilization and progression. As a brown, cis woman belonging to the oppressor caste, I am acutely aware of my own points of privileges and points of marginalization and how they change in varying degrees and contexts. It has taught me to really listen deeply and intently. We need to listen to the communities that are systematically excluded or targeted for simply existing. Oppression acts in an intersectional way and the more we listen, the more we understand those intersections. There is no one solution to all, but we all gain something when we recognize who is at the center of a story and who is at the periphery.
What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?
I read children’s books! Kid literature is a magical world which I have only discovered recently and I get very excited every time a new children’s book is out that is telling a story in a unique or different way. I believe stories will liberate us all and my kid and I dig ourselves deep into it, whenever we can. I also like spending time with my cats and my partner and I are big fans of lying down or visiting the park together. The trees teach us something new every day.