Debayani Kar is a writer, performer and community activist who believes in the power of stories to create social change.
Amplifying the voices of individuals and communities who otherwise do not get heard in the public debate is what got Debayani into communications and advocacy. For more than 15 years, she has designed communications and advocacy strategies that have moved the needle on economic issues, racial justice, LGBTIQ equity and immigrant rights.
As a communications strategist, Debayani selects client projects that advance racial justice and LGBTIQ equity, centering the voices and interests of vulnerable or marginalized communities. She believes story-driven strategies tailored to the audiences who we need to move will create the change we seek.
Debayani has held previous communications strategy roles at PolicyLink, Fenton, Race Forward and Institute for Policy Studies. In these roles, she furthered communications strategies, branding, messaging, media relations, social media and website development.
Why are you a strategist for good?
“Growing up in Knoxville, TN while spending time visiting relatives in India, I witnessed inequity rooted in race and ethnicity from a very young age. I asked questions about why this inequity existed and as I learned the answers, I chose to dedicate myself to helping transform this inequity. Our work — especially in communications and culture change — will not succeed overnight, but I have to spend my life making the effort.”
What’s your superpower?
“Writing and storytelling. While I’m still sheepish about calling myself a writer with a capital W, I spend the majority of my days working to capture the essence of what our clients are doing in the world so their audiences will be inspired and activated. Writing and sharing stories is critical and helping amplify other people’s stories is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Who is your intellectual crush?
“Audre Lorde is forever an inspiration for why I am a writer and storyteller in the service of transformative change. As she famously said, ‘Your silence will not protect you.’ We must elevate the stories of our communities, the stories most often not told, to build the just world we want to live in.”