Deepa Iyer is an activist, writer, and lawyer with a strong commitment to intersectional, community-based, racial justice issues in the United States. Deepa is currently the Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion where she provides analysis, commentary and scholarship on how to build equity and solidarity in America’s changing racial landscape. Deepa’s first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, was published by The New Press in November 2015.
Deepa's work on immigrant and civil rights issues began at the Asian American Justice Center in the late 1990s. She also served as Trial Attorney at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she co-shaped initiatives to address post 9/11 backlash. Most recently, Deepa served as the Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). While at SAALT for nearly a decade, Deepa shaped the formation of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), a network of local South Asian groups, and served as Chair of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA).
Deepa’s opinion editorials on issues ranging from the post 9/11 backlash to immigration reform to anti-Black racism have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera America, and The Nation. Deepa has also taught classes on Asian American movements and South Asian American communities at Columbia University, Hunter College, and the University of Maryland where she served as Activist-in-Residence in the Asian American Studies Program in 2014.
An immigrant who moved to Kentucky when she was twelve, Deepa graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University. Deepa is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Race Forward. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. You can find her blogging at www.deepaiyer.com and tweeting at @dviyer.