Pallavi Rudraraju

From a young age, Pallavi has been driven by what her family refers to as a “strong sense of justice” from little things like playing fair on the playground to large scale issues like unequal access to education and healthcare. Throughout her childhood, she struggled with embracing her Indian American identity due to Othering from her classmates and community. Eventually, through Bharatanatyam dance, Pallavi came to be fiercely proud of her South Indian identity. To this day, she finds Classical dance to be a site of and empowerment, cultural education, and social justice, and even based her college research project around the art form.

Throughout her college experience at William & Mary, Pallavi became exposed to issues within the American education system, namely diversity, inclusion, mental health, and, most importantly, unequal access. By the time she finished her sophomore year, she had decided that the best way she could help others was through youth work and community-based activism. She soon after discovered Asian American LEAD, where she served as the DC Elementary School Summer Intern in 2015 and fell in love with the organization and its dedication to low-income APA youth. After another 2 years of college where she learned more about herself and equipped herself with even more tools for organizing and activism, she found her way back to AALEAD.

Pallavi is proud of her many intersecting identities, and glad to be able to bring her passions for art and activism to AALEAD. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, singing perhaps a bit too loudly, and persistently demanding that family members send her videos of her Malamute mix, Mia.

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