Area of Expertise:Immigration, youth, education, policing, race
Veena is the Director of Communications at the UCLA Labor Center, and also leads the Labor Center’s storytelling podcast, Re:Work. Dedicated to storytelling for social change, she discovered her passion for communications while working at various nonprofits including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in California and Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM) in New York, where she focused on issues related to homelessness, immigration, policing, and youth. Veena earned her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from UCLA in 2016. Her research focused on working class South Asian immigrants and their children, and examined how race, immigration, education, and surveillance shape one another in post-9/11 America. Veena is a filmmaker and 2012 Visual Communications Armed with a Camera Fellow; her films include advocacy and education films for community organizations as well as documentaries that have been showcased in film festivals, classrooms, and by the Smithsonian.