We are thrilled to spotlight ICAAD volunteer, Prerana Bhatnagar. An investment banking lawyer turned educator from India, based in Toronto, Canada. Prerana is passionate about creating engaging learning experiences for learners across diverse age groups, cultures, and demographics.
Currently working as an adult literacy curriculum specialist, she holds bachelor’s degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Mumbai and a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development with a specialization in Comparative, International, and Development Education. In her 5+ years of experience designing and delivering education-focused programs, she began her journey as a Teach for India fellow and has worked with several marginalized children and youth in India and Canada.
Her teacher practice and research work focus on humanitarian education using non-formal learning approaches, arts- and play-based pedagogies, social emotional learning, and peace-building education within the classroom and the community. She loves everything to do with dance, travel, new experiences, and food. She is currently exploring ways to use her background to engage in education projects for refugees and internally displaced populations.
What do you do at ICAAD?
Since June 2021, I have been a volunteer with ICAAD to develop interactive activities and curriculum for an open access online human rights advocacy course. The course is aimed at helping young people unpack and navigate human rights work while focusing on their role as changemakers.
What motivates your advocacy efforts?
What motivates my advocacy efforts is the discomfort I feel with the inequity by design we see around us. My advocacy efforts germinated during the two-year fellowship journey at Teach for India, Mumbai where I taught and learned with 76 amazing underserved students and their families from low-income communities. As my work was linked to a broader vision of helping to eradicate educational inequity, my students helped me to understand my privilege and inspired me to take responsibility in advocating for quality learning experiences that helped them explore their full potential.
What is an important lesson that you’d like to share with other human rights advocates?
The most important lesson I’ve learned through my work at ICAAD, other non-profits, and during my master’s program is that human rights advocacy and agency begins at the individual level. We don’t need grand gestures to create change.
You can connect with Prerana on LinkedIn.
You can check out Prerana’s group publication here.