Manju Rajendran

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Manju Rajendran

Manju Rajendran is a 26 year-old (in 2007) organizer from Durham, North Carolina. She has helped with vision, design, development and outreach for the Heirs Project. Manju and her family immigrated to the United States from India when she was a child. As a biology student at UNC-Chapel Hill, Manju was awarded the Davis-Putter Scholarship for young activists. She has shown leadership in many organizations, including School in the Community, Youth Voice Radio, NC Lambda Youth Network, Hip-Hop Against Racist War, Southerners On New Ground, and the House of Mango, a living collective of young activists in Durham. Manju was a member of Breaking the Chains, an anti-imperialist coalition, and she has worked with the North Carolina Peace and Justice Coalition. She is on the national advisory board of Not Your Soldier.

Manju Rajendran is the newest member of AORTA as of October 1, 2015. Manju also works for Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe, her family's food justice restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She presently serves on the national committee of the War Resisters League and as a board member of the ACLU of North Carolina.
Manju brings 22 years of local, state, regional, and national-level experience in liberation education, strategy, fundraising, community organizing, and communications. Her work is grounded in popular education pedagogy. Manju has shared her skills in projects including grassroots organizing efforts, cooperatives, transformative justice experiments, popular education and oral history spaces, environmental justice organizations, progressive publications, and statewide campaigns. She loves how creative resiliency-building, collective healing work, and nourishing meals integrate with social transformation.
Manju is a queer, working class, South Asian immigrant woman who grew up in North Carolina. Her father organized with the local NAACP chapter and her mother was active in public schools, so she was brought up in meetings and community gatherings. She brings an expansive network of intentionally-sustained relationships with peers and mentors with her, especially from across the Southeastern US, and remains accountable to the communities who raised her. She hopes her AORTA work can support participants in planting seeds for strong and joyful futures.[1]

Durham County staff protest

Manju Rajendran 2019 June 5.

Next opportunity to share your story will be the Durham County public budget hearing: Monday, June 10, 7pm at 200 E. Main St. Durham, on the 2nd floor. WEAR RED.


Some of the key talking points there will be about saying yes to living wages for ALL county workers; community-led safety and wellness solutions; public health; and education--- and divesting from police officers in schools and from the... See More — with Lydie Vanessa, Holly Hardin, Nikki Brown, Alix Arcuni Wicker, Kristen Cox, Steph Hopkins, Aidil Ortiz, Jose Romero, Ade Toyesi Ibijoke, Paul Yusef Newman, Dannette Sharpley-Truong, Leah Tea, Faith Holsaert, AJ Williams, Meghan GM, Aman Aberra, Undreya Hudson, Mariah Monsanto, Catherine JB, Roshan Panjwani, Destiny Hemphill, Roxana Bendezu, Sarah Vukelich, Joie Lou Shakur, Mab Segrest, Courtney Sebring, Gabriel Paul Baldasare, Erin Finn and Lydia Ahlum Hanson.

Budget activists

Manju Rajendran May 20 2019·

Tonight City Manager Tom Bonfield presented his proposed 2019-2020 budget to Durham City Council. We have 9 days to review the details, including his recommendation to hire 18 new police officers this year, before we bring our questions to the Durham City Council budget work sessions on May 29 & 30.


On Sunday, June 2nd, join us from 2-5:30pm at North Star Church of the Arts for Our City, Our Bud... See More — with Danielle Purifoy, Mab Segrest, Sarah Vukelich, Donald Quick, Mars Zigbuo Camara and Mariah Monsanto.

"Abundance squad"

Zaina Alsous March 13, 2016 ·


abundance squad — with Myx Hsueh, Karan Ahluwalia, Jessica Tommy White, Jesse Huddleston, Rahi Hasan, Jess Jude, Holden Cession, Olufemi Jenai Shittu, Destiny Hemphill, El Tee, Heeva Kadivar, Jonathan Hill-Rorie, Ade Oh, Sufia Ikbal-Doucet, Wutang McDougal, Nureena Faruqi, Manju Rajendran and Rose Butch.

Fayetteville peace rally

The Fayetteville rally for peace was held on March 19th 2005.

Speakers included;

MCs were Bridgette Burge, Peace LEAP (NC; and Bryan Proffitt, North Carolina Peace and Justice Coalition.[2]

"The Cost of Privilege"

A Community Discussion on White Privilege, Patriarchy, and Strategies to Get Free

Join local organizers and activists at the historic Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, Saturday, March 31st 2008, for a night of art, performance, discussion, and community. We'll be talking about the barriers that prevent us from making the revolution that we all need, and share strategies with each other for how to tear them down. Here's just a few of the highlights:

Author and long-time community organizer and activist Chip Smith will be on hand to talk about his new book, The Cost of Privilege: Taking On the System of White Supremacy and Racism.

Performance from Dasan Ahanu's new album The Jim Crow Jackson Experiment.

A dynamic discussion including noted activists and organizers like Manju Rajendran, Tema Okun, Kai Barrow, and others.

This event is being sponsored by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/OSCL and the Cost of Privilege Outreach Committee.[3]

Men Against Rape Culture

Bryan Proffitt is a Hip-Hop-generation white man who belongs to Men Against Rape Culture, a Durham, NC-based organization committed to building the struggle to end sexual violence and Ubuntu, a women of color- and survivor-led coalition committed to ending sexual violence.

An essay he wrote on the subject for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization website was shaped and reworked and made infinitely better by the thoughtful support and critical editing of Nancy Wilson, Tema Okun, Aiden Graham, Sam Hummel, Serena Sebring, Bob Pleasants, Michelle Lanier, Kriti Sharma, Precious-Jewel Zabriskie and Manju Rajendran[4].

Left Forum 2010

What Does it Mean to be a Revolutionary in Our Times?:

All Of Us North Carolina


Members of All Of Us North Carolina, from left, Manju Rajendran, Holly Hardin, Patty Adams and Jade Brooks discuss the results of the state-wide vote of support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and barring legal recognition of unmarried couples by state and local governments, Durham, North Carolina, Thursday, May 10, 2012. All of Us North Carolina is a grassroots organizing group created to raise opposition to constitutional amendment vote.

Friends of Kriti Sharma

Kriti Sharma wrote "Interdependence: Biology and Beyond". She credited several people with "shaping my mind and life" through the process, including Afiya Carter, Aiden Graham, AJ Vrieze, Alexis Gumbs, Atiya Hussain, Beth Bruch, Bryan Proffitt, Caitlin Breedlove, Dannette Sharpley, Emily Chavez, Glenys Verhulst, Jenn Vrieze, Jurina Vincent-Lee, Keagha Carscallen, Laurin Penland, Kai Barrow, Lynne Walter, Marjorie Scheer, Michelle O'Brien, Manju Rajendran, Sendolo Diaminah, Mikel Barton, Monica Leonardo, Nia Wilson, Nikki Brown, Noah Blose, Paulina Hernandez, Pavithra Vasudevan, Rachael Derello, Russell Herman, Sam Hummel, Sammy Truong, Serena Sebring, Shirlette Ammons, Tema Okun, Theo Luebke, Tim Stallman, Tony Macias, and Yolanda Carrington.[5]


AORTA coop members in 2015 were:

Dump Trump

DUMP TRUMP, DEFEAT RACISM AND MISOGYNY, BUILD THE LEFT was an open letter to the left from 47 grassroots organizers. October 17, 2016.

A lot of us see something really clearly, but few of us—radical and revolutionary organizers—are willing to say it out loud.
So we’re going to say it. Defeating Trump in the presidential election is a top priority for the left. And at a minimum, that means mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton in swing states even if you vote for another candidate in a safe state. We’ve got to beat Trump and Trumpism while building movements that will fight, resist and disrupt a Clinton administration that will be militaristic and pro-corporate...
As we mentioned at the beginning, defeating Trump is not enough. We need movements strong enough to fight a Clinton administration on several fronts—whether Israel/Palestine, free trade agreements, climate change, a $15 minimum wage, or the prison-industrial complex. And neutralizing the appeal of the far right means we need to both strengthen our movements for racial justice and win over white workers to a progressive class politics as an alternative to Trump’s racist economic nationalism. Finally, we need to build a left that can help anchor a visionary alternative to corporate Democrats. It won’t be easy, but we’ve come this far. Let’s defend what we’ve got in this election, and keep our eye on collective liberation.

Signatories included Manju Rajendran, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance, Ready the Ground Training Team.


Zaina Alsous September 26, 2015.

  1. BlackLivesMatter contingent marching at NC Pride in Durham (before a white Pride official aggressively snatched the mic out of Laila Nur's hand while she was reading a statement, they mad huh) #WeCantBreathe #WhatsGood — with Saba Taj, Jacjac Starr, Serena Sebring, Laurel Ashton, Joie Lou Shakur, Carter Hodge, Myx Hsueh, Saif Wideman, Christina Perkins, Cosima Hernandez, Leah Osae, El Tee, Jess Jude, Manju Rajendran and Roshan Panjwani.


  1. AORTA about
  2. ] Rally Against War - Fayetteville, NC - March 19, 2005]
  3. Sep 10 2008, 08:06 PM Post #13 Apr 28, 2008 Social Justice Organizers
  5. [Interdependence: Biology and Beyond By Kriti Sharma Acknowledgements page]