Name: Urvashi “Urvi” Nagrani
Hometown: Los Altos, CA
Occupation: Film & Media Student , University of California, Santa Barbara
Why I Found Her at Creating Change:
Urvi is the quintessential student activist. At UCSB, she serves as the External Coordinator for the university’s Associated Student Queer Commission. As a funded officer, it’s her job to connect UCSB to state and national campaigns for LGBT equality and bring activism knowledge and opportunities to campus. She also serves as the Political Chair of the Queer Student Union. She told me that students want to see “more than bickering between organizations”—that they are working toward real social change and safety for all. Click here to read more about the Queer Bomb campaign.
Groups like those Urvi works with can be found on university campuses across the country. Students are working to educate themselves, their fellow students, and their families and communities about LGBT issues and working to engage them. At present, these college student groups are mostly disassociated. Some regional conferences (like the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) as well as the UC LGBTI Association) allow groups to connect regularly, but the student groups themselves still work mostly independently. Though this network of activists remains largely untapped on the national scale, these student groups are responsible for some of the most important education and activism in the queer equality movement.
After being a strong ally of the queer community for seven years, Urvi had her own coming out experience. She had long seen that there was a safety net that was not extended to friends or parents, and she knows her friends could be attacked just for being who they are. She continues doing the work she does because it is essential for the community’s protection to be safe from harm. “Safety for all includes LGBT.”
What She’d Change in America:
Urvi would like to make sustainability part of everyone’s vision for change. To honor a true vision within morality and ethics, she told me, we would need to live in cleaner, safe communities where everyone could be happy. This requires a mental paradigm shift to lasting support.