By Marlon Tanner, Program Associate at Global Ties Arizona

For 18 years Karuppusamy Raman has been leading a human right’s revolution in Tamil
Nadu through his own Rights Education and Development Centre. (READ). READ
works to protect the civil liberties of those living in the most marginalized Indian
communities, including Dalits, children, women, and laborers in the textile and brick
industries. Mr. Raman has led several campaigns to lobby, monitor, and advocate
against sweat shops and inhumane conditions for workers. READ aims to empower and
educate individuals and government authorities about human rights and civil liberties to
ensure equal rights to life, justice and dignity.
So why would Mr. Raman travel over 9,000 miles to visit Phoenix, Arizona?

His journey starts in Washington, DC. Mr. Raman was chosen by Diplomatic officials to
India to participate in the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program,
a three-week tour of the United States that showcase key resources related to topics of
mutual interest. Mr. Raman joined an IVLP group studying ‘Access to Justice in Rural

As part of this cultural exchange in America, Global Ties Arizona worked with local
resources to connect Mr. Raman and his colleagues to Arizona’s Native American
community. From the Phoenix Indian Center and ASU’s Office of American Indian
Initiatives to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and the
Huhugam Ki Museum, Mr. Raman was introduced to like-minded professionals who
work diligently to provide adequate resources to the state’s native people.

At Global Ties Arizona, we focus on EXCHANGES, not just meetings. Mr. Raman
participated in conversations about mutual global issues and how the world can work
together to eradicate childhood illiteracy, poverty, and sickness. India may be 9,000
miles away, but Dalits encounter the same day-to-day problems in marginalized
communities as Native Americans face in our own backyard. This IVLP Program and
dozens of others like it hosted yearly by Global Ties Arizona serve our mission of
building and strengthening relationships between our members, businesses and nations
through international exchange and educational programs.

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