Diksha (she/they) is a fourth-year at UMD’s School Psychology program. Although her nuclear family is North Indian, she grew up in South India, in an interfaith monastery, and the Middle East. She moved to Philadelphia to study for undergraduate degrees in Business and Creative Writing, and then her MS.Ed. degree in Quantitative Methods and Human Development (counseling concentration) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research breadth includes designing surveys to evaluate community programs; doing qualitative and quantitative work for community-based research projects; and analyzing large datasets such as the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) for policy decisions.
Her current research includes working to disrupt the links between marginalization, mental health, and inter- and intra-group conflict. She also works to disrupt the incidence and impacts of economic and cultural marginalization by disseminating culturally responsive community-based interventions, including trainings and workshops; facilitating dialogues; and trying to build true partnerships. She strives to take a partnership, liberatory, and advocacy approach in her work; and her current grants and projects (hopefully) reflect this.
Finally, Diksha has been practicing meditation techniques, yoga asana, and Eastern philosophies since she was a toddler. She is interested in helping others understand these techniques and use them as interventions where applicable. She is acutely aware of how meditation, mindfulness and yogic principles do not belong to any one people, movement, or religion – but does encourage people to learn more about the bases of many mindfulness practices in the Western world today from native sources, and consider their roots in many pre-colonized communities before disseminating them, to empower; reduce cultural appropriation; and increase understanding.
WEIDP (Words of Engagement Intergroup Dialogue Program) Facilitation