Priten H. Shah

Student at Harvard College | Founder/CEO at United 4 Social Change

I am currently in my junior year at Harvard College, after taking two years off to pursue personal projects and to gain experience in education. I am pursuing a concentration in South Asian Studies and Philosophy. (Details About My College Education)

I have extensive experience in education, from working as a teaching assistant in a high school, private tutor in South Korea, debate coach at various schools, and from teaching at and directing various summer programs. (More About My Teaching Experience)

I currently run Suddha.Marketing LLC, a small business marketing and web development firm, using the skills I acquired from running my nonprofits. I dabbled in the education industry for a while through Pain, Passion, and Pursuit Inc., a start-up consulting company that ran projects in college admissions.

My pet project is United 4 Social Change Inc. (U4SC), a platform for a global community that works to spur Social Change by training young activists. During my gap year before college, I continued to run my non-profit organization from high school, the Teach to Learn Foundation, which aimed to increase educational opportunities for the underprivileged, at the end focusing mainly on debate, before I moved on to focus on U4SC.

I am working on some other projects as well, and love to chat about justice, education, non-profit organizations, Hinduism, technology and more!

Favorite Quotes

  • And may the appalling hate of others fuel you to step more deeply into your work as a warrior of love, justice, and freedom in the fight against oppression and bigotry. ~ Cleo Wade
  • We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe. ~ Elie Wiesel
  • The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. ~ Martin Luther King Junior (Paraphrasing Theodore Parker)

Favorite Articles

Dear White America

In 2015, I conducted a series of 19 interviews with philosophers and public intellectuals on the issue of race. My aim was to engage, in this very public space, with the often unnamed elephant in the room. These discussions helped me, and I hope many of our readers, to better understand how race continues to function in painful ways within our country.

You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you (classroom-friendly version) – The Oatmeal

This is a classroom-friendly (no cuss words) comic about the backfire effect.

Mental Illness and the Journey of the Soul

Carravaggio- The Conversion of St. Paul It is my belief that we are all, throughout our lives, on a journey of the soul. God is leading each of us through life and is with us as our souls grow and change.

Opinion | What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech

The philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, best known for his prescient analysis in “The Postmodern Condition” of how public discourse discards the categories of true/false and just/unjust in favor of valuing the mere fact that something is being communicated, examined the tension between experience and argument in a different way.

Opinion | The Pope on Panhandling: Give Without Worry

If it’s case by case, that means you have your own on-the-spot, individualized benefits program, with a bit of means-testing, mental health and character assessment, and criminal-background check – to the extent that any of this is possible from a second or two of looking someone up and down.

An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

To the person that isn’t graduating on time, It sucks, and I won’t lie to you and tell you it doesn’t. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren’t going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself.

Maybe Now Isn’t the Time, Guys

If you’re tempted to point out that you’re one of the good ones right now … please don’t. If you are upset that people of color are upset that their lives and beliefs are under assault by a resurgent, resilient, citronella-candle-filled white supremacist movement, empowered by a White House that can’t call a racist a racist because #NotAllWhitePeople …