Hema Raja


As Interviewed by Nishtha T., April 7, 2015
"I was always taught to think of humans as humans."
Hema Raja

Introductory Profile: About Hema Raja

Hema Raja was born on June 17, 1978 in a small town called Rajapalayam to Subrahmanya and Rajeshwari Raja. She grew up in Southern India with her older brother and sister and enjoyed her childhood playing outside. As a young child, Hema spent most of her spare time dancing a classical traditional Indian dance called bharatnatyam. After she moved to the United States, to Colorado, Hema became more independent. She gradually became friends with other girls at her school, all of whom were of different ethnicities. She had to choose between molding herself to be like them, or keeping her personal identity, Hema reflects back on this today and explains, "Other people appreciate it if you are yourself. At the time, I did not realize that. I tried to copy the american accent, but it simply was not me."

Hema has thick, curly black hair, warm chocolate eyes, and a contagious laugh. She is an optimistic, energetic, enthusiastic, and determined woman. She always tries to inspire those around her and leave an impact on the world. Due to her wonderful talents and personality, Hema has become the director of an educational program called Shiksha. She is also an elementary school science teacher and teaches classical and semi classical dance classes to over twenty students every week.

In this interview, Hema Raja describes her experience with racism. She discusses the type of questions she has been asked, how everyone's actions affect her, the solution to racism, and even how her daily life is affected by racism. Her personal stories bring in a twist to racism and provide new perspectives for everyone to think about. Hema and her interviewer enjoy their time together as she reflects back on all of her past memories relating to racism.

Hema Raja discusses being yourself no matter who you are with, because everyone will appreciate you, for who you are. "We can all get along together if we just accept one another. This would make the world a much better place."