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Mallika Dutt: 2008-9 Visiting Social Activist
Breakthrough uses education and popular culture to promote values of dignity, equality, and justice. It addresses women's rights, sexual and reproductive rights, immigrant rights, racial, ethnic and caste equality and religion and peace. Breakthrough's video game – ICED – puts players in the shoes of an immigrant to illustrate how unfair immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights. The organization's album Mann Ke Manjeere: An Album of Women's Dreams topped India's music charts for five months, and a music video from the album won India's Screen Awards. Breakthrough's latest campaign "Bell Bajao" (Ring the Bell), urges men to take a stand against domestic violence.
Prior to creating Breakthrough, Ms. Dutt directed the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and later worked for the Ford Foundation as a Program Officer for Human Rights. She has served on such boards as Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Project, Sister Fund, and WITNESS.
For her TFVSA project, Ms. Dutt wrote a paper about Breakthrough’s theory of social change and the ways in which it builds a culture of human rights. This paper has been circulated to a wide variety of rights organizations in order to inform and inspire their efforts. It has been useful to Breakthrough’s staff and board as they created their strategic plan for organizational growth over the next 5- 10 years.