Asylum / Radical Hope Salon: June 8

Asylum / Radical Hope Salon with Shefali Desai

In the next installment of Kore’s new salon series,gender asylum lawyer and writer Shefali Desai will explore her personal-as-political journey, the lived reality of gender-based asylum claims in the United States, why constitutional cities are crucial to democracy, and the idea of radical hope not only as a survival strategy but as a path towards healing in world of despair.

Friday, June 8, 5:30-7pm

It’s a potluck! Bring food or drink to share, or, $5 at the door for the speaker; no one turned away for lack of funds.

Kore Press, Dunbar Pavilion, 325 W 2nd St, Tucson, 85705
Room 201, second floor, at the top of the stairs
Parking on 2nd St is free; enter through the double doors on the 2nd St side of the Dunbar.

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Our personal journeys are at the heart of what it means to be political. Gender asylum lawyer and writer, Shefali Desai, says:

“It took me decades to wrap my head around this feminist concept even though I lived it from a very early age. Growing up as a daughter of immigrants in the American Southwest I clung to notions of justice, which I did not understand but breathed in the American air. I only learned to inhabit them after birthing a dying baby, falling into an abyss, and emerging years later from a wormhole of fear.”

Shefali Desai is a child of the Sonoran Desert, daughter of Indian immigrants, mother of sons, and lover of the earth. She has been a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Arizona Supreme Court law clerk, and Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshop fellow. She created the University of Arizona’s joint-degree between the College of Law and the Women’s Studies Master’s program, and was its first graduate. Over the course of her legal career, she has practiced in the areas of litigation and employment, represented Arizona public school districts, and fought for the rights of English-language learner students in the U.S. Supreme Court case Flores v. Arizona. Her book-length manuscript was selected by Lidia Yuknavitch as a finalist in the 2016 Kore Press Memoir Competition, and her writing has been published widely including in Ms. Magazine, the UCLA Women’s Law Journal, and This Bridge We Call Home, the sequel to This Bridge Called My Back. Shefali currently is finalizing her hybrid memoir, litigating a gender-based asylum case, co-authoring a legal paper on federal and state regulatory power over so-called sanctuary cities, and speaking to audiences about blending writing with law to privilege the personal as the political. Shefali volunteers as a hiking guide for elementary schoolchildren, has served on numerous non-profit boards, and revels in reading, cooking and wandering in mountains. She lives with her partner and children in the painted hills of Tucson. You can find her at or follow her @shefalimdesai.