Our Team


Deepa Iyer

Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives

Over the course of two decades supporting social movements, Deepa has played many roles: weaver, frontline responder, storyteller, and guide. Her political and community homes include Asian American, South Asian, Muslim, and Arab ecosystems where she spent fifteen years in policy advocacy and coalition building in the wake of the September 11th attacks and ensuing backlash.

Deepa leads projects on solidarity and social movements at the Building Movement Project, a national nonprofit organization that catalyzes social change through research, relationships, and resources. She conducts trainings, uplifts narratives through the Solidarity Is This podcast, and facilitates solidarity strategy for cohorts and networks. Previously, she served as executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) for a decade, and also held positions at Race Forward, the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, and the Asian American Justice Center.

Deepa’s first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (The New Press, 2015), chronicles community-based histories in the wake of 9/11 and received a 2016 American Book Award. Deepa’s second book, a guide based on the social change ecosystem map, is available in late 2022 (Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection is available here).

Deepa serves on the advisory council of the Emergent Fund. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland in the Asian American Studies and Public Policy programs.

Deepa is an immigrant who moved to Kentucky from Kerala (India) when she was twelve years old. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University. In her free time, Deepa loves to make memories with her son, share random tips about astrology with her patient friends, read, and discover a new series to binge.



Coordinator, Movement Building Programs

UyenThi (pronounced “Wing-T”) Tran Myhre is the Movement Building Coordinator with the Building Movement Project, supporting communications work, curriculum development and trainings, and solidarity cohorts.

UyenThi is interested in storytelling and narrative-shifting as strategies for social change and creating a better world. She is part of the team at Project Yellow Dress, a platform uplifting voices and stories from the Southeast Asian diaspora. As a daughter of refugees, writer, and facilitator, her work explores the intersections of family, feminism, abolition, and beyond, often through a pop culture lens.

Adaku Utah


Senior Manager, Movement Building Programs

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, raised in Festac, Nigeria, grounded in her legacy of organizers, farmers and healers, Adaku harnesses her seasoned skills as a political strategist, holistic healer, transformative facilitator, somatics coach and ritual artist as an act of love and commitment to her community. She enjoys co-cultivating social justice leaders and organizations to be more strategic, sustainable, and impactful.  For over twenty years, their work has centered on movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, reproductive, race, youth, and healing justice.

She most recently was the Organizing Director at the National Network of Abortion Funds, building and mobilizing organizing power and movement building efforts with 90+ member organizations, thousands of individual members, and network leaders across the country and world.

For the past 9 years, they have also been co-facilitating Harriet’s Apothecary, an all-Black collective of healers, organizers, and artists committed to embodying Harriet Tubman’s legacy of centering abolition and healing justice in how we organize to create and sustain liberation and transformation.

She is a Senior teacher and coach with BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity), a national leadership training program designed to help rebuild Black social justice infrastructure to organize Black communities more effectively and re-center Black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement. She also teaches and coaches with Generative Somatics, a national organization that supports social and climate justice movements in achieving their visions of a radically transformed society by bringing somatic transformation to movement leaders, organizations, and alliances.