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The recent Black Lives Matter protests sweeping through the nation have made many Americans question their own beliefs and long-held assumptions about race and privilege in America. Manju will give a brief overview of her experiences growing up in South Africa under the system of racial separation called Apartheid and will draw parallels with America's own past and present experiences with racism.
Manju Soni grew up under apartheid in South Africa, where she trained as an ophthalmologist. At a young age, she was introduced to social justice issues during the student protests called the Soweto Uprising. During this time, apartheid police killed close to 200 people, most of them middle and high school students. Her debut nonfiction book, When Lions Roared: How Brave Young People Defied Apartheid, captures her experiences during these tumultuous times. Prior to becoming an author, Manju was at Pfizer and then a Chief Medical Officer of a start-up biotech company. As an author, Manju’s first short story, a psychological suspense set on an island off the New England coast, was published by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She’s the winner of the Leon B. Burnstein/MWA-NY Scholarship, and the 2020 runner up to the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. She’s currently working on a mystery/suspense novel, which is set in a small town not too different from the one she currently lives in.