How Immigrants Shape(d) the United States | Nalini Krishnankutty | TEDxPSU

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Do immigrants need the United States, or does the United States need its immigrants? Writer, researcher, and first-generation immigrant American Nalini Krishnankutty showcases many surprising examples of traditions, businesses and ideas that are considered All-American today, but which owe their origins to first-generation immigrants. She examines whether Americans ever truly welcomed immigrants, and provides parallels between current anti-immigrant sentiments and similar feelings during other periods in US history. This talk uses immigrant history and contributions to start a dialogue, and shape attitudes towards immigrants that are in line with both the values and the interests of the United States.
Dr. Nalini Krishnankutty is a first-generation immigrant American who moved from India to the U.S. to attend graduate school. A chemical engineer turned writer, researcher, and speaker, she believes in the power of migration to open minds and create new possibilities for both immigrants and their new homeland. Nalini is actively countering rising anti-immigrant sentiments through her workshops on immigrant history and contributions. She is currently developing new community platforms and writing children’s books to make immigrants visible and bring them from the boundary of the circle to the center. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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