Anand Kalra

“I grew up an able-bodied, middle-class, queer transgender man of color in an immigrant family in a farming & factory town in rural Illinois during the region’s transformation from bread basket to rust belt. Phew! That experience helped me recognize social & economic power dynamics from a young age and continue to shape my perspective on the world today. Now, as a professionally trained librarian with experience conducting qualitative and quantitative social research, I have a passion for connecting people with the information they need to be healthy, happy, and successful.”

Following a desire to help social justice organizations be more efficient in program design and execution, more deeply connected to the communities they serve, and more grounded in their intentions, Anand earned a Master’s degree in Library & Information Science. His consulting approach applies this knowledge and experience to non-profit, social justice, and community-based arts contexts. At the root, this means helping clients ask the precise questions that reveal the knowledge gaps keeping them from moving their work forward under pressing circumstances, with limited material resources, and with high levels of individual and group trauma. Where information does not exist to fill these gaps, Anand works with clients and key partners to create it, whether in numbers, words, images, music, video, or some combination.

As a consultant, Anand has facilitated staff retreats, mediated interpersonal/intra-organizational conflicts, designed and presented training curricula, produced educational and promotional videos, and taught a wide range of topics (for example: body-based mindfulness, video editing, oral storytelling, policy research). Whether the challenge is transitioning through stages in an organization’s life cycle, setting or adjusting programmatic direction, scaling up information systems, moving through conflict, evaluating program effectiveness and efficiency, or a host of other problems a client might face, Anand grounds the process in directed inquiry and supports it with body-based mindfulness and a gentle, humorous communication style.

Anand has over 25 years’ experience in facilitation and conflict mediation. He is the founding director of Uncaged Librarian Productions and lives in Oakland with his cats, Finch and Sparrow.