Anup Desai is the CEO and Managing Director of rentah.com. He is also an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. Here, Anup shares his perspective on creating identities that are focused more on similarities and shared human experiences.
Identity means so much to me. My name is Anup Desai and you could describe me as a Man, Friend, Academic, Lover, Fighter, Entrepreneur, Agnostic, Youthful? Any number of these attributes will do. What I see nowadays is often a push and pull with the world wanting you to pick and choose who you are. What I see though is a world that is a mosaic where often times if we look close enough we will see more similarities than differences.
When people say “current political climate” I believe they are referring to technology. While nowadays it may seem we are headed downhill, a quick look in history books will show the progress we have made. The beauty of today is that we are beginning to truly understand the power of progress over the last 30 years.
When I grew up in Staten Island, I was the only minority in my elementary and junior high school. And now when I go back to these schools you can see every color on the spectrum. Where I was the darker kid now I would probably be referred to as the one with “long hair” since color is no longer a defining characteristic. I am also ashamed to admit that back in the day I was ashamed of my parents coming from India and being different. Now I am thankful for the alternate perspective I was blessed with.
I am currently the CEO of Rentah.com a Sharing-Economy company that is working towards giving people a platform to earn income of the knowledge and possessions they already own, while reducing consumption and bringing communities closer together. I am also a adjunct professor of Geography and Political Science for the City University of New York, and serve as a member of New Era Democrats a local bi-partisan political organization in Brooklyn.
My story and accomplishments are nothing new. In reality I was born on third base and pushed forward by my family and the precious progressive ancestors we have that fought for a diverse and free United States. I admire the Muslim American Leadership Alliance and its goal to uplift the youth and families of America…focusing on efforts that can bridge all our worlds together and hopefully come forward with an more positive national identity.