Student of the Month: Hannah Injamuri
Hannah Injamuri (She/her) is from Hyderabad, South India. She is a Ph.D. student and in her qualifying exams stage at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. She holds both a Th.M. and an M.Div. degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She completed her bachelor's in Psychology, Mass Communication, and Journalism in Osmania University, Hyderabad. She belongs to the Mennonite Brethren denomination in India and is a member of the Mennonite Church USA. She is the regional student coordinator for the PANAAWTM Midwest regional group as well as one of the student leaders at the Religious Education Association (REA). She is also currently adjunct teaching at a Mennonite Brethren Seminary in India and is one of the youth leaders at Reba Place Church in Evanston, IL.
1. What are you studying, and why? How do you envision using that in your calling?
I grew up in a seminary since my parents either worked or studied at one. I am both a pastor's kid and a theological educator's kid. As a community member of a seminary and someone with a passion for education, I have observed three layers affecting women in theological spaces:
a. Theological values, whether moderate, conservative, or liberal, determine the role of women and girls in their community.
b. The caste system determines whose voices are uplifted or oppressed in the community.
As a theological student, I began to notice women's contributions and voices in theological institutions, and I understand that Dalit feminist/womanist contributions by Dalit women are lacking or unacknowledged. Therefore, my research interest emphasizes Dalit women's contributions to South Indian theological institutions. I am interested in learning about Dalit women's history and how their literary and oral contributions converge traditional and emancipatory approaches to Christian Education. Dalit women have had a significant influence on Theological Education in India. However, only a little of their work is recorded or acknowledged. Using Paulo Freire as a prominent conversation partner, I want to study the current South Indian theological curriculum and understand where and how Dalit women's contributions promote emancipatory pedagogies in the theological community. I hope this work will celebrate the women's contributions and provide Dalit womanist/feminist resources for better education.
2. What has been your most significant learning experience?
I have learned that, as an international student, community and a chosen village are vital for survival and flourishing in the US. The more we read and learn, the more awareness it leads to, and its acknowledgment can sometimes be self-desolating. Navigating emotions, theological dilemmas, and social/systemic racism is only possible with a community and friendships willing to co-learn, engage, and listen to difficult conversations. I aspire to foster this community spirit wherever I am called.
3. What has your experience been with PANAAWTM?
I have been a PANAAWTM member since 2018 and have been a regular participant since then. The global connections, resources, and community that PANAAWTM provides are invaluable. My theological and faith journey is nourished, and I am grateful for the fellowship and amazing food.
4. What brings you hope and joy?
Spending time with friends and family, playing with Nixie (my golden retriever), walking on the lakefront on Northwestern's campus while enjoying the perfectly made oat milk vanilla latte, taking the L train to downtown Chicago, and listening to music are a few of my joys. I hope in the power of education and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact through research and learning for positive transitions in our communities.