Shailly Gupta Barnes is the Policy Director at the Kairos Center. She coordinated and edited the Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, working closely with the Institute for Policy Studies. This report looked at the evolution of the key themes of the Campaign over the past 50 years and its findings informed the current Campaign’s Moral Agenda and Demands. Read more about the Souls of Poor Folk  and Moral Agenda at

Originally from Chicago, Shailly has a background in law, economics and international development and has spent the past 14 years working with and for poor and marginalized communities: as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural farming village in Niger; as part of the legal team that successfully fought for Colombian waste pickers’ rights in the Constitutional Court of Colombia; with the Poverty Initiative and its network of grassroots religious and community leaders; and today with the Kairos Center and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Her understanding of justice, morality and liberation draws on her Hindu and Jain background and her close engagement with communities of struggle.

Shailly has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago (1999), a J.D. from UCLA School of Law (2002), and an M.I.A. from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (2009). She has three children with Adam Barnes and lives in New York City.

Past Classes with Shailly Gupta Barnes

December 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Economic Lessons for 2020: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Hudson

What lessons can we draw from history to guide us in the months and years to come? Join a conversation with economist Dr. Michael Hudson on the 2008 economic crisis, what's happened over the past  ten years, and what we can anticipate in 2020.
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October 15, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Introduction to Political and Popular Education

If we’re serious about transforming our society, then we need to be serious about educating ourselves and our communities, and to equip ourselves with the knowledge we need to really build power.
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June 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm


This class draws on the fundamental concepts of human rights, including the history of struggles for human rights, to construct the idea of a right to not be poor in a time of plenty.
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May 2, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

Building a global movement for human rights and social justice: confronting systems of dispossession, exploitation and oppression

If our current economic and political systems are failing to realize human rights, where do we look for alternatives?
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