Nico is the founder and director of the Bajaj Rural Development Lab and the Social Change Semester, co-director of SocialChange101.org, and a regular contributor to the Arts Greenhouse, a hip hop education program that promotes the artistic and educational development of Pittsburgh teenagers. Born in Los Angeles and raised in California’s Mojave Desert, Nico earned degrees in Earth Systems and the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford University and in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University before completing his Ph.D. in History at Harvard University.
His first book, Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012), argues that South Asians and African Americans learned from each other in ways that advanced their struggles for freedom. His most recent book, Black Power Beyond Borders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) is an edited volume that tracks the global dimensions of the Black Power movement. Nico is currently at work on three books: a study of race, racial mixture, and the idea of the post-racial amongst mid-twentieth century African American artists and intellectuals; a biography of Mahatma Gandhi focused on his diet; and a history of connections between India and the United States.