Milestones

2014

  • NCSO: Reaches 49 member organizations.
  • Campus Sessions: Establishes campus sessions in order to create leadership opportunities for college students.
  • DACA: Releases flyers sharing stories of DACAmented youth to inspire more eligible South Asians to apply for DACA, and to push government officials to support the program.
  • Immigration townhall: Hosts a follow-up townhall in Chicago to discuss how community members can get involved with immigration reform.
  • Young Leaders Institute: Hosts the third annual Institute, bringing 13 students from across the U.S. to D.C. to discuss LGBTQ justice and allyship.
  • Communications: Reaches over 3,000 Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the fifteenth annual day of service, bringing together over 2,000 volunteers that participated in close to 7,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.
  • Oak Creek, WI: Staff members attend the second anniversary 6K, hosted by the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
  • Under Suspicion, Under Attack: Releases report exploring an increased amount of xenophobic rhetoric from political figures, along with incidents of hate against MASA communities.
  • Freedom Summer: Hosts a free screening of the documentary Freedom Summer in collaboration with the AFL-CIO. Freedom Summer documents the summer of 1964 when civil rights activists worked to increased voter registration numbers for the African American community in Mississippi.
  • Hate Crimes Interagency Initiative: Supported the development of a federal hate crimes interagency initiative, which will work to address hate violence including violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities.
  • We Build CommunityLeads second biennial capacity-building training for members of the NCSO with a focus on LGBTQ justice and allyship.

2013

  • DACA: Releases informational flyer for community members to learn about eligibility, and how to apply, for DACA; flyer is translated into Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali.
  • National South Asian Summit: Coordinates fourth biennial Summit, gathering over 375 community members in D.C.
  • Civic Education townhalls: Hosts townhalls in Detroit and Houston regarding race and challenges faced by the South Asian community.
  • Communications: Reaches over 2,000 Twitter followers.
  • NCSO: Reaches 41 member organizations.
  • Immigration townhalls: Hosts townhalls in D.C., Chicago, Jersey City, and the Bay Area to discuss updates in immigration reform and to share stories from community members.
  • Young Leaders Institute: Hosts second annual Institute; bring 15 students from across the U.S. together to discuss bias-based bullying.
  • Oak Creek, WI: Staff members attend the first annual anniversary 6K, hosted by the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
  • Post-9/11 Timeline: Publishes a working timeline compiling events starting on September 11, 2001, and recording events that have impacted MASA communities since then.
  • Immigration Priorities: Releases fact sheet on immigration priorities for South Asian communities in the U.S.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates fourteenth annual day of service; over 3,000 volunteers across the country participate in over 6,000 hours of service.

2012

  • End Racial Profiling Act: Publishes factsheet on profiling, its impacts on the South Asian community, and how South Asians can be protected by the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).
  • Demographic Snapshot: Releases factsheet documenting the South Asian population in the United States.
  • In Our Own WordsReleases report on the narratives of New York South Asians and the impacts of racial and religious profiling on their communities.
  • Communications: Reaches over 2,000 Facebook likes.
  • We Build CommunityLeads first biennial capacity-building training for members of the NCSO in the fundamentals of non-profit work.
  • Young Leaders InstituteBrings together South Asian youth leaders for the first annual Young Leaders Institute.
  • Peter King: Responds to Rep. Peter King’s hearings on the radicalization of the Muslim community.
  • Advocated for Community EmpowermentFourth training is held for cohort of seven women-led organizations in the South Asian Community.
  • “An America for All of Us”Campaign against post 9/11 backlash, hate crimes, and inequality.
  • Senior Needs Assessment: In collaboration with ASHA, SAALT conducts a community needs assessment of seniors in Montgomery County, MD.
  • Hate Crimes Hearing: Supports the historic hate crimes hearing hosted by Senator Dick Durbin after the tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the thirteenth annual day of service, bringing together over 3,000 volunteers that participated in close to 5,000 hours of community service.
  • 2012 Presidential Election: Creates pamphlets for community members on election guidelines, how to get involved, and to ensure that community members know their rights on Election Day; creates Field Fellow program, where fellows throughout the country engage in outreach to South Asians in their local areas through non-partisan voter education and registration drives.

2011

  • National South Asian Summit: Coordinates third biennial Summit, brings over 250 community members to D.C.
  • New Jersey: Introduces and passes various resolutions in New Jersey about hate crimes and other issues.
  • Mandeep Chahal:Helps prevent the deportation of DREAMer Mandeep Chahal.
  • Advocated for Community EmpowermentThird training is held for cohort of five women-led organizations in the South Asian Community.
  • Foreclosures: Collaborates with Chhaya CDC to release a “Know Your Rights” brochure after the foreclosures.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the twelvth annual day of service.
  • NSEERS: Obama Administration announces the end of the NSEERS program after years of advocacy from local, state, and national groups, including SAALT.
  • SAALT Circles: Philadelphia hosts its first SAALT Circle.
  • Post 9/11: Works with allies to change language in the racial profiling guidance after 9/11.
  • APAICS Gala: The executive director, Deepa Iyer, receives the Community Leadership Award from the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).
  • Community ResiliencePresents the stories of success, resistance, and resilience of individuals, organizations, and communities in the decade after September 11th.

2010

  • From Macacas to Turban Toppers: Releases reports on xenophobic and racial slurs from political officials.
  • Census: Launches the census-awareness campaign, creating a factsheet addressing how to fill out the census to ensure that it most accurately reflects community members’ racial and ethnic identities.
  • Night of 1,000 Conversations: In support of the Rights Working Group campaign, conducts outreach for the second Night of 1,000 Conversations, a casual, intimate event for people around the country to discuss racial profiling.
  • SAALT Circles: D.C. hosts its first SAALT Circle.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the eleventh annual day of service, bringing together over 3,500 volunteers that participated in over to 12,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.

2009

  • Briefing: Co-coordinates briefing to Congress on the Reuniting Families Act.
  • Advocated for Community Empowerment: Second training is held for cohort of five women-led organizations in the South Asian Community in 2009 – 2010.
  • National South Asian Summit: Coordinates second biennial Summit, bringing over 200 community members to D.C.
  • D.C. Desi Summer: Venue for South Asian youth to talk about social justice and South Asian issues.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the tenth annual day of service, bringing together over 2,800 volunteers that participated in close to 7,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.

2008

  • Visibility Award: Receives Visibility Award from D.C. LGBTIQ and ally organizations.
  • National Action AgendaRelease of agenda by the NCSO, which lays out a comprehensive policy platform for stakeholders, community members, and policy makers.
  • National Coalition of South Asian OrganizationsFounding of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), with 34 groups coordinated by SAALT.
  • Policy Briefs: Conducts policy briefings for the staff of senators Obama and McCain.
  • Advocated for Community Empowerment: Hosts first training for cohort of five women-led organizations in the South Asian Community.
  • Naturalization: Release of translated brochure on changes in the naturalization process.
  • Trenton, NJ Briefing: Briefing in Trenton NJ state house about South Asians.
  • Michigan Roundtable: Holds a roundtable in Michigan.
  • Gulf Coast: SAALT joins the campaign for justice on behalf of Indian workers who were exploited on the Gulf Coast.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the ninth annual day of service, bringing together over 2,000 volunteers that participated in close to 4,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.
  • New Jersey Issue Briefs: Release of New Jersey “issue briefs” about concerns affecting South Asians in New Jersey.
  • Organizational update: Changes name to “South Asian Americans Leading Together.”

2007

  • National South Asian SummitCoordinates first biennial Summit, a gathering of 150 individuals in Washington, D.C. for a congressional briefing and workshops on advocacy and other topics.
  • Racial Justice Campaign: Participates in a racial justice campaign to end Operation Meth Merchant in Georgia.
  • Night of 1,000 Conversations: In support of the Rights Working Group campaign, conducts outreach for the Night of 1,000 Conversations, a casual, intimate event for people around the country to discuss the values of due process, inclusion, and fairness that need to be at the core of any immigration reform.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the eighth annual day of service, bringing together over 1,000 volunteers that participated in close to 2,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.
  • Immigration: Testifies before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship about immigration reform and UN Special Rapporteur about civil and immigrant rights issues.
  • SAALT CirclesLaunches SAALT circles.
  • Building Community Strength: Releases national report on South Asian organizations entitled “Building Community Strength.”

2006

  • Membership: Becomes a member of Rights Working Group, the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, and Detention Watch Network.
  • Immigration: SAALT’s Executive Director speaks at an immigrant rights rally in Washington, D.C.
  • Community Project: Begins a community empowerment project in New Jersey.
  • Chai Chats: Establishes Chai Chats, informal conversations hosted to discuss needs and challenges in the South Asian American community
  • Civic Engagement: Participates in Asian American Legal Defense Education Fund (AALDEF)’s annual election monitoring project, and releases a report about South Asian participation in the election.
  • Member Drive: Launches its first individual member drive. As of September 2008 SAALT has an individual base of over 400 dues-paying supporters.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the seventh annual day of service, bringing together over 2,000 volunteers in over 30 locations throughout the U.S.
  • SAALT ExchangesTake place in San Francisco and Houston.

2005

  • Hello Takoma!: Moves to the Washington, D.C. area in Takoma Park, MD. This is an immigrant sanctuary city that offers voting rights to non-citizens.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the sixth annual day of service.
  • SAALT ExchangesDevelops and implements community dialogues to ass the landscape and identify community needs in Edison, NJ; Philadelphia; Chicago; and New York City.

2004

  • Strategic Plan: Completes strategic plan to guide the organization and programs for the next three years; capacity-building and coalition-building are added to the strategies.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the fifth annual day of service.
  • First full-time staffing: Receives a grant that enables the opening an office in New York City and hiring staff, including SAALT’s first executive director.

2003

  • Be the Change: Coordinates the fourth annual day of service.

2002

  • Raising Our Voices: Releases a 26 minute documentary, which includes interviews and information about hate crimes pre- and post-9/11. It is shown in over 100 venues.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the third annual day of service.

2001

  • Press Conference: Participates in a national press conference with civil and immigration rights groups at the Japanese American memorial in Washington, D.C. to call for an end to the backlash.
  • American Backlash: Releases the first SAALT report about bias incidents against South Asians, Arab Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs in the first week after 9/11.
  • September 11th, 2001: Within days, an unprecedented wave of hate crimes, backlash, discrimination, and profiling begin to affect the South Asian community.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the second annual day of service.
  • Policy Advice: Provides guidance to government agencies and congressional members about the impact of policies such as special registration, detention, interrogations, and profiling.
  • Mission Pivot: Expands mission to include strategies such as policy analysis, advocacy, and community education.

2000

  • SAALT: South Asian Leaders of Tomorrow is founded with a focus on leadership development.
  • Be the Change: Coordinates the first annual day of service in honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”