The weeks after the most divisive election in modern American history have left our community shaken. Hundreds of incidents of hate violence and intolerance have been reported since November 8, and SAALT has tracked more than 200 of these incidents even before Election Day. From campuses to places of worship, from airplane cabins to the sidewalks of America, our communities continue to be targets. As we prepare for an uncertain future, we must look to our children to be the ambassadors of change.
Young adults like Nikhil Mandalaparthy, a student at the University of Chicago who came to Washington, DC as a part of SAALT’s Young Leaders Institute (YLI) 2016-2017 cohort. As a YLI Fellow, Nikhil joined 11 other young people in a two-day convening where mentors and activists took them through workshops and activities to strengthen their leadership skills. This year’s theme was Building Immigrant Justice,and provided the cohort with practical tools and action plans to organize within the South Asian community while spotlighting undocumented immigrant rights.
Nikhil found this experience “eye-opening“, and believes “our efforts to have these important conversations in our communities can have a much greater impact than we could ever imagine.”
"The theme of this year's YLI was Immigrant Justice, and after hearing about the different projects we were hoping to execute on our campuses, I was honestly in awe." -Nikhil Mandalaparthy, 2016-2017 YLI Fellow
In order for SAALT to continue skills building and community training for these young leaders of tomorrow, we need your support – Today! The need is made even more urgent by our recent decision to return $10,000 in sponsorship funds to Southwest Airlines, money that helped support our YLI program. Southwest employees have been racially profiling South Asian, Muslim, and Arab passengers in the last year, including at least five well-publicized incidents.
Southwest ignored SAALT’s repeated demands to address racial and religious profiling in their training guidelines and complaint procedures. Enough was enough, and we said goodbye to their sponsorship.
Now we need you! Please step up now as an individual standing for equality and justice. Any amount you can contribute that is meaningful to you would make a big difference.
Your gift supports young leaders as they chart out a path for a better future for our communities and country. Leaders like Nikhil, who believes that the Young Leaders Institute “will serve as inspiration to many more young South Asian Americans, just as it did for me.”
With your help, we can ensure that our future is filled with young leaders who are inspired to work for South Asian justice, and indeed justice for all. Please give today.
With resolve and gratitude,
Executive Director, SAALT