Young Leaders Institute

Cultivate skills. Connect with community. Create change.

Announcing the 2016 – 2017 Young Leaders Institute Cohort!

The 2016 YLI Cohort will focus on “Building Immigrant Justice” in our communities.

Anusha RaviAnusha will focus on expanding access to reproductive health to South Asian women, with a focus on immigrant women.  She hopes to focus on three specific topics: abortion, birth control, and consent-based sex education.

Gurbani KaurGurbani will focus on expansion of access to adequate and quality healthcare currently denied to immigrants in order to shift the paradigm of treatment of immigrants in the United States as machines toward respecting and accepting them as humans because immigrant health justice is justice.

Isra MunirIsra believes that the first step to achieving immigrant justice is combating many of the harmful stereotypes that immigrants face. By using the platform #SpeaktoShatter, she hopes to use discussion based “speak out” sessions as well as a HONY-style photo series to lay these stereotypes out in the open and prompt people to look beyond outward appearances.

Jasveen SarnaJasveen is creating an art exhibit at the New School that will highlight the stories of people who are immigrants or come from an immigrant background in our community. The New School is an arts heavy institution so this would be a great way to educate the larger community about the issues as well as uplift the voices of those who understand immigrant justice.

Kiran MehtaKiran is committed to providing a space in which South Asian American and other immigrant youth can share individual stories to spread awareness about the diversity of our roots. Her goal with this project is to build bridges between our communities and come together to understand our shared experiences through open discussion and public exhibition.

Mallika SabharwalMallika will work to provide culturally sensitive health education and prevention techniques (use of helmet, seat belts, condoms, etc.) through community organizations that provide services for refugees. She will do this by working with community organizations, the local temple, and classmates to distribute multi-lingual materials and classes that empower immigrant to take care of themselves and their health.

MayaMaya will be implementing an asset & needs assessment of the Nepali and Tibetan communities in New York City. She will be phone banking, door knocking and doing in-person outreach at community events. The assessment will be used to identify the core needs of the community and shared with stakeholders.

Nikhil MandalaparthyNikhil will be planning an event to bring his university’s South Asian and Latinx communities together around the shared concern for undocumented immigrant rights. While phone-banking Chicago’s South Asian community to increase voter turnout and support for progressive immigration legislation, they will be fundraising for a local immigrant center’s hotline.

Reena NaikReena will be working with the Nepali-Bhutanese community of Pittsburgh to reassess the way refugees are treated in public school systems. She will work with the Bhutanese Students Community Association of Pittsburgh (B.C.A.P.) and the Bhutanese Students Association as well as school leaders to determine better approaches toward refugee students in order to increase academic success and retention levels.

Sarzah YeasminSarzah is working to coordinate a series of workshops creating campus awareness on the unique challenges faced by South Asians in the areas of immigration, workplace, and domesticity. Her project will also facilitate student-labor dialogue on campus through mobilizing youth and communicating with local labor groups.

Sruveera SathiSruveera will focus on South Asian women immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse, a population that largely remains overlooked in the conversation surrounding immigrant justice.  She will be working with ASHA for Women and Brown Girl Magazine to elevate the diverse narratives surrounding domestic abuse as well as organizing communities in the local DC Metro Area to advocate for and create culturally sensitive services for survivors.

Tasnia MirTasnia will facilitate increased access to quality language access services for the diverse South Asian immigrant community in NYC, so as to ensure that non-English speaking residents can still enjoy full access to rights and resources including but not limited to housing, healthcare, and civic engagement.

Vidhaath SripathiVidhaath will be creating a fundraising & awareness campaign for local domestic violence shelters aimed toward South Asian immigrant women. The campaign will be organized at Rutgers University through various Greek organizations and student groups on campus.

Vikrant GargVikrant will be compiling and sharing resources while encouraging community organizing in South Asian immigrant communities (both documented and undocumented). He will be educating students on proper community engagement techniques while also working with student organizations on campus to engage with local and state decision-makers.