National Action Agenda

A National Action Agenda: Policy Recommendations to Empower South Asian Communities in the United States sets forth issues affecting the South Asian community and provides recommendations for policymakers, community-based organizations, stakeholders, allies, media, and the general public. A National Action Agenda is a product of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), a network of groups around the country that provide services to, organize, and advocate on behalf of South Asian communities, and individual experts and advocates in various fields.

South Asians navigate the intersections of gender, race, national origin, religious affiliation, class, immigration status, and sexual orientation, often on a daily basis. For example, South Asians have faced discrimination and marginalization ranging from immigration restrictions that began in the early twentieth century and continue to today; the impact of sexism, homophobia, and class-based bias; the struggle to gain equitable treatment in the workplace and at schools; the challenges faced by elderly and young South Asians; and the effects of targeting and profiling in the wake of September 11th, to name a few. Yet, South Asian experiences, needs, and perspectives are often missing from policy debates and decision making at the local and national level. A National Action Agenda comes about as a result of our recognition that issues affecting South Asian communities must be included in policy-level discussions in order to promote social justice.

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The goals of A National Action Agenda are to

  • Raise awareness about the needs of South Asians in the United States;
  • Insert issues affecting South Asians into local, state, and national dialogues;
  • Guide future policy recommendations;
  • Increase public understanding of the depth and scope of our community’s needs; and
  • Enhance ongoing and future advocacy, organizing, and educational efforts.

A National Action Agenda includes the following nine components with detailed recommendations

  • Civic and Political Participation: Ensure full and equal participation for all in the civic and political process
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: Guarantee enforcement of strong civil rights and civil liberties laws for all
  • Data Collection: Expand and refine data collection related to South Asians
  • Economic Justice: Promote economic justice and financial security for South Asians
  • Gender Equity: Advance gender equity within the South Asian community
  • Health Care: Promote measures addressing the health needs of South Asians
  • Immigrant Rights: Promote immigrant rights and just reforms to the immigration system
  • LGBTIQ Rights: Protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, and gender non-conforming South Asians
  • Youth Empowerment: Advance the empowerment of South Asian youth

While A National Action Agenda is not intended to be the only or definitive source of information about the issues it addresses, we offer it with the hope that it will be a meaningful contribution to the discourse, actions, and efforts of social justice movements within the United States and globally. We invite individuals and organizations to endorse A National Action Agenda. For hard copies, please contact us at (301) 270.1855 or via email at info@saalt.org.