2011 ChangeMakers

Luna Ranjit 1Luna Ranjit leads the NY-based non­prof­it, Adhikaar for Human Rights, a direct ser­vices and social jus­tice advo­ca­cy group serv­ing Nepali-speak­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Start­ed in the base­ment of Luna’s home, Adhikaar has expand­ed to a com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter that pro­vides legal con­sul­ta­tions, lan­guage class­es, rights train­ings six days a week, and pro­vides a safe space for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers of all ages. Born and raised in Nepal, Luna lives in Jack­son Heights, Queens, with her hus­band. She just com­plet­ed the New York City half marathon.



SAMHAJ_logo_withinfo_1000hSAMHAJ, mean­ing “under­stand­ing”, dis­pels the stig­ma of men­tal health among South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. By pro­vid­ing sup­port, resources, ill­ness man­age­ment infor­ma­tion and edu­ca­tion to gate­keep­ers includ­ing school lead­ers, care providers and law enforce­ment offi­cers, SAMHAJ has played a key role in strength­en­ing the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty, empow­er­ing those with men­tal ill­ness and their fam­i­ly mem­bers. SAMHAJ is locat­ed in New Jersey.


Prerna LalPrerna Lal wears many hats. She is a law stu­dent at The George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, a mem­ber of the Board of Direc­tors of Immi­gra­tion Equal­i­ty, a promi­nent human rights blog­ger at Change.org, and co-founder of Drea­mAc­tivist. Pre­rna has cre­at­ed an online youth move­ment sup­port­ing the DREAM Act. Prerna’s work has been instru­men­tal in the move­ment to demand fair and equal treat­ment for undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants, espe­cial­ly stu­dents who would ben­e­fit from the pas­sage of the DREAM Act.