Our new approach to hate violence, launched in 2022, is to enable the participation and leadership of hate violence survivors by thinking outside conventional paradigms of healing and justice, often tied to policy and law enforcement. Instead, we will offer transformative justice (TJ) as a modality of healing.
We will select 15 survivors affected by interpersonal and structural hate crimes—including but not limited to ones driven by racism, Islamophobia, casteism, colorism, gender, sexuality, immigration status, physical and mental ability, and a history of carcerality—both at the hands of unknown attackers (e.g., gendered Islamophobia, harassment and violence in public spaces, vandalism and property destruction, and doxing and other forms of digital violence) and at the hands of known attackers (e.g., gender-based and domestic violence, child abuse, and institutional discrimination in workplaces, health and education settings).
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In partnership with We Can Do This, a campaign run by the US Department of Health and Human Services, SAALT is sharing in-language public education tools, translated by our allies at Respond: Crisis Translation, that you and your community can use to advocate for #VaccinEquity and ensure our collective safety from the coronavirus.
Want to learn more? Visit www.vaccines.gov.
- Toolkit for People with Disabilities
- Getting Vaccinated…
- Protects You and Those You Care For
- Should Be Prioritized, and Can Be Easily Scheduled
- Can Be Made More Accessible to Those Most Marginalized in Your Neighborhood
- A Social Story: How Do I Get My Vaccine?
- Accessing Free Child Care When You Get Vaccinated
- On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit
- Protection for Unvaccinated Agricultural Field Workers
As an organization that works with South Asians in the United States, SAALT calls upon the Biden Harris Administration and Congress to take immediate action to address the global health crisis unfolding in India and across South Asia as a result of the COVID–19 pandemic. India has been averaging over 2,000 reported COVID-19 related deaths daily since late March. On Saturday, April 24th, India reported 324,000 new infections – a global record. Whatever existing medical infrastructure has collapsed, as documented by haunting images of hospitals running out of beds, desperate pleas for oxygen on social media, and news of overwhelmed crematoriums and graveyards. And this is just what is being reported. The Indian government’s ongoing mistreatment of minority populations in India makes it clear that marginalized communities are at an even greater risk of dying due to the pandemic.
South Asians in the United States have deep concerns about what is unraveling across India. SAALT joins the calls to action being made by many in the US and around the world to ask the Biden Harris Administration to:
- Ensure access to and equal distribution of any raw materials needed for vaccine production, without threat of sanction
- Ensure the immediate and equitable export and distribution of oxygen, oxygen generators, and other desperately needed medical supplies.
- Ensure that the Indian government is practicing ethical leadership that centers public health including equitable care, and access to vaccines and testing for all people. Individuals historically marginalized and excluded in India, including Dalit, Pasmanda, Adivasi, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, and Kashmiri communities, must receive equal access.
This statement is also endorsed by:
18 Million Rising
Americans for Kashmir
Another Gulf Is Possible
Apna Ghar, Inc.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Justice (San Antonio)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Philadelphia
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
Asian Solidarity Collective
Association of Chinese Americans, Inc.
Center for Ideas, Equity, and Transformative Change
COOLJC Region 8 (SJEREC)
Dalit Solidarity Forum
Friends of Human Rights
Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee
Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity
India Civil Watch International
Indian American Muslim Council
International Commission for Dalit Rights
Land Loss Prevention Project
The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
The Mississippi Farm to School Network
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE)
Rise Up India
South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA)
South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA)
South Asian Sexual and Mental Health Alliance (SASMHA)
South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI)
Yale Environmental Law Association
Yale Law Latinx Law Students Association
Yale Law School Asian Pacific American Law Students’ Association
Yale Law School OutLaws
Yale Law School South Asian Law Students’ Association
Yale Law School Yale Law Women
Yale School of Management
An inaugural report by South Asian SOAR, launching in July 2022.
A note from our leadership
SOAR is an organization that is co-created by and for survivors and community leaders — and this report is a reflection of that philosophy. We created Together We Rise with our membership of 30+ frontline organizations to amplify their voicesand ultimately generate increased funding, improve research & data collection, and drive policy changes that accurately grasp and meet survivors’ needs.
“Survivors are being failed by the system…We don’t have enough resources, or it’s so obsolete that what is there is not working anymore. That’s the challenge that we are facing here.”
— Anti-Violence Program Advocate
Washington, D.C. — 24 May 2022
The recently leaked draft majority opinion from SCOTUS threatens an alarming reversal of federal protections for abortion rights. Amidst grief and rage, we know — as South Asian survivors, immigrants, community-based organizations, and movement leaders — that we must act swiftly and unitedly to protest and prevent this from passing.
Building upon decades-long attacks on reproductive justice, the pending decision to overturn Roe v Wade could gut abortion rights in nearly half of the United States. Undeniably, this would have a devastating impact on South Asian families and communities — especially on survivors, immigrants, queer and trans people, and working class people.
“Abortion restrictions in this country have always targeted, and fall hardest on, people of color and low-income people. They are meant to keep people like us powerless and in our place. Abortion bans are racial violence. They are gender-based violence. Abortion bans are class warfare.” - Shivana Jorawar, Esq., Co-Director, Jahajee Sisters
In the face of these unprecedented restrictions, it is imperative that we push for bold solutions that ensure affordable and accessible abortions for everyone. Without the right to abortion, the health and well-being of pregnant people, entire families, communities, and future generations are at risk.
In contrast to model minority stereotypes, South Asians face pervasive systemic barriers including economic, legal, language, and cultural hurdles to accessing reproductive healthcare. Though there is a dearth of data on abortion rates among South Asians, a recent study found that Indian American women in New York City have the highest rate of abortion amongst Asian Americans.
“South Asians are especially vulnerable - without access to resources in the multitudes of languages we speak, and the shame and stigma that comes with accessing reproductive health care, we are marginalized further without policies that support people’s whole lives, including better access to hospitals and clinics, healthcare provided by people our communities trust, insurance that actually covers our real needs, and policies that eliminate barriers to care because of racism and inequities.” - Sharmin Hossain, Campaign Director, Liberate Abortion
In 2012, Savita Halappanavar, a South Asian dentist living in Ireland, tragically died after being denied a timely abortion. In 2014, Purvi Patel, a South Asian woman from Indiana, was one of only two women to be prosecuted under the statewide feticide bill. Her case demonstrates the violent hypocrisy of the U.S. government, which has a well documented history of forced sterilizations of women of color, particularly Black women, while at the same time criminalizing abortion, as demonstrated through racist sex-selective abortion bans. If those in power were to prioritize well-being, they would address the shortage of baby formula, lack of paid family leave, denial of access to healthcare, and the shortage of affordable and free childcare in this country.
“This moment is painstakingly triggering for survivors who are all too familiar with stolen consent and the violation of bodily autonomy. The fight for reproductive justice and survivor justice are intricately interconnected as both are working to advance a world abundant with care, resources, and choices.” - Denise Beek, Chief Communications Officer, me too. International
For South Asian survivors who live at the intersection of multiple oppressions, the consequences will be even more grave. People in abusive relationships are far more vulnerable to sexual assault, birth control sabotage, reproductive coercion or control, and misinformation about their reproductive rights, and homicide, frequently by a partner, is the leading cause of maternal death during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
"As organizations in the southern states, we face some of the toughest abortion restriction policies. This rollback of rights is extremely concerning because it threatens the livelihoods for survivors and people who already have limited access to resources, transportation, and healthcare." - Aparna Bhattacharyya, Executive Director of Raksha and SOAR Board Member
Within South Asian communities, the prevailing stigma, shame, and silence that hinder discussions of sexual and reproductive health are isolating and dangerous. Unless we normalize our choices and needs, we are jeopardizing the physical and emotional health and safety of South Asians.
As we mobilize in the coming weeks and months, we look to the South Asian, Indo-Caribbean, Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian leaders at the forefront of the reproductive justice movement. Across the South Asian & Indo-Caribbean diaspora, HEART to Grow is sustaining a reproductive justice fund for Muslims, Jahajee Sisters is leading actions and hosting conversations on abortion access, and Sakhi for South Asian Women and other gender-based violence organizations are increasing access to contraception for survivors.
“Make no mistake -- banning abortion does not end the need for abortion care. Abortion is normal, common and one of the safest medical procedures. Banning abortion will not only have devastating effects on women, pregnant people and their whole families but it will have the greatest impact on low-income people of color. As a movement, we are prepared for what's to come and I'm proud to say that we are stronger than ever. We won't give up.” - Dr. Meera Shah, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Medical Director of Whole Women’s Health Alliance of South Bend, Indiana, and Sakhi Board Member
This is not only a fight to save Roe v. Wade, but also a pivotal moment to reimagine the future of reproductive justice and freedom for all. We must act to ensure that abortion is legal, accessible, affordable, and supported for everyone regardless of income, race, gender, sexuality, caste, religion, and more.
The solidarity and voices of South Asians are needed, now more than ever, to take action, speak out, donate, and to protect choice and freedom for ourselves and the generations to come.
Organizational & Individual Signatories
- AFSSA (Texas)
- Ashiyanaa (Maryland)
- Daya (Texas)
- Jahajee Sisters (New York)
- Raksha Inc. (Georgia)
- Sakhi for South Asian Women (New York)
- Sanctuary for Families (New York)
- SEWA-AIFW (Minnesota)
- South Asian SOAR (National)
- Manavi (New Jersey)
An inaugural report by South Asian SOAR, launching in July 2022.
A note from our leadership
SOAR is an organization ... Read the rest “Executive Summary: “Together We Rise” Inaugural Report from South Asian SOAR”
- History of Reproductive Justice: