About SAALT

Mission & Strategies

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that fights for racial jus­tice and advo­cates for the civ­il rights of all South Asians in the Unit­ed States. Our ulti­mate vision is dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all.

We fulfill our mission through:

  • Advo­cat­ing for just and equi­table pub­lic poli­cies at the nation­al and local lev­el;
  • Strength­en­ing grass­roots South Asian orga­ni­za­tions as cat­a­lysts for com­mu­ni­ty change;
  • Inform­ing and influ­enc­ing the nation­al dia­logue on trends impact­ing our com­mu­ni­ties.

SAALT is the only nation­al, staffed South Asian orga­ni­za­tion that advo­cates around issues affect­ing South Asian com­mu­ni­ties through a social jus­tice frame­work.

SAALT’s strate­gies include con­duct­ing pub­lic pol­i­cy analy­sis and advo­ca­cy; build­ing part­ner­ships with South Asian orga­ni­za­tions and allies; mobi­liz­ing com­mu­ni­ties to take action; and devel­op­ing lead­er­ship for social change.

Guiding Principles

SAALT’s pro­grams are ground­ed in our guid­ing val­ues that stem from a view of the world that is based on social change and social jus­tice prin­ci­ples.

  • We use a pro­gres­sive social jus­tice frame­work in our analy­sis.
  • We apply a move­ment build­ing, inter­sec­tion­al approach.
  • We are root­ed in com­mu­ni­ty and believe in the val­ue of com­mu­ni­ty pow­er to spur change.
  • We advo­cate for struc­tur­al change while work­ing with­in exist­ing pow­er sys­tems to make them just and inclu­sive.

Core Strategies

  • Engage in nation­al lev­el pol­i­cy advo­ca­cy focused on hate vio­lence, immi­gra­tion, and civ­il rights and lib­er­ties, informed by our work and expe­ri­ence at the com­mu­ni­ty lev­el.
  • Build com­mu­ni­ty pow­er by part­ner­ing with and strength­en­ing the capac­i­ty of NCSO orga­ni­za­tions, and can­di­date orga­ni­za­tions for the NCSO, to impact state and local pol­i­cy.
  • Main­tain cri­sis and rapid response capac­i­ty where crit­i­cal gaps exist, and in ser­vice of advanc­ing our com­mu­ni­ties’ pri­or­i­ties.
  • Con­duct analy­sis and gath­er evi­dence on the chal­lenges and pub­lic poli­cies that affect South Asian Amer­i­cans.
  • Artic­u­late a com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­e­gy to ampli­fy SAALT’s brand and impact, and shift nation­al dis­course about our com­mu­ni­ties.
  • Spear­head com­mu­ni­ty and con­stituen­cy edu­ca­tion on pri­or­i­ty issues and poli­cies impact­ing South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

VALUES

  • Cen­ter Peo­ple Equi­tably – We cen­ter and pri­or­i­tize the most his­tor­i­cal­ly and sys­tem­i­cal­ly mar­gin­al­ized pop­u­la­tions with­in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. This means reli­gious minori­ties; caste-oppressed pop­u­la­tions; indi­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties; queer/­tran­s/non-bina­ry com­mu­ni­ties; those with vul­ner­a­ble immi­gra­tion sta­tus; work­ing class indi­vid­u­als; and those with lim­it­ed Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy under­stand­ing. We believe that we all ben­e­fit from this approach. The lead­er­ship, expe­ri­ences, analy­sis, demands of those most direct­ly impact­ed by exist­ing oppres­sive sys­tems guide SAALT’s pri­or­i­ties and strate­gies. We believe the sur­vivors of abu­sive pow­er should not be tasked with edu­cat­ing those who have caused the harm and SAALT will inten­tion­al­ly work to pro­vide this edu­ca­tion.
  • Think Trans­for­ma­tion­al­ly – Our advo­ca­cy, while often sit­u­at­ed with­in exist­ing gov­ern­ment struc­tures, is ori­ent­ed toward abol­ish­ing sys­tems of oppres­sion and achiev­ing col­lec­tive lib­er­a­tion. We only sup­port reforms to this end and will use our pow­er in exist­ing nation­al coali­tions to push for the same.
  • Share Pow­er Col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly – We believe the path­way to col­lec­tive lib­er­a­tion can only be achieved through part­ner­ships, trust, shared vision, and non-nego­tiable com­mit­ments among val­ues-aligned South Asian orga­ni­za­tions. We believe that a con­stel­la­tion of orga­ni­za­tions must inform and co-cre­ate this path­way, which will require polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion for South Asian orga­ni­za­tions and con­stituen­cies who are seek­ing to be con­nect­ed to val­ues aligned efforts. Our mea­sure of align­ment is also informed by and sup­port­ive of move­ments out­side the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty to build pow­er and cre­ate trans­for­ma­tion­al change.
  • Engage Inter­gen­er­a­tional­ly To build the foun­da­tion we need to shift pow­er in a trans­for­ma­tion­al way, we believe in the engage­ment and lead­er­ship of val­ues-aligned peo­ple of all ages, gen­er­a­tions and expe­ri­ences under­stand­ing this allows var­i­ous per­spec­tives to inform strat­e­gy.
  • Work Inter­sec­tion­al­ly – We are com­mit­ted to proac­tive­ly and emer­gent­ly respond­ing to and align­ing with mul­ti­ple domes­tic and transna­tion­al move­ments for lib­er­a­tion that exist in the U.S. and beyond. SAALT will ensure staff and part­ners are in tune to the imme­di­ate and long-term demands being made by these move­ments and remain informed by this con­text and land­scape analy­sis.
  • Reflect Con­tin­u­ous­ly – We are com­mit­ted to rec­og­niz­ing our role and priv­i­lege as a well-fund­ed and staffed nation­al orga­ni­za­tion. We seek to dis­rupt the ways in which we may per­pet­u­ate oppres­sion, giv­en this priv­i­lege, and toward that end, we will exer­cise self-aware­ness and account­abil­i­ty in this role.