Through the Years

Since its inception in 2000, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) has been guided by the needs of our community. Over its twenty years, SAALT has responded to this guidance with varying strategies. This timeline takes you through the course of SAALT's existence, examining its different iterations, decision points, and shifts in strategy to be most responsive and accountable in our advocacy for South Asian Americans.


Sep­tem­ber 2000, The Found­ing of the Indi­an Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Cen­ter: In its first iter­a­tion, SAALT was named the Indi­an Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Cen­ter (IALC), found­ed in New York with a focus on lead­er­ship devel­op­ment for Indi­an Amer­i­can mem­bers of the South Asian Amer­i­can dias­po­ra. The orga­ni­za­tion was led by Direc­tor Deba­sish Mishra and oth­ers from both social jus­tice and busi­ness sec­tors, and aimed to pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for Indi­an Amer­i­can youth to become civic lead­ers.

Octo­ber 2000, The First Ever Be the Change: Stu­dents at uni­ver­si­ties across the U.S. were orga­niz­ing for a project called the Nation­al Day of Ser­vice, engag­ing their young com­mu­ni­ties in vol­un­teer activ­i­ties dur­ing the week­end of Gandhi’s birth­day. SAALT was invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate as a host and pro­vide cur­ric­u­la, speak­ers, and logis­ti­cal coor­di­na­tion. The event evolved under SAALT’s host­ing, chang­ing its name to Be The Change and intro­duc­ing South Asian Amer­i­can his­to­ry and issues to the pro­gram.

July 2001, Desis Orga­niz­ing: SAALT board mem­bers joined the Desis Orga­niz­ing gath­er­ing, orga­nized by a col­lec­tive of South Asians in New York City, to learn about com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing and pol­i­cy issues.

11 Sep­tem­ber 2001, Attacks on the Twin Tow­ers and the Pen­ta­gon: With­in hours of the attacks, an unprece­dent­ed wave of hate crimes, back­lash, dis­crim­i­na­tion, and pro­fil­ing began to affect the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty.

Sep­tem­ber 2001, Amer­i­can Back­lash: In the week fol­low­ing 9/11, inci­dents of hate vio­lence tar­get­ing Mus­lims and those racial­ized and/or per­ceived as Mus­lims were at an all time high. SAALT’s report, Amer­i­can Back­lash, was the first com­mu­ni­ty-based doc­u­men­ta­tion to exclu­sive­ly exam­ine hate vio­lence, polit­i­cal rhetoric, and dis­crim­i­na­tion that affect­ed South Asian Amer­i­cans; it marked the begin­ning of SAALT’s pub­lished work with and on anti-hate advo­ca­cy. 

Octo­ber 2001, The Sec­ond Annu­al Be the Change


Decem­ber 2001, Rebrand­ing as SAALT: Fol­low­ing Amer­i­can Back­lash, the board of the IALC decid­ed to update its val­ues and mis­sion to be explic­it­ly pan-South Asian. By the end of 2001, IALC was renamed “South Asian Amer­i­can Lead­ers of Tomor­row” — or SAALT — and had expand­ed its mis­sion to include strate­gies for col­lec­tive lib­er­a­tion such as pol­i­cy analy­sis, advo­ca­cy, and com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion then became a ful­ly vol­un­teer based group, with dif­fer­ent Board mem­bers tak­ing on var­i­ous projects.

Jan­u­ary 2002, Doc­u­men­tary, Rais­ing Our Voic­es, Pre­mieres: This 26-minute doc­u­men­tary, was pro­duced by Omusha Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and SAALT, and pro­vid­ed a look into how hate vio­lence affects South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. Fea­tur­ing sur­vivors and orga­ni­za­tions both pre- and post‑9/11, it con­tin­ues to pro­vide insights about the dif­fi­cul­ties of report­ing hate vio­lence, the needs of sur­vivors, and the pos­si­bil­i­ties for res­o­lu­tion that are not based in the crim­i­nal sys­tem. Board mem­bers took Rais­ing Our Voic­es to dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, host­ing view­ings in over 100 venues, from com­mu­ni­ty cen­ters to uni­ver­si­ties to the Smith­son­ian Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Cen­ter, spark­ing pan-dias­poric dis­cus­sions on 9/11 back­lash and com­mu­ni­ty heal­ing in com­bat­ing indi­vid­ual and state vio­lence.

Mid-2002, Recon­sti­tu­tion of the Board: The SAALT Board, new­ly rebrand­ed, reor­ga­nized itself to be explic­it­ly social jus­tice ori­ent­ed. This is reflect­ed in the back­grounds of new Board mem­bers, who had sig­nif­i­cant expe­ri­ence with com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment, pol­i­cy change, and advo­ca­cy. 

Octo­ber 2002, The Third Annu­al Be the Change 

Fall 2002, SAALT on the Hill:  SAALT board mem­bers advo­cat­ed with gov­ern­ment agen­cies and Con­gress around the impact of the post 9/11 back­lash, immi­gra­tion enforce­ment, and pro­fil­ing, uti­liz­ing the Amer­i­can Back­lash report and com­mu­ni­ty con­ver­sa­tions fol­low­ing screen­ings of Rais­ing Our Voic­es. Advo­ca­cy focused on the impor­tance of enforc­ing civ­il rights laws to pro­tect the rights of South Asians, Arabs, Mus­lims, and Sikhs fac­ing post 9/11 relat­ed dis­crim­i­na­tion. 

August 2003, First SAALT Staff Hired: The SAALT Board named Deepa Iyer as the next Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. Under Iyer, SAALT under­went a strate­gic plan­ning process to clar­i­fy its mis­sion, vision, and strate­gies; its focus areas were iden­ti­fied as build­ing com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ships and engag­ing in post 9/11 relat­ed advo­ca­cy.

Octo­ber 2003, The Fourth Annu­al Be the Change 


2003–2005, SAALT Exchanges: Now a staff-led orga­ni­za­tion, SAALT facil­i­tat­ed SAALT Exchanges in five cities (New York, NY; Edi­son, NJ; San Fran­cis­co, CA; Chica­go, IL; Atlanta, GA) to learn more about com­mu­ni­ty needs at local lev­els, build­ing part­ner­ships and rela­tion­ships with local orga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try. Sev­er­al themes emerged from these Exchanges, shap­ing SAALT’s direc­tion: com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers iden­ti­fied immi­gra­tion and civ­il rights as key issues; com­mu­ni­ty groups felt dis­con­nect­ed from each oth­er and sought to be more con­nect­ed; and the non-Indi­an South Asian com­mu­ni­ty felt mar­gin­al­ized. SAALT’s pro­grams and activ­i­ties mov­ing for­ward took into con­sid­er­a­tion these major themes. 

Octo­ber 2004, The Fifth Annu­al Be the Change 

Novem­ber 2004, Vot­ing Rights: SAALT began elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing and exit polling through a part­ner­ship with the Asian Amer­i­can Legal Defense and Edu­ca­tion Fund (AALDEF).

2005, Strength­en­ing Rela­tion­ships and Part­ner­ships: As a direct result of SAALT Exchanges, capac­i­ty- and coali­tion-build­ing became crit­i­cal strate­gies for pan-South Asian advo­ca­cy: SAALT began to con­nect with South Asian Amer­i­can, Asian Amer­i­can, Arab, Mus­lim, and broad­er civ­il and immi­grant rights orga­ni­za­tions & com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers across the U.S.. Many of these allies even­tu­al­ly would become mem­bers of the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO). 

August 2005, Mov­ing to Tako­ma Park: SAALT found a new home in Tako­ma Park, Mary­land, an immi­grant sanc­tu­ary city that offers vot­ing rights to non-cit­i­zens. 

Octo­ber 2005, The Sixth Annu­al Be the Change 

Novem­ber 2005, Elec­tions Mon­i­tor­ing: SAALT con­tin­ued its elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing and exit polling.

Jan­u­ary to April 2006, Pan-Asian, Pan-Migrant, Pan-POC Coali­tions: Now with over five years’ expe­ri­ence in pol­i­cy advo­ca­cy, SAALT joined a num­ber of nation­al coali­tions, includ­ing the Rights Work­ing Group, the Nation­al Coali­tion of Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­cans, and the Deten­tion Watch Net­work. These part­ner­ships enabled SAALT to raise aware­ness about South Asian com­mu­ni­ties, usu­al­ly invis­i­ble, at broad­er pol­i­cy-mak­ing tables. 

April 2006, Immi­grant Reform Protests: At a ral­ly in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., SAALT joined the stage and demand­ed pro­tec­tions for immi­grant rights. SAALT’s role in the protest is detailed by the Four Free­doms Fund, high­light­ing the organization’s spe­cif­ic demands and strate­gies for immi­grant rights.

Sum­mer 2006, SAALT Exchanges: Now named Chai Chats, the SAALT team host­ed infor­mal con­ver­sa­tions to dis­cuss needs and chal­lenges in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. These events were held in San Fran­cis­co and Hous­ton, among oth­er areas with high South Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tions.

Octo­ber 2006, The Sev­enth Annu­al Be the Change 

Novem­ber 2006, Mon­i­tor­ing Elec­tions: Hav­ing advo­cat­ed for vot­ing rights over the past two years, Asian Amer­i­can Legal Defense Edu­ca­tion Fund (AALDEF) invit­ed SAALT to par­tic­i­pate in its annu­al elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing project. SAALT lat­er released a report about South Asian par­tic­i­pa­tion in the elec­tion.

March 2007, Night of 1,000 Con­ver­sa­tions: In sup­port of a cam­paign led by the Rights Work­ing Group, SAALT con­duct­ed out­reach for the Night of 1,000 Con­ver­sa­tions, a casu­al and inti­mate event dur­ing which peo­ple across the coun­try dis­cussed the val­ues of due process, inclu­sion, and fair­ness as they per­tain to immi­gra­tion reform and jus­tice.

April 2007, The First Nation­al South Asian Amer­i­can Sum­mit: SAALT coor­di­nat­ed a gath­er­ing of 150 com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. for a con­gres­sion­al brief­ing and work­shops on advo­ca­cy and oth­er top­ics.

May 2007, House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives & UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur: The mem­bers of the SAALT team, led by Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Iyer, tes­ti­fied before the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Sub­com­mit­tee on Immi­gra­tion, Refugees, and Cit­i­zen­ship about immi­gra­tion reform. SAALT also pre­pared mate­ri­als for the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur’s Review of human rights in the Unit­ed States.

June 2007, SAALT Cir­cles: Anoth­er con­ver­sa­tion-ori­ent­ed pro­gram, SAALT Cir­cles was launched to pro­vide young orga­niz­ers with the tools to host con­ver­sa­tions about South Asian Amer­i­can iden­ti­ties and issues in their own com­mu­ni­ties.

July 2007, Cam­paign­ing to End Oper­a­tion Meth Mer­chant: Oper­a­tion Meth Mer­chant tar­get­ed small busi­ness own­ers of South Asian back­ground in Geor­gia, in an alleged attempt to erad­i­cate metham­phet­a­mine pro­duc­tion. SAALT joined local activists and orga­ni­za­tions (includ­ing Atlanta-based NCSO mem­ber, Rak­sha) to advo­cate on behalf of South Asian Amer­i­can busi­ness own­ers, their fam­i­lies, and their com­mu­ni­ties, devel­op­ing cam­paigns to com­bat the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, and iden­ti­fy and pro­vide legal resources to those tar­get­ed by Oper­a­tion Meth Mer­chant.

July 2007, Build­ing Com­mu­ni­ty Strength: Pro­vid­ing a land­scape of South Asian orga­ni­za­tions as they exist­ed then, this report com­bined tes­ti­mo­ni­als from a sur­vey and a series of inter­views to exam­ine South Asian Amer­i­can change­mak­ers’ net­works. It also laid the ground­work for the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO).

Octo­ber 2007, The Eighth Annu­al Be the Change

Jan­u­ary 2008, The Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions Comes Togeth­er: Thir­ty-four groups joined to cre­ate a for­mal con­stel­la­tion of South Asian Amer­i­can allied advo­cates. Togeth­er, they released a pol­i­cy agen­da that laid out a com­pre­hen­sive pol­i­cy plat­form for stake­hold­ers, com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, and pol­i­cy mak­ers. Lat­er, a set of pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions emerged from the agen­da, and were cit­ed in allies’ advo­ca­cy deci­sions.

April 2008, Brochures on Nat­u­ral­iza­tion: This series of brochures was pub­lished to pro­vide tools for the nat­u­ral­iza­tion process. It is avail­able in Eng­lish, Bangla, Hin­di, and Gujarati.

April 2008, Demand­ing Jus­tice for Migrant Work­ers on the Gulf Coast: SAALT joined a cam­paign for jus­tice on behalf of the 500+ Indi­an and Arab work­ers who were exploit­ed by Sig­nal Inter­na­tion­al Cor­po­ra­tion in the U.S. Gulf Coast. In coali­tion with groups of work­ers, SAALT orga­nized meet­ings with embassies and gov­ern­ment agen­cies in D.C., sup­port­ed brief­in­gs and meet­ings on the Hill, and con­vened a forum for work­ers, allies, and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers where par­tic­i­pants dis­cussed their chal­lenges with the immi­gra­tion sys­tem.

July 2008, Cre­ation of Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: This pro­gram focused on build­ing the capac­i­ty of women-led groups in the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO), devel­op­ing strate­gies to link social ser­vice deliv­ery with social change, sub­grants, and lead­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. Over the course of the ACE pro­gram, SAALT trained over 40 women advo­cates.  

Octo­ber 2008, Brief­ing on South Asian Amer­i­cans in New Jer­sey: As the result of the SAALT Exchange held in New Jer­sey in 2005, SAALT hired a part-time com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er to work with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers in Edi­son to devel­op com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion mate­ri­als and work in part­ner­ship with South Asian and Asian Amer­i­can groups across the state. These efforts led to a brief­ing in New Jer­sey with Assem­bly­man Chivuku­la (the first South Asian to be elect­ed to the New Jer­sey state Assem­bly), Kris Kol­luri (the Com­mis­sion­er of the New Jer­sey Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion) and Mark Mur­phy (from the Fund for New Jer­sey). Even­tu­al­ly, SAALT helped pub­lish issue briefs detail­ing the con­cerns and needs of South Asian Amer­i­can res­i­dents.

Octo­ber 2008, The Ninth Annu­al Be the Change


Late 2008, Name Changes: One final name change was made, and SAALT is offi­cial­ly orga­nized under “South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er.”

April & May 2009, Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit: The sec­ond bien­ni­al Sum­mit occurred, with 200+ com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers meet­ing in D.C.. Lat­er, SAALT would par­tic­i­pate in two meet­ings to dis­cuss the impact of the Sum­mit, includ­ing meet­ing with the White House Reli­gious Liai­son to dis­cuss and high­light issues of impor­tance to faith-based com­mu­ni­ties.

May 2009, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: A new cohort of five women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty par­tic­i­pat­ed in the sec­ond ACE train­ing.

June 2009, Reunit­ing Fam­i­lies Act: SAALT and its allies co-coor­di­nat­ed a brief­ing to Con­gress on the Reunit­ing Fam­i­lies Act.

July 2009, Wash­ing­ton DeSi: South Asian Amer­i­cans in the Nation­al Cap­i­tal: SAALT and the Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Legal Resource Cen­ter (APALRC) pub­lished this report in response to the lack of infor­ma­tion about the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty in the Wash­ing­ton D.C. met­ro­pol­i­tan region – home to the nation’s fifth largest South Asian pop­u­la­tion. APALRC and SAALT launched the South Asian Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment (SACE) project in ear­ly 2009 that includ­ed a mul­ti-lan­guage needs assess­ment, focus groups, inter­views, and rela­­tion­­ship-build­ing with com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. Wash­ing­ton DeSi: South Asians in the Nation’s Cap­i­tal pro­vides find­ings from sur­veys of near­ly 200 South Asians liv­ing or work­ing in D.C., as well as trends gath­ered from focus groups and inter­views.

Sep­tem­ber 2009, Resources on the Health Insur­ance Reform Debate: In response to an increased focus on reform­ing the coun­try’s health care and insur­ance sys­tems from the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion, SAALT pub­lished two resources per­ti­nent to the nation­al dia­logue on health care reform. “What You Need to Know About the Health Insur­ance Reform” answers ques­tions about the debate; includes basic def­i­n­i­tions for ter­mi­nol­o­gy; and pro­vides ways for South Asian Amer­i­cans to get involved in the dis­cus­sion. “Health Care Issues Affect­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans in the Unit­ed States” pro­vides infor­ma­tion and resources on health issues impact­ing the com­mu­ni­ty.

Octo­ber 2009, The Tenth Annu­al Be the Change

Jan­u­ary 2010, Cen­sus Aware­ness: SAALT launched a cen­sus aware­ness cam­paign, fea­tur­ing a fact­sheet address­ing how to fill out the cen­sus to ensure that it most accu­rate­ly reflects com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers’ racial and eth­nic iden­ti­ties.

March 2010, Issue Briefs on Pro­fil­ing: SAALT pub­lished three issue briefs to high­light the impact of racial and reli­gious pro­fil­ing on the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. Read the briefs on sur­veil­lance, trav­el and immi­gra­tion.

June 2010, Mont­gomery Coun­ty Resources: In col­lab­o­ra­tion with APALRC, SAALT pro­duced guides to health care, unem­ploy­ment insur­ance, hous­ing, and oth­er social ser­vices. The resource brochures are avail­able in Eng­lish, Bangla, Urdu, and Hin­di.

Octo­ber 2010, From Maca­cas to Tur­ban Top­pers: SAALT released this detailed report to pro­vide infor­ma­tion on the use of xeno­pho­bic and racist polit­i­cal rhetoric by elect­ed offi­cials in the U.S..

Octo­ber 2010, SAALT Cir­cles D.C. Edi­tion: SAALT Cir­cles con­vened in D.C. for the first time, three years after its incep­tion.

Octo­ber 2010, The Eleventh Annu­al Be the Change

April 2011, Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit: The third bien­ni­al Sum­mit con­venes, bring­ing over 250 com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to D.C. to dis­cuss issues affect­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans.

April 2011, The End of NSEERS: After years of advo­ca­cy from local, state, and nation­al groups, includ­ing by SAALT and its allies, the NSEERS pro­gram was end­ed by the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion.

May 2011, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The third train­ing was held for a new cohort of five women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

June 2011, Com­mu­ni­ty Hear­ing in New Jer­sey: To intro­duce and pass var­i­ous res­o­lu­tions about hate crimes and oth­er relat­ed issues, the SAALT team gath­ered in New Jer­sey, where they also heard from South Asian Amer­i­can res­i­dents of the state about their needs and demands.

June 2011, Advo­cat­ing for Man­deep Cha­hal: To help pre­vent the depor­ta­tion of DREAMER, Man­deep Cha­hal, SAALT orga­nized a strate­gic advo­ca­cy cam­paign.

Sep­tem­ber 2011, Ten Year Anniver­sary of 9/11: Ten years after the attacks on Sep­tem­ber 11th, a vari­ety of allies team up with SAALT to demand change in racial pro­fil­ing laws and guid­ances. Togeth­er, they pro­duced Com­mu­ni­ty Resilience, which presents the sto­ries of suc­cess, resis­tance, and resilience of indi­vid­u­als, orga­ni­za­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties in the decade after Sep­tem­ber 11th.

Sep­tem­ber 2011, “An Amer­i­ca for All of Us”: SAALT pro­duced a cam­paign against post‑9/11 back­lash, hate crimes, and inequal­i­ty, focused on the ten year anniver­sary of 9/11. The cam­paign includ­ed a short film, a toolk­it for dis­cus­sions, opin­ion edi­to­ri­als, and law­mak­er-oreint­ed pledge.

Octo­ber 2011, The Twelfth Annu­al Be the Change

Octo­ber 2011, SAALT Cir­cles Philly Edi­tion: SAALT Cir­cles con­vened in Philadel­phia for the first time, four years after its incep­tion.

Novem­ber 2011, Build­ing An Amer­i­ca For All of Us: A Cam­pus Work­shop Guide: Tai­lored to stu­dent groups, this inter­ac­tive work­shop guide was devel­oped to high­light dis­cus­sion points and engag­ing exer­cis­es to explore the impact of the decade since 9/11 on the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. It includes a facilitator’s guide and a cheat sheet; in 2020 these resources were updat­ed to respond more broad­ly to Islam­o­pho­bic hate on cam­pus.

Novem­ber 2011, Fore­clo­sures: SAALT and Chhaya CDC worked togeth­er to release a “Know Your Rights” pam­phlet fol­low­ing an increase in fore­clo­sures.

Jan­u­ary 2012, End Racial Pro­fil­ing Act: SAALT pub­lished this fact­sheet on pro­fil­ing, which includes infor­ma­tion on the impact of pro­fil­ing on the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty, and how South Asian Amer­i­cans can be pro­tect­ed by the pas­sage of the End Racial Pro­fil­ing Act (ERPA).

March 2012, In Our Own Words: SAALT releas­ed a report on the nar­ra­tives of New York South Asians and the impacts of racial and reli­gious pro­fil­ing on their com­mu­ni­ties.

July 2012, Demo­graph­ic Snap­shot: SAALT pub­lished this fact­sheet, which doc­u­ments the South Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion and their vary­ing, and often inter­sect­ing, iden­ti­ties.

July 2012, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the first annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO in the fun­da­men­tals of non-prof­it work.

May 2012, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: SAALT con­vened the first ever annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute (YLI), bring­ing togeth­er South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try.

May 2012, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The fourth train­ing was held for a new cohort of sev­en women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

August 2012, Attacks on Oak Creek Sikh Com­mu­ni­ty:  A known white suprema­cist opened gun­fire in Oak Creek, WI, killing 6 Sikh com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers while they wor­shipped at their gur­d­wara. One more wor­ship­per who sus­tained injuries died lat­er from com­pli­ca­tions relat­ed to the attack in March of 2020. SAALT staff attend­ed the com­mu­ni­ty funer­al, and has con­tin­ued to sup­port the local com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing attend­ing the first and fifth anniver­sary 6Ks host­ed by the Sikh Tem­ple of Wis­con­sin.

Sep­tem­ber 2012, Hate Crimes Hear­ing: To sup­port the his­toric hate crimes hear­ing host­ed by Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin after the tragedy in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin, SAALT shared pol­i­cy advo­ca­cy strate­gies with allied orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. SAALT also sup­port­ed Oak Creek com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and Sikh Amer­i­can orga­ni­za­tion­al part­ners who sub­mit­ted tes­ti­mo­ny.

Octo­ber 2012, The Thir­teenth Annu­al Be the Change

Novem­ber 2012, Elec­tion Edu­ca­tion: SAALT cre­at­ed pam­phlets for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers on elec­tion guide­lines, how to get involved, and to ensure that com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers know their rights on Elec­tion Day. The team also cre­at­ed a Field Fel­low pro­gram, where fel­lows through­out the coun­try engaged in out­reach to South Asian Amer­i­cans in their local areas through non-par­ti­san vot­er edu­ca­tion and reg­is­tra­tion dri­ves.

April 2013, Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit: The fourth bien­ni­al Sum­mit con­vened, bring­ing over 375 com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to D.C. to dis­cuss issues affect­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans.

May 2013, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The sec­ond annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 15 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss bias-based bul­ly­ing.

May 2013, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The fifth train­ing was held for a new cohort of sev­en women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

June 2013, South Asian Amer­i­cans & DACA: To pro­vide more infor­ma­tion on DACA, SAALT releas­ed a fly­er with details about eli­gi­bil­i­ty and appli­ca­tion process­es in Eng­lish, Hin­di, Urdu, and Ben­gali. Oth­er tools for poten­tial South Asian Amer­i­can DACA recip­i­ents and appli­cants were pro­duced soon after, in 2014, includ­ing “Are you a DREAM­er?” and “Why DACA Isn’t Enough.”

June 2013, Immi­gra­tion Pri­or­i­ties: SAALT released a fact­sheet on immi­gra­tion pri­or­i­ties, specif­i­cal­ly for South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

July 2013, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the sec­ond annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

Sep­tem­ber 2013, Civic Edu­ca­tion & Immi­gra­tion Town Halls: In gath­er­ings in the Bay Area, Chica­go, D.C., Detroit, Jer­sey City and Hous­ton, SAALT dis­cussed race and immi­gra­tion-relat­ed chal­lenges and sto­ries with­in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

Novem­ber 2013, Post‑9/11 Time­line: SAALT pub­lished a work­ing time­line of the major events fol­low­ing 9/11 that have impact­ed MASA com­mu­ni­ties.

Octo­ber 2013, The Four­teenth Annu­al Be the Change


Jan­u­ary 2014, Change in Lead­er­ship: In 2014, Suman Raghu­nathan became the next Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT, mark­ing the organization’s first tran­si­tion in lead­er­ship.

March 2014, Host­ing Cam­pus Ses­sions: These pro­grams were estab­lished in order to cre­ate lead­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties with­in the jus­tice sec­tor for South Asian Amer­i­can col­lege stu­dents.

May 2014, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The sixth train­ing was held for a new cohort of sev­en women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

May 2014, #DACAment­ed: SAALT released a series of fly­ers that share sto­ries of DACA­ment­ed youth to inspire more eli­gi­ble South Asian Amer­i­cans to apply, and to push gov­ern­ment offi­cials to bet­ter sup­port the pro­gram and its par­tic­i­pants.

May 2014, Immi­gra­tion & Chicagoans: SAALT host­ed a fol­low-up town­hall to dis­cuss how com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers can get involved in advo­cat­ing for immi­gra­tion reform and jus­tice.

May 2014, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The third annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 13 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss LGBTQ jus­tice and ally­ship.

May 2014, Hate Crimes Inter­a­gency Ini­tia­tive: SAALT worked to sup­port­ the devel­op­ment of a fed­er­al hate crimes inter­a­gency ini­tia­tive that would address hate vio­lence, includ­ing vio­lence aimed at Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties and oth­er com­mu­ni­ties per­ceived or racial­ized as Mus­lim.

July 2014, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the third annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

August 2014, Under Sus­pi­cion, Under Attack: SAALT pub­lish­es this report explor­ing the increased xeno­pho­bic rhetoric from polit­i­cal fig­ures, along with inci­dents of hate vio­lence against Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties, and oth­er com­mu­ni­ties per­ceived or racial­ized as Mus­lim.

Octo­ber 2014, The Fif­teenth Annu­al Be the Change

Octo­ber 2014, Free­dom Sum­mer screen­ing: In col­lab­o­ra­tion with AFL-CIO, SAALT host­ed a free screen­ing of the doc­u­men­tary Free­dom Sum­mer, which doc­u­ments the sum­mer of 1964 when civ­il rights activists worked to increase vot­er reg­is­tra­tion num­bers for the African Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty in Mis­sis­sip­pi.

April 2015, Sum­mit: The fifth bien­ni­al Sum­mit con­vened, bring­ing near­ly 400 com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers togeth­er to dis­cuss issues affect­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans. The Sum­mit was pre­ceed­ed by an NCSO con­ven­ing, where all orga­ni­za­tions dis­cussed the impor­tance of val­ues align­ment and ded­i­cat­ed SAALT staff capac­i­ty to sup­port the NCSO.

April 2015, Con­demn­ing Police Vio­lence: SAALT issued its first orga­ni­za­tion­al state­ment con­demn­ing police vio­lence, fol­low­ing the death of Fred­die Gray in Bal­ti­more, who sus­tained a severe spinal cord injury while in police cus­tody. 

May 2015, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The sev­enth train­ing was held for a new cohort of sev­en women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

July 2015, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the fourth annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

July 2015, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The fourth annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 18 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss strate­gies for con­fronting anti-Black racism in South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

Octo­ber 2015, The Six­teenth and Final Be the Change

Novem­ber 2015, Con­gre­sion­al Brief­ing on Police Vio­lence: Fol­low­ing the mur­der of Fred­die Gray in Bal­ti­more, Sen­a­tor Cardin and Mary­land Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bri­an Frosh host­ed a Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing with an expert pan­el to make a renewed push for pas­sage for the End Racial Pro­fil­ing Act (ERPA) in Con­gress. SAALT pre­sent­ed at this brief­ing.

Novem­ber 2015, Acts of Hate Data­base: SAALT estab­lished a data­base to begin  doc­u­ment­ing the antic­i­pat­ed increase in hate vio­lence tar­get­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans, fol­low­ing attacks in San Bernardi­no and Paris. The data­base also began doc­u­ment­ing the effects of the 2016 elec­tion cycle on Amer­i­can Islam­o­pho­bia.

Decem­ber 2015, Updat­ed Demo­graph­ic Snap­shot: This fact­sheet was pub­lished to doc­u­ment the pop­u­la­tion growth of  South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties in met­ro­pol­i­tan areas and immi­grant gate­way cen­ters across the Unit­ed States.

July 2016, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The fifth annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 13 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss issues of immi­grant rights and jus­tice.

July 2016, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the fifth annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

August 2016, Cur­rent Sta­tus of Immi­gra­tion Pol­i­cy: A “Know Your Rights” brochure is pub­lished to pro­vide South Asian Amer­i­can DACA and DAPA recip­i­ents and appli­cants with infor­ma­tion on the June 2016 split rul­ing on whether to uphold DAPA and expand DACA.

August 2016, Strate­gic Plan­ning for 2017–2019: The SAALT team worked to devel­op a new vision, mis­sion, and set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples. This was encom­passed in a 3‑year strate­gic plan, pub­lished just pri­or to the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion; it indi­cat­ed SAALT’s increas­ing focus on grass­roots mobi­liza­tion and anti-insti­tu­tion­al work.

Sep­tem­ber 2016, Advo­cates for Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment: The sev­enth and final train­ing was held for a new cohort of sev­en women-led orga­ni­za­tions in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.

Octo­ber 2016, Your Voice, Your Vote: Four weeks before Elec­tion Day 2016, SAALT released a guide to pro­vide prospec­tive vot­ers with cru­cial infor­ma­tion on the can­di­dates’ stances on pri­or­i­ty issues for all com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, includ­ing vot­ing trends and infor­ma­tion on how to cast votes.

Octo­ber 2016, #BeyondThe­Wall and MTV: SAALT part­nered with MTV and oth­er orga­ni­za­tions to install an inter­ac­tive video in the heart of New York’s Hearld Square to serve as a dig­i­tal forum to show­case per­spec­tives on immi­gra­tion reform, racial diver­si­ty, and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in the U.S.

Decem­ber 2016, Meet­ing with DHS Sec­re­tary Jeh John­son: SAALT along with allies at DRUM, Arab Amer­i­can Insti­tute, ACLU, and Open Society‑U.S. met with Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary, Jeh John­son, to make the final case on the impor­tance of dis­man­tling NSEERS reg­u­la­tions at the end of Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion in antic­i­pa­tion of the Trump Administration’s Mus­lim Ban. The Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion made the final deci­sion to dis­man­tle the reg­u­la­tions lat­er that month. 

Jan­u­ary 2017, Pow­er, Pain, Poten­tial: SAALT pub­lished this detailed report on the inter­sec­tion of South Asian Amer­i­can demo­graph­ic growth and hate vio­lence; it records the direct impact of the Trump elec­tion on Mus­lims and those racial­ized as Mus­lim.

Feb­ru­ary 2017, Boy­cotting DOJ: In sol­i­dar­i­ty with allies, SAALT boy­cotted a meet­ing with the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, head­lined by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Jeff Ses­sions.

March 2017, Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing on Hate Vio­lence: Using the research from the Jan­u­ary pub­li­ca­tion, Pow­er, Pain, Poten­tial, SAALT orga­nized a Con­gres­sion­al brief­ing to address the uptick in hate vio­lence nation­wide and high­light rec­om­men­da­tions for change. SAALT was joined by eight mem­bers of Con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship, and a num­ber of allies and com­mu­ni­ty part­ners from across the coun­try. This fol­lowed an invi­ta­tion from Sen­a­tor Ben Cardin (D‑MD) for SAALT to join a round­table dis­cus­sion on the dev­as­tat­ing impacts of the Trump Administration’s “Mus­lim Bans” where he announced an updat­ed ver­sion of the “End Racial Pro­fil­ing Act” to include reli­gious pro­fil­ing mak­ing the new name the “End Racial and Reli­gious Profling Act (ERRPA).”

April 2017, Sum­mit: The sixth bien­ni­al Sum­mit con­vened, bring­ing over 300 com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers togeth­er to dis­cuss issues affect­ing South Asian Amer­i­cans. This Sum­mit was also pre­ceed­ed by an NCSO con­ven­ing, where dis­cus­sions regard­ing the constellation’s struc­ture, capac­i­ty, and val­ues occurred.

July 2017, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The fifth annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 16 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss strate­gies for com­bat­ing Islam­o­pho­bia in South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

July 2017, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the sixth annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

Sep­tem­ber 2017, Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing on Hate Vio­lence: Fol­low­ing the 16th anniver­sary of 9/11, SAALT held a Con­gres­sion­al brief­ing to address the ris­ing tide of vio­lence aimed at Mus­lims and those racial­ized as Mus­lim by and under the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion.

Octo­ber 2017, Coali­tion for #NoMus­lim­Ban­Ev­er: The #NoMus­lim­Ban­Ev­er cam­paign orga­nized for­mal­ly as a coali­tion, and SAALT joined as a mem­ber.

Feb­ru­ary 2018, Com­mu­ni­ties on Fire: SAALT pro­duces a detailed report on hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric aimed at South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties from Elec­tion Day 2016 to Elec­tion Day 2017. It details 302 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States — a more than 45% increase from the year lead­ing up to the 2016 elec­tion cycle, lev­els not seen since the year after Sep­tem­ber 11.


March 2018, First Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ty Part­ner­ships: In response to feed­back from NCSO mem­bers, SAALT hired its first Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ty Part­ner­ships, pri­mar­i­ly ded­i­cat­ed to engag­ing the NCSO and build­ing its capac­i­ty as a net­work. 

April 2018, NCSO Sum­mit: In response to an NCSO con­ven­ing, where the struc­ture, capac­i­ty, and val­ues of the con­stel­la­tion were dis­cussed, the first ever stand-alone NCSO sum­mit was held. The two day con­ven­ing was an oppor­tu­ni­ty to net­work and build pow­er with­in a broad range of orga­ni­za­tions serv­ing South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. 

May 2018, NCSO Con­ven­ing, Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing, Lob­by Day: The NCSO met with near­ly 40 Mem­bers of Con­gress to advo­cate on pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties relat­ing to domes­tic vio­lence, immi­gra­tion, and health.

May 2018, U.S. Com­mis­sion on Civ­il Rights: The Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT tes­ti­fied before the U.S. Com­mis­sion on Civ­il Rights to dis­cuss the high rates of hate- and bias-relat­ed crimes, specif­i­cal­ly those tar­get­ing Mus­lims and those racial­ized as Mus­lim.

May 2018, Equal­i­ty Labs & Unlearn­ing Caste Suprema­cy: In response to the ground­break­ing schol­ar­ship of allies at Equal­i­ty Labs, all par­tic­i­pants in both We Build Com­mu­ni­ty and Young Lead­ers Insti­tute pro­grams received their  train­ings on the role of caste-based dis­crim­i­na­tion and casteism with­in the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. The train­ing was also held inter­nal­ly for all SAALT staff.

July 2018, We Build Com­mu­ni­ty: SAALT led the sev­enth and final annu­al capac­i­ty-build­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the NCSO.

August 2018, Young Lead­ers Insti­tute: The sixth and final annu­al Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­vened, bring­ing togeth­er 14 South Asian Amer­i­can youth lead­ers from across the coun­try to dis­cuss strate­gies for build­ing com­mu­ni­ty defense, tak­ing on anti-immi­grant poli­cies and hate vio­lence.

August 2018, Cen­sus 2020: With the lead­er­ship of DRUM, SAALT launched a cam­paign advo­cat­ing against the inclu­sion of a cit­i­zen­ship ques­tion in the 2020 Cen­sus. Hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, includ­ing NCSO orga­ni­za­tions, sub­mit­ted com­ments against the pol­i­cy change in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter notice.

Sep­tem­ber 2018, Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing: SAALT host­ed a brief­ing with remarks from six Con­gres­sion­al mem­bers 17 years after 9/11 “Deten­tions, Depor­ta­tions, and Dimin­ished Civ­il Rights.” In response to Raja Krishnamoorthi’s atten­dance at the World Hin­du Con­fer­ence, SAALT dis­in­vit­ed him from the Con­gres­sion­al brief­ing.

Octo­ber 2018, Midterm Elec­tion Vot­er Guide: SAALT pub­lished a resource to engage, edu­cate, and mobi­lize the grow­ing South Asian Amer­i­can elec­torate on key issues in Con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts with the high­est South Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tions nation­wide.

Novem­ber 2018, Pub­lic Charge: SAALT launched a Pub­lic Charge cam­paign oppos­ing the expan­sion of the pro­posed “pub­lic charge” rule that would deny per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus to low­er income immi­grants who use gov­ern­ment ser­vice such as hous­ing and nutri­tion pro­grams. SAALT joined AAPI orga­ni­za­tions as part of the One Nation coali­tion and drove over 11,500 com­ments push­ing back against the pro­posed rule.

Decem­ber 2018, Guide to Legal Immi­gra­tion Reform: SAALT pro­duced this pub­li­ca­tion, which is wide­ly shared for how it dis­cuss­es the impor­tance of fight­ing the green­card back­log in prin­ci­pled ways that do not divide pop­u­la­tions based on sta­tus.

Feb­ru­ary 2019, Migrant Jus­tice: Fol­low­ing an unprece­dent­ed 100-day hunger strike, led by South Asian migrants detained in the El Paso Ser­vice Pro­cess­ing Cen­ter, SAALT helped bring local and nation­al allies (includ­ing Sikh Coali­tion, Deten­tion Watch Net­work) togeth­er fol­low­ing a vis­it to El Paso to meet local lead­ers from Detained Migrant Sol­i­dar­i­ty Com­mit­tee (DMSC) and Advo­cate Vis­i­tors with Immi­grants in Deten­tion (AVID). This net­work has remained in place, result­ing in peri­od­ic releas­es of asy­lum seek­ers

April 2019, Updat­ed Demo­graph­ic Snap­shot: This fact­sheet was updat­ed to doc­u­ment the change and growth in South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties across the Unit­ed States.

April 2019, Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing on Immi­grant Deten­tion: SAALT host­ed a Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing on Immi­gra­tion Deten­tion, and dis­cussed the range of vio­la­tions and injus­tices faced by migrants in deten­tion, includ­ing Sikhs.

May 2019, Con­gres­sion­al Hear­ing on Caste in the Dias­po­ra: SAALT co-host­ed the first-ever Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing on Caste in the Unit­ed States, led by Equal­i­ty Labs.

July to August 2019, Cre­at­ing a Rapid Response Net­work: Fol­low­ing ICE enforce­ment activ­i­ty tar­get­ing South Asian Amer­i­can restau­rant work­ers in D.C., SAALT part­nered with Jus­tice for Mus­lims Col­lec­tive to cre­ate a South Asian Rapid Response list­serv, also known as SARR. The group now has over 600 legal and lan­guage vol­un­teers who reg­u­lar­ly pro­vide sup­port for detained migrants. After the cre­ation of SARR, SAALT co-host­ed 3 “Know Your Rights” train­ing ses­sions, led by JMC for local DMV vol­un­teers to dis­trib­ute in-lan­guage mate­ri­als to South Asian Amer­i­can-owned busi­ness­es.

August to Sep­tem­ber 2019, Hin­dut­va on the Rise: On August 5th, Kashimiris were stripped of their semi­au­tonomous sta­tus, and the Hin­dut­va-led Modi Admin­is­tra­tion and gov­ern­ment of India imposed a bru­tal block­ade. Soon after, the gov­ern­ment imple­ment­ed a cit­i­zen­ship doc­u­men­ta­tion sys­tem in Assam that delib­er­ate­ly exclud­ed near­ly 1.9 mil­lion peo­ple, most­ly Mus­lims — and across India, there was a dra­mat­ic surge in the num­ber of lynch­ings of minori­ties, most­ly tar­get­ing Indi­an Mus­lims, Dal­its and Chris­tians. As the Modi gov­ern­ment con­tin­ued to imple­ment a Hin­du nation­al­ist agen­da, also known as Hin­dut­va, SAALT began to orga­nize with transna­tion­al allies, includ­ing Stand With Kash­mir, to fight fas­cism.

Sep­tem­ber 2019, #NoMus­lim­Ban­Ev­er: After years of advo­ca­cy, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives final­ly con­vened a Con­gres­sion­al Hear­ing on the Mus­lim Ban. SAALT joined fel­low mem­bers of the #NoMus­lim­Ban­Ev­er cam­paign to pre­pare con­gres­sion­al staff for the hear­ing.

Feb­ru­ary 2020, Stand­ing Against Hin­dut­va: Fol­low­ing the pogrom against Mus­lims in Del­hi, SAALT issued a state­ment, co-signed by at least two dozen NCSO mem­bers, con­demn­ing the vio­lence and demand­ing the South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty to unite against Hin­dut­va and oth­er forms of fas­cism.

Feb­ru­ary 2020, Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor: Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran was hired as SAALT’s new Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, after serv­ing as Inter­im for near­ly one year and Direc­tor of Nation­al Pol­i­cy and Advo­ca­cy at SAALT for five years pre­ced­ing that.

Feb­ru­ary 2020, Cen­sus Bureau Engage­ment: SAALT host­ed a webi­nar with Cen­sus Bureau rep­re­sen­ta­tives where NCSO mem­bers had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ask ques­tions and dis­cuss changes to the cen­sus form and data col­lec­tion method­ol­o­gy.

April 2020, South Asian Guide to Giv­ing: In an effort to bet­ter sup­port local South Asian Amer­i­can orga­ni­za­tions address­ing the great­est impact of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, the SAALT team devel­oped a South Asian Guide to Giv­ing. The Guide high­lights a num­ber of ally orga­ni­za­tions, lead­ers, and move­ments sup­port­ing the South Asian Amer­i­can dias­po­ra. It has since become a week­ly fea­ture on SAALT’s social media pages, which high­lights one orga­ni­za­tion in depth every week.

April to Sep­tem­ber 2020, Report­ing on Coro­n­avirus: Giv­en the lack of dis­ag­gre­gat­ed data record­ing the impact of COVID-19 on South Asian Amer­i­cans, SAALT began col­lect­ing tes­ti­mo­ni­als from com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, through sur­veys, inter­views, and research. The report will be pub­lished in Sep­tem­ber 2020, and demon­strates the divid­ed expe­ri­ences of the pan­dem­ic across South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties along lines of caste, class, reli­gion, and immi­gra­tion sta­tus; hot spot geo­gra­phies; and key issue themes. It is orga­nized into a full report, fact­sheets, and an inter­ac­tive map cap­tur­ing tes­ti­mo­ni­als and sur­vey data from the com­mu­ni­ty.

May 2020 Onwards, Mobi­liz­ing South Asians for Black Lives Mat­ter: After the mur­der of George Floyd by Min­neapo­lis Police Depart­ment Offi­cer Derek Chau­vin, South Asian Amer­i­cans across the coun­try joined protests and actions demand­ing an end to sys­temic racism, racial­ized polic­ing, and state sur­veil­lance. Since then, SAALT has recon­vened its 2015 Young Lead­ers Insti­tute class, which was ded­i­cat­ed to con­fronting anti-Black racism in South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties, to respond with learn­ings from their cohort. SAALT has brought on expert train­er and facil­i­ta­tor, Kaa­jal Shah, to devel­op a series of train­ings and cur­ricu­lum in response to the unprece­dent­ed request from South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions and pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tions to sup­port polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion efforts in becom­ing effec­tive allies.


Fall 2020, Reor­ga­niz­ing for Abo­li­tion: A year after the last change in lead­er­ship, SAALT is once again ful­ly staffed and shift­ing from a reformist to abo­li­tion­ist orga­ni­za­tion. SAALT staff, board, and exter­nal facil­i­ta­tor will unveil a new vision, mis­sion, and set of val­ues that out­line this next peri­od in SAALT’s life. This rebrand­ing will be trans­lat­ed into SAALT’s graph­ic iden­ti­ty as well, now using motifs of gra­di­ents to sig­ni­fy the com­plex and inter­sect­ing lives of South Asian Amer­i­cans, as will be seen with a new web­site launch­ing in win­ter 2021.

Fall 2020, A New NCSO: It has become clear that mem­bers of the NCSO can no longer be uni­fied by iden­ti­ty alone, but that the net­work requires val­ues align­ment. This month, SAALT will announce changes to the NCSO mem­ber­ship mod­el and launch an NCSO val­ues align­ment process.