In 2021, to mark 20 years since the attacks on 9/11 and all the violence that followed it, SAALT produced PROCESS: 20 YEARS SINCE, a mini-docuseries and interactive digital exhibition which amplifies our young siblings’ calls to process — the past twenty years, and the next twenty years — in just, transformative, and unifying ways.
In the past twenty years, especially, our communities have been repeatedly processed — by immigration systems, government surveillance, and white supremacy — explicitly to minimize our humanity. But in the face of such violence, we have prevailed; SAALT’s own on-going efforts are in response to this forced processing, whether when calling for community-led policy advocacy or in-language resource redistribution.
Today, we stand in good company, witnessing our community’s young folks in a radical reclamation of process: to make their own sense of identity, diaspora, and liberation in and beyond the contexts of U.S. imperialism, religious discrimination, and principled change-making. In their stories, we see the next collective processes that await us, which, rather than being state-led or othering, are by us and for us.
As changemakers both repeatedly reborn and cemented in history, our storytellers talk us through their changing relationships with U.S. imperialism, diasporic solidarity, and transnational belonging as it relates to 9/11 and all that followed. process: 20 years since sheds light on our young siblings’ developing theories of change, as they sit with the past twenty years and look to the next — how will those who come after us use their relationships with a post‑9/11 world to advocate for justice?
RAISING OUR VOICES: SOUTH ASIAN AMERICANS ADDRESS HATE
In January 2001, SAALT began work on a 26-minute documentary entitled “Raising Our Voices: South Asian Americans Address Hate.” Produced by Omusha Communications and guided by SAALT Board members and volunteers, the documentary set out to raise awareness about the increasing hate crimes and bias incidents affecting South Asian communities, especially in the late 1990s. In fact, in 1997 and 1998, South Asians were reporting the highest incidences of bias-motivated crimes in the broader Asian American community.
The documentary features South Asian survivors of hate crimes and their families in Queens, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, as well as organizers, lawyers and community advocates who mobilized the South Asian community and demanded justice. When the film was completed two weeks before September 11th, 2001, little did we know how the landscape of the South Asian community in the United States would change. With the alarming increase of hate crimes, bias incidents, and profiling that South Asians, especially those who are Sikh and Muslim, endured in the days and months after 9/11, SAALT re-envisioned the documentary and shot additional footage.
The documentary has been out since 2002, but you may not have seen it in its entirety yet. It has been used in classrooms and town halls around the country and we encourage you to engage with it, comment on it, and if possible, to share it with friends, family, coworkers and community members.
Feel free to use this documentary in your community, university, or your personal network of colleagues and friends; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
AN AMERICA FOR ALL OF US CAMPAIGN
An America for All of Us was an initiative of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) in partnership with members of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations and ally organizations. The campaign marks the 10-year anniversary of September 11 through documentation, policy initiatives, and community mobilization.