On #GivingTuesday, Going Forward Means Giving Back

Hi Friend,

My name is Jasveen and I am a col­lege stu­dent liv­ing in Amer­i­ca’s post-elec­tion real­i­ty.  I am also a 2016–2017 Fel­low of SAALT’s Young Lead­ers Insti­tute (YLI).

In acknowl­edg­ment of Giv­ing Tues­day, which fol­lows the Thanks­giv­ing Hol­i­day each year, I want you to know how grate­ful I am that gen­er­ous donors support SAALT and this amaz­ing pro­gram.

With intol­er­ance and even vio­lence tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and surg­ing nation­wide, it is becom­ing dif­fi­cult to find safe havens any­where. Going to school, trav­el­ing, prac­tic­ing my faith, even walk­ing the street in broad day­light now present unmis­tak­able risks to my life.

YLI became an impor­tant out­let for me and eleven oth­er young South Asian Amer­i­can Fel­lows who are part of this year’s cohort.  It gave us an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect with activists and men­tors, and explore equal­i­ty and immi­grant jus­tice strate­gies to imple­ment on behalf of the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty.  It has also become a place where I found com­mu­ni­ty amongst like-mind­ed South Asians Amer­i­cans who are pas­sion­ate about jus­tice.

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The 2016–2017 YLI Cohort dur­ing a two-day lead­er­ship con­ven­ing in Sil­ver Spring, Mary­land

I also want­ed you to know that until recent­ly YLI was fund­ed in sig­nif­i­cant part by spon­sor­ship mon­ey from South­west Air­lines.  This year, SAALT made the right choice to end its rela­tion­ship with South­west because of mul­ti­ple inci­dents of racial pro­fil­ing by its employ­ees, includ­ing against a Mus­lim uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent in Cal­i­for­nia.

Speak­ing on behalf of the rest of my YLI cohort, we great­ly admire and respect the bold stand that SAALT took in cutting ties with Southwest, because it meant return­ing a $10,000 con­tri­bu­tion. Tak­ing a stand against large pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions like South­west showed me what a ded­i­cat­ed orga­ni­za­tion SAALT is and made me proud­er to be in YLI.

So today, on Giv­ing Tues­day, a glob­al day ded­i­cat­ed to gen­eros­i­ty and char­i­ty, I’m ask­ing you to please take the walk towards jus­tice with SAALT and YLI. Please support SAALT and make sure it has enough funds to replace the $10,000 it lost in end­ing its rela­tion­ship with South­west. It’s in your hands now to help make sure that SAALT and YLI can thrive for years to come, and more young adults can get the vital lead­er­ship train­ing we need to take on the chal­lenges of tomor­row.

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Sin­cere­ly,

Jasveen and the 2016–2017 YLI Cohort

P.S. More than ever, our com­mu­ni­ty and our coun­try need young lead­ers to cre­ate the change that we all want to see.  Please stand with us today for a better tomorrow.