Join the Summer of Service!

On Wednes­day, May 20th Michelle Oba­ma will roll out “the vision of ser­vice for the Admin­is­tra­tion for the sum­mer” in Wash­ing­ton DC. SAALT’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Deepa Iyer, will be in the audi­ence to hear about the sum­mer of ser­vice and learn how orga­ni­za­tions like SAALT and the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty as a whole can get involved. Are you inspired by Michelle’s mes­sage of ser­vice? How are you get­ting involved and engaged this sum­mer?

May Day Rally for Immigration Reform in Washington DC

On May 1st, peo­ple from com­mu­ni­ties all over the coun­try com­mem­o­rat­ed Inter­na­tion­al Work­ers’ Day to call for fair and equi­table reform to the immi­gra­tion sys­tem. There were ral­lies in many major cities, includ­ing Wash­ing­ton DC. I went down to the ral­ly with Poon­am, our intern. Being at the march was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. Walk­ing down 14th Street, where mount­ed police shut down one direc­tion of traf­fic to accom­mo­date the crowd, sur­round­ed by com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and advo­cates, was a sin­gu­lar expe­ri­ence. I did­n’t par­tic­i­pate in the immi­gra­tion reform ral­lies in 2006 and 2007 so this was my first time get­ting the May Day expe­ri­ence. The mood was over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive with the speak­ers at Lafayette Park acknowl­edg­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties that com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers encounter as part of the bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem but ulti­mate­ly focus­ing on how com­mu­ni­ties-of-col­or can work togeth­er to push for reform. I used one of our nifty new Flips to cap­ture some of the sights and sounds of the ral­ly, below you can check out a quick video fea­tur­ing some inspir­ing words from Rev. Hagler of the Ply­mouth Con­gre­ga­tion­al Unit­ed Church of Christ:

For SAALT-ines in the Washington, DC Area

Home to the fifth largest South Asian pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try accord­ing to the 2000 Cen­sus, the Wash­ing­ton, DC area is a hotbed of desi cul­ture. We’ve got gurud­waras, mosques, tem­ples and desi gro­ceries galore. SAALT is col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Legal Resource Cen­ter (APALRC) to learn more about South Asians who live and work in the Dis­trict through the South Asian Com­mu­ni­ty Empow­er­ment Project and we are look­ing for vol­un­teers!

So what do vol­un­teers do, you ask?

It’s sim­ple, vol­un­teers con­duct street-side sur­veys of South Asians in Wash­ing­ton, DC. You’ll be col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion that sim­ply isn’t out there right now about the com­mu­ni­ty here in DC and learn­ing about your fel­low Dis­trict natives. All vol­un­teers will be trained in sur­vey­ing and com­mu­ni­ty work. Want to vol­un­teer? email Maha Khan at maha@saalt.org and we hope to see you out there!

Also, we’re going to be writ­ing more about this as it gets clos­er but the Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit is hap­pen­ing, right here in DC, from April 24–26. This is an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for stu­dents, pro­fes­sion­als, activists (real­ly, every­one!) to make con­nec­tions and strate­gize around empow­er­ing the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. More details to come, but we’re look­ing at a lot of excit­ing speak­ers and guests, so reg­is­ter today!

SAALT Special Reception Takes DC by Storm

Staff and Board at SAALT Special Reception

The SAALT Inau­gu­ra­tion Spe­cial Recep­tion was a great suc­cess this Inau­gu­ra­tion Week­end in Wash­ing­ton, DC. More than 200 peo­ple gath­ered at K&L Gates, a stones throw from the White House, to min­gle and con­nect with one anoth­er, as well as bid on silent auc­tion items and enjoy food and drink. Check out pic­tures from the event at the SAALT Flickr here.

See the whole album at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saalt/sets/72157612864880146/

Staff and Board at SAALT Spe­cial Recep­tion