We Accept The Challenge

Dear Friend,

Our nation is still reel­ing in the wake of the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. It’s been a chal­leng­ing time for so many in our com­mu­ni­ty, and indeed for Amer­i­ca. Today we want you to hear us loud and clear: SAALT accepts the chal­lenge.

We accept the challenge by express­ing out­rage when the Pres­i­dent-Elect, elect­ed offi­cials, and indi­vid­u­als paint our com­mu­ni­ty as a dan­ger­ous “oth­er”. We’ve tracked over 200 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric against our com­mu­ni­ty since Novem­ber 2015. Over 25% of rhetoric came from Pres­i­dent-Elect Trump him­self. We're not stopping. We will redou­ble our efforts to hold the Pres­i­dent-Elect account­able when he takes office in Jan­u­ary to ensure our com­mu­ni­ty’s rights and voic­es are defend­ed. We refuse to accept the pol­i­tics of fear and divi­sion.

We accept the challenge by know­ing we can­not do this alone. In 2016 through our We Build Com­mu­ni­ty Pro­gram we’ve pro­vid­ed near­ly $50,000 sup­port to grass­roots groups in the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions to build a strong field of South Asian groups ready to take their place in racial jus­tice, immi­grant rights, and civ­il lib­er­ties move­ments across the nation.

We accept the challenge by under­stand­ing our future South Asian lead­ers of tomor­row must be trained today. In 2016, through our Young Lead­ers Insti­tute, we pro­vid­ed twelve under­grad­u­ates and young adults the oppor­tu­ni­ty to build lead­er­ship skills, con­nect with activists and men­tors, and explore social change strate­gies around issues that affect the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. These young adults are more nec­es­sary than ever to lift up the voic­es of South Asians nation­wide.

We accept the challenge by know­ing the strength of num­bers and the pow­er of uni­ty. April 2017 will mark the 10th anniver­sary of the first Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit, our mul­ti-day gath­er­ing in D.C. that allows South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions and lead­ers to strate­gize on how to unite and strength­en our com­mu­ni­ties and make our pres­ence known in the halls of Con­gress. With our coun­try so deeply divid­ed, the 2017 Sum­mit will be the most urgent and com­pelling gath­er­ing of South Asian voic­es yet.

We have big chal­lenges ahead of us, and I know we are up to the task. We’re count­ing on you to stand with us as we take on this chal­lenge. Togeth­er, we’ll make it clear our com­mu­ni­ty is here to stay and that our voic­es must be heard.

Stand with us by mak­ing a gen­er­ous dona­tion today.

We have a long road ahead of us, and we are stead­fast in walk­ing every step side-by-side with our com­mu­ni­ty. Friend, we need your sup­port to help us down that road. With you stand­ing with us, we will keep fight­ing for our com­mu­ni­ty and accept­ing the chal­lenges that come our way.

With deter­mi­na­tion,

Suman Raghu­nathan
Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, SAALT