YLI 2016–2017 Cohort

Meet the 2016-2017 YLI Cohort focusing on
“Building Immigrant Justice” in our communities.

The 2016–2017 YLI cohort will work to ele­vate the nar­ra­tives of immi­grants impact­ed by this dis­turb­ing trend and those whose inter­ests have not always been reflect­ed in the broad­er immi­grant rights dis­cus­sion.  Par­tic­i­pants will build rela­tion­ships with cam­pus groups and local orga­ni­za­tions to imple­ment a project dur­ing their aca­d­e­m­ic year.

Anusha Ravi

Anusha will focus on expand­ing access to repro­duc­tive health to South Asian
women, with a focus on immi­grant women.  She hopes to focus on three
spe­cif­ic top­ics: abor­tion, birth con­trol, and con­sent-based sex education.

Gurbani Kaur

Gurbani will focus on expan­sion of access to ade­quate and qual­i­ty healthcare
cur­rent­ly denied to immi­grants in order to shift the par­a­digm of treat­ment of
immi­grants in the Unit­ed States as machines toward respect­ing and accepting
them as humans because immi­grant health jus­tice is justice.

Isra Munir

Isra believes that the first step to achiev­ing immi­grant jus­tice is com­bat­ing many of the harm­ful stereo­types that immi­grants face. By using the plat­form #Speak­toShat­ter, she hopes to use dis­cus­sion based “speak out” ses­sions as well as a HONY-style pho­to series to lay these stereo­types out in the open and prompt peo­ple to look beyond out­ward appearances.

Jasveen Sarna

Jasveen is cre­at­ing an art exhib­it at the New School that will high­light the sto­ries of peo­ple who are immi­grants or come from an immi­grant back­ground in our com­mu­ni­ty. The New School is an arts heavy insti­tu­tion so this would be a great way to edu­cate the larg­er com­mu­ni­ty about the issues as well as uplift the voic­es of those who under­stand immi­grant justice.

Kiran Mehta

Kiran is com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing a space in which South Asian Amer­i­can and oth­er immi­grant youth can share indi­vid­ual sto­ries to spread aware­ness about the diver­si­ty of our roots. Her goal with this project is to build bridges between our com­mu­ni­ties and come togeth­er to under­stand our shared expe­ri­ences through open dis­cus­sion and pub­lic exhibition.

Mallika Sabharwal

Mallika will work to pro­vide cul­tur­al­ly sen­si­tive health edu­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion tech­niques (use of hel­met, seat belts, con­doms, etc.) through com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions that pro­vide ser­vices for refugees. She will do this by work­ing with com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, the local tem­ple, and class­mates to dis­trib­ute mul­ti-lin­gual mate­ri­als and class­es that empow­er immi­grant to take care of them­selves and their health.


Maya will be imple­ment­ing an asset & needs assess­ment of the Nepali and Tibetan com­mu­ni­ties in New York City. She will be phone bank­ing, door knock­ing and doing in-per­son out­reach at com­mu­ni­ty events. The assess­ment will be used to iden­ti­fy the core needs of the com­mu­ni­ty and shared with stakeholders.

Nikhil Mandalaparthy

Nikhil will be plan­ning an event to bring his university’s South Asian and Lat­inx com­mu­ni­ties togeth­er around the shared con­cern for undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grant rights. While phone-bank­ing Chicago’s South Asian com­mu­ni­ty to increase vot­er turnout and sup­port for pro­gres­sive immi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion, they will be fundrais­ing for a local immi­grant center’s hotline.

Reena Naik

Reena will be work­ing with the Nepali-Bhutanese com­mu­ni­ty of Pitts­burgh to reassess the way refugees are treat­ed in pub­lic school sys­tems. She will work with the Bhutanese Stu­dents Com­mu­ni­ty Asso­ci­a­tion of Pitts­burgh (B.C.A.P.) and the Bhutanese Stu­dents Asso­ci­a­tion as well as school lead­ers to deter­mine bet­ter approach­es toward refugee stu­dents in order to increase aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess and reten­tion levels.

Sarzah Yeasmin

Sarzah is work­ing to coor­di­nate a series of work­shops cre­at­ing campus
aware­ness on the unique chal­lenges faced by South Asians in the areas of immigration,
work­place, and domes­tic­i­ty. Her project will also facil­i­tate stu­dent-labor dia­logue on cam­pus through mobi­liz­ing youth and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with local labor groups.

Tasnia Mir

Tasnia will facil­i­tate increased access to qual­i­ty lan­guage access ser­vices for the
diverse South Asian immi­grant com­mu­ni­ty in NYC, so as to ensure that non-Eng­lish speak­ing res­i­dents can still enjoy full access to rights and resources includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to hous­ing, health­care, and civic engagement.

Vidhaath Sripathi

Vidhaath will be cre­at­ing a fundrais­ing & aware­ness cam­paign for local domes­tic vio­lence shel­ters aimed toward South Asian immi­grant women. The cam­paign will be orga­nized at Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty through var­i­ous Greek orga­ni­za­tions and stu­dent groups on campus.

Vikrant Garg

Vikrant will be com­pil­ing and shar­ing resources while encour­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing in South Asian immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties (both doc­u­ment­ed and undoc­u­ment­ed). He will be edu­cat­ing stu­dents on prop­er com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment tech­niques while also work­ing with stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions on cam­pus to engage with local and state decision-makers.