South Asians launch new group for community’s political awakening

South Asians for America

South Asians for America aims to increase the community’s civic engagement, political participation, and network.

A South Asian group that played a key role in the election of President Joe Biden and his Indian American running mate Kamala Harris, is widening its focus for the community’s political empowerment.

South Asians for Biden is becoming South Asians for America, a 501(c)(4) organization “to educate, advocate, engage, and mobilize the South Asian Democratic community in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels.”

The new organization will be formally launched on May 6, 2021, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, for what Neha Dewan, National Director, South Asians for Biden called the “next chapter in our community’s political awakening.”

“Our organization is the first of its kind focused on this unique and diverse voting bloc, with diaspora communities drawing their heritage from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives, with diverse faith traditions, languages, and paths to immigration to the United States,” she wrote.

READ: As Tanden runs into trouble, South Asian group mobilizes support (February 23, 2021)

“Throughout the 2020 Election cycle, we had a collective, laser-like focus on electing President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and ensuring that they would have Democratic majorities to enact their Build Back Better agenda,” Dewan wrote.

“In the process of this effort, our South Asian community became engaged in politics in an unprecedented manner,” she wrote.

“Together, we made hundreds of thousands of phone calls to voters in swing states, sent nearly as many postcards, and voted like our futures depended on it, because they did.”

“When reflecting on our organizing efforts, there was a clear need for a permanent organizing presence within the South Asian community, and to have an organization dedicated to strengthening our political empowerment, Dewan wrote.

SAFA’s mission is to educate, advocate, engage, and mobilize the South Asian Democratic community in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels, the release said.

The organization aims to increase the civic engagement, political participation, and network of South Asians.

SAFA’s May 6 launch event will have special guests including Indian American US Representative Raja Krishnamoorthy, Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram, leading attorney Neal Katyal and former Miss America Nina Davuluri.

Other guests include Girls Who Code Founder & CEO Reshma Saujani, Virginia State Senator Ghazala Hashmi, former candidate for Pennsylvania Auditor General Nina Ahmad, Founder and Chairman of AAPI Victory Fund Shekar Narasimhan and SAAVE Texas Founder Chanda Parbhoo.

Gold Star parent Khizr Khan; actress and singer featured in Broadway’s Hamilton Arianna Afsar; actor Farhan Tahir, actor, writer, producer, and director Fawzia Mirza; DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong Hong; New Jersey Young Democrats South Asian Caucus Co-Chair Hira Shaikh; and Board Chair of Asian Americans Advancing Justice  Atlanta Sonjui Kumar are also on the guest list.

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