31 South Asian community organizations from 12 regions throughout the United States announced the formation of a National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO). The newly formed coalition released a detailed action and policy agenda focused on nine key issue areas affecting local South Asian American communities, including immigration, gender equity, and access to services.
Coalition partners include community-based groups that provide social services, organize, and advocate for South Asians in 12 metropolitan areas around the U.S. The groups range from member-led organizations, social service providers, and volunteer collectives that focus on a wide variety of issues such as mental health, domestic violence, racial and religious profiling, and housing and economic development. Their constituents and members include low-wage workers, youth, and LGBTIQ individuals. Some of the groups were established decades ago, while others were formed in the past 5 years.
This diverse group of partners has come together with a clear purpose: to ensure that the experiences of South Asian communities and the issues that they face are addressed in local, state, and national arenas. Coalition partners have identified nine key issue areas in A National Action Agenda, a collaborative policy platform that sets forth recommendations for decision-makers and community members. The National Action Agenda sets forth the need for linguistically and culturally appropriate services for South Asians, the importance of detailed and disaggregated data about South Asian communities, and a call for comprehensive immigration reform, among other recommendations.
The Coalition partners also intend to enhance their own work through skills-building trainings and information sharing about effective practices and models being used around the country. Next steps for the Coalition will include community and policymaker briefings, as well as capacity-building trainings and resource sharing among partner groups. The Coalition is currently being coordinated by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non-profit organization in the DC Metro Area.
More details and a listing of the organizations can be found here.
Photo courtesy: James Jordan