SAAPRI Welcomes New Executive Director, Reema Kapur

Serving as SAAPRI’s Executive Director since 2011, Ami Gandhi, has decided to transition from her role. She will be leaving at the end of June of 2015 to raise a family and eventually seek new professional opportunities. We are grateful for her years of service and appreciate all the work she has done as the first Executive Director.

Under Ami’s leadership, SAAPRI has –
· Been leading the DACA-DAPA coalition with a range of partners;
· Helped pass anti-hate laws; and
· Was instrumental in implementing the first ever language access programs for Indian American voters.

Additionally, SAAPRI has published several reports ranging from civic engagement to voter trends.

With Ami’s leadership, SAAPRI’s reach has grown in breadth and scope in a short time and we are very proud of her accomplishments. We expect to continue this growth in the coming years with new leadership.

Reema Kapur, SAAPRI’s incoming Executive Director, and Ami will work together as co-Executive Directors during the month of June in transition as Reema takes over the reins of SAAPRI in July.

Reema brings ten years of experience as an attorney focused on business and employment litigation. Most recently, Reema was a senior labor and employment attorney specializing in complex litigation. Throughout her career, Reema has been committed to community service, seeking meaningful opportunities to promote diversity and civic engagement, and build professionalism.

In her new role, Reema looks forward to meaningful community engagement including strong partnerships with community organizations, community leaders and members of the South Asian community.

Reema can be reached by email at reema (AT) saapri.org or by phone at (773) 373-9750.

SAAPRI Discusses Immigration at BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir

Serving as the Chief Guest of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir’s 8th Annual Women Conference, SAAPRI executive director Ami Gandhi addressed immigration, deferred action for undocumented individuals, and work authorization of H-4 visa holders to over 500 conference attendees in Bartlett, Illinois on March 14, 2015. Click here to read coverage of the event in Chicago Tribune’s Skokie Review. SAAPRI thanks community leaders and conference organizers Payal Shah and Rinku Patel for their efforts to empower women and highlight immigration and other social justice issues.

Full shot of attendees at Women's Conference 2015 - small
Ami Gandhi from SAAPRI discusses issues in South Asian communities
Speakers-Chief Guest-Dancers at Women's Conference 2015

Paid Opportunity for April 7 Elections

SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY:

The Cook County Clerk’s Office is currently hiring bilingual individuals who speak Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu. This is a paid opportunity to help South Asian community members gain access to the polls during the elections on April 7, 2015.

Requirements include:
(1) Ability to travel to suburban Cook County (even if you live outside of suburban Cook County), and
(2) Ability to speak English as well as either Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu (ability to read Hindi is preferred but not required).
Note:
Contact Ranjana at 312-603-0961 for more information about citizenship and voter registration requirements. Bilingual college or graduate students are eligible to apply as well.
*Click here for more details. To apply, click here or call 312-603-0961.

CITY OF CHICAGO:

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is also hiring bilingual individuals who speak Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu for the April 7, 2015 runoff election.

Requirements include:
(1) U.S. citizenship,
(2) Registered to vote,
(3) Residence in City of Chicago, and
(4) Ability to speak English as well as either Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu (ability to read Hindi is preferred but not required).
Note:
Bilingual college or graduate students are eligible to apply as well – be sure to ask for the student application form. Students must be U.S. citizens and registered to vote anywhere in the US.
*Click here for details. To apply, click here or call 312-269-7990.

SAAPRI regularly advises local election boards and government agencies in implementing language access to limited English proficient community members. Read this press release for more background about language assistance under the Voting Rights Act: “We encourage all South Asian Americans to help with this language assistance implementation, so that we can fully exercise our right to vote in the upcoming elections.”

Combating Racism & Hate: Event at Cornell University

SAAPRI’s Ami Gandhi will be visiting Cornell University to discuss the prevention of hate crimes in the Midwest and beyond.

DATE: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
TIME: 4:30 – 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Please view the detailed event information here. SAAPRI thanks Cornell University’s South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), South Asian Council, Women in Public Policy, 626: Center for Intercultural Dialogue, Asian American Studies Program, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, and Alice Cook House for this opportunity to highlight the community’s concerns.

Update: Click here to read The Cornell Daily Sun’s coverage of the event.

SAAPRI’s Harish Patel Featured in WBEZ Post-Election Analysis

Just after the polls closed following the 2015 Chicago elections, SAAPRI’s Civic Engagement Fellow Harish I. Patel joined WBEZ’s post-election coverage to discuss the South Asian American community’s concerns this election season – including immigrant integration, small business ownership, language access, and police accountability – and the huge growth of South Asian voters with more and more potential to influence elections. Read more about the community’s voting potential here.

Sylvia Puente of Latino Policy Forum and Roderick Hawkins of Chicago Urban League also joined the conversation with WBEZ reporters Niala Boodhoo and Melba Lara. Stay tuned for an audio clip!

MAP: South Asian-Serving Institutions in Illinois

South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI) is pleased to provide this map of South Asian-serving institutions in Illinois as a resource for the community, published in February 2015 in conjunction with the report Voter Registration, Activation, and Engagement in South Asian American Communities in Illinois. SAAPRI thanks Civic Engagement Fellow Harish I. Patel for creating this valuable resource and volunteer Kunal Gokhale for all his valuable assistance.

MapLegendSmall

CLICK HERE for the PDF version of SAAPRI’s South Asian-Serving Institutions List.

Paid Opportunity for Bilingual Citizens

UPDATE: Click here if you are interested in details about serving as an election judge in the the April 7, 2015 Chicago election.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is hiring bilingual individuals who speak Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu. This is a paid opportunity to help South Asian community members gain access to the polls during the municipal elections on February 24, 2015.

Requirements include:

(1) U.S. citizenship,
(2) registered to vote in Cook County,
(3) residence in City of Chicago, and
(4) ability to speak English as well as either Hindi, Gujarati, or Urdu (ability to read Hindi is preferred but not required).

Note:
Bilingual college or graduate students are eligible to apply as well – be sure to ask for the student application form. Students must be U.S. citizens and registered to vote anywhere in the US.

Click here for details. To apply, click here or call 312-269-7990.

SAAPRI regularly advises local election boards and government agencies in implementing language access to limited English proficient community members. Please contact us if you are interested in other job opportunities available for bilingual individuals. Read this press release for more background about language assistance under the Voting Rights Act: “We encourage all South Asian Americans to help with this language assistance implementation, so that we can fully exercise our right to vote in the upcoming elections.”

January 8 at IAC: Roundtable on Administrative Immigration Relief

Indo-American Center, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) & South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI) invite you to be part of a Roundtable on Administrative Immigration Relief

Thursday, January 8th, 4:30-5:30 PM
Indo-American Center
6328 North California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659
FREE EVENT – RSVP BELOW!

In anticipation of significant changes to the immigration system, community organizations, government partners, funders, and immigrant advocacy organizations have convened the IL is READY Campaign. Topics discussed at the roundtable will include:
1) What is Administrative Relief?
2) Consumer Protection / Fraud Prevention
3) Documentation Preparation
4) Know Your Rights & Deportation Defense
5) Planning for community outreach
6) How can we all collaborate to serve the community better

Click here for the event flyer. SAAPRI is proud to partner with Indo-American Center, Apna Ghar, & Chicago Desi Youth Rising on outreach about deferred action. Contact us if you would like us to host a similar event at a religious institution, community center, or other location near you.

Shubra Ohri Featured in India Abroad

Click here to read India Abroad’s December 12, 2014 story “Brown Hands Up Too” by reporter Arthur Pais about South Asian Americans joining movements against police brutality, featuring an interview of Shubra Ohri, SAAPRI’s pro bono legal consultant. Shubra has assisted SAAPRI in many initiatives, including our efforts to prevent violence against South Asians working in retail stores. View the full issue below.

Look inside >
A6
BROWN HANDS UP TOO