By Keerthana Balakrishnan
As part of India Day 2020 on Saturday August 8th a committee of young adults came together to discuss the current issues playing out in the USA today. This group is called SAYAA, which stands for the South Asian Youth Activists and Allies. We are part of the second generation of ISW community members who on their own have raised their voices by organizing vigils, posting on FB and hosting podcasts and writing articles . With the support of the Executive Board of India Society of Worcester, we came together under the 'ISW Young Professionals Group' initiative.
During this panel, the committee members discussed the history of race in America, microaggressions against minorities, and how to combat unfair stereotypes. The event started off with speaker Kavya Balaji on “Racial Solidarity as South Asians''. Kavya had written an eloquent letter to “Uncles and Aunties' ' about why South Asians should be concerned about Black Lives Matter movement and was profiled on CNN and other news channels. Following the speech, the committee members (Shubh Agrawal, Keerthana Balakrishnan, Danush Chelladurai, Tanvi Jain, Aditya Khanna, Kavya Raghunathan, Aarshiya Sachdeva) answered questions on how they educated themselves, strategies to combat racism in a professional environment, and even how to get more involved in the future. This event was streaming on Facebook live which allowed for the audience to submit questions and engage with the conversation at hand. With audience questions, the committee was also able to look at how to combat colorism and the caste system within the Indian culture.
This may have just been the start for the SAYAA committee, but they hope to have panel discussions on a variety of other topics about human rights in the near future. This is only the beginning, but they hope to change the world one conversation at a time. Share your opinions in the survey. Click here to take it.