Last weekend, Sonny and I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 South Asian Summit, held in Washington DC. South Asian Americans Leading Together, or SAALT, did an excellent job in bringing together over 200 community members, activists and organizers from 17 different states to indulge in conversations about social justice work in South Asian communities. The summit included a full day of advocacy on Capitol Hill, a ChangeMaker awards reception that recognized individuals who have motivated social change in their communities, and numerous workshops and panels on a variety of topics ranging from the effects of the economy on South Asians to bullying in schools.
The summit provided a space to meet and create relationships with individuals and organizations who have dedicated their lives to social justice work. We learned about all of the complexities involved in different arenas of this work and how organizations and individuals are working through the issues they face. Most importantly, we learned of how all of our roles intersect with one another, despite the different niches in which we reside. Over the course of the Summit, it became increasingly clear that we need to unite and collaborate with each other in order to succeed in our fight for justice. We left DC on Sunday with piles of resources and materials and with anticipation to work even more collaboratively with our allies, supporters and communities.