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I am Shakti

I-AM SHAKTI (translation: "INDIAN-AMERICAN POWER" or "I AM POWER") is a social justice movement to sensitize Indian-Americans to mental health challenges while providing hope and support to those affected. Our symbol is the phoenix, symbolizing power and revival. I-AM SHAKTI hosts workshops across the country to facilitate dialogue regarding the ways in which mental health issues uniquely and disproportionately affect the South Asian community. This organization has also compiled the narratives of South Asians affected by mental illness as well as developed an online forum and support group for those struggling. Learn more about their organization here. Sri, the Yale South Asian Wellness Coordinator, will be helping spearhead the curriculum of this workshop at the South Asian Youth Initiative.

Sakhi for South Asian Women

Sakhi for South Asian Women exists to represent the South Asian diaspora in a survivor-led movement for gender-justice and to honor the collective and inherent power of all survivors of violence. Sakhi is committed to serving survivors through a combination of efforts including—but not limited to—direct services, advocacy and organizing, technical assistance, and community outreach. Founded in 1989 by a group of five South Asian women—Anannya Bhattacharjee, Mallika Dutt, Tula Goenka, Geetanjali Misra, and Romita Shetty—who were from diverse professional fields such as banking, film, law, and public health, Sakhi, meaning “woman friend,” was created to fill a critical need. In spite of an abundance of religious and cultural centers, professional associations, and ethnic-specific groups within New York’s large South Asian immigrant population, there was no place for survivors to address the oft-silenced subject of gender-based violence. Through Sakhi’s efforts to serve survivors and mobilize community members to condemn abuse, Sakhi has changed the conversation on gender-based violence in our community. Margaret Abraham, author of Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States, has noted, “What Sakhi did was bring together issues around ethnicity and gender, which were previously not discussed in our communities. They shifted domestic violence from a private family problem to a public social issue.”