Is it possible to “unlearn” traits such as hatred that seem so engrained within our society? Will there ever be an end to violence? Alliance of South Asians Taking Action does not waste time asking these questions. Instead, they work hard each and everyday to make the solutions a reality. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you are bound to be faced with this non-profit team that is constantly working to educate, organize, and make powerful the Bay Area South Asian communities so that oppression, racism, violence and exploitation will not have a place their communities again. Through involvement with campaigns focused on anti-immigrant sentiment, immigration issues, gender-based exploitation, and peace, this organization will not stop short of justice. This week, you are exclusively invited to check out the DesiConnect’s exciting Non-Profit Spotlight, as this highly motivational group known as ASATA is featured.
ASATA, the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, is a San Francisco Bay Area group working to educate, organize, and empower the Bay Area South Asian communities to end violence, oppression, racism and exploitation within and against our diverse communities.
Since 2000, we’ve been engaged in campaigns around racism and anti-immigrant sentiment, immigration justice, gender-based exploitation, and peace in South Asia and the United States. We are best known for our work on complicated crises affecting South Asian communities
Most notable campaigns
ASATA formed in January of 2000 in direct response to the charges against Berkeley landlord, Lakireddy Bali Reddy, who was convicted of bringing 25-100 people from his village in India to work for little or no pay in his restaurants and businesses. He was also convicted of trafficking at least 3 girls, some minors, for forced sex. ASATA focused on reframing the issues in the case from immigration fraud and sex scandal to issues of sexual and labor trafficking and exploitation, and urged the South Asian community to hold Reddy accountable for his exploitative actions.
Outreach to undocumented workers
General community education through workshops and conferences
Continual contact with the media through actions at all of the hearings
Letter writing campaigns
Vigil for victims
Addressing hate violence against our communities (2001-2005)
After September 11th, ASATA’s work involved combating the environment of hate inspired by the media, the United States government, and those spreading anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment. Our strategies involved education and awareness work, community outreach, media work, and working in solidarity with other social justice groups. ASATA organized and helped facilitate a training workshop for Bay Area high school students to train them on Berkeley High School students, “Unlearning Hate” presentation, which was created and successfully used at Berkeley High School to create a safe environment for students on campus. We also engaged in outreach to the South Asian American community to provide community members with hate crime/hate violence and Know Your Rights resources.
From April 2002 to May 2003, ASATA was part of the United Response Collaborative (URC), which consisted of five organizations serving the Bay Area Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities that provided direct assistance to and advocacy for victims of hate violence, with the intention of creating a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and coordinated approach that includes community organizing and empowerment, health education, strategic planning and organizational development.
Education and awareness work (e.g. “Unlearning Hate” workshop for Bay Area high school students)
Community outreach on hate crime/violence and civil rights (at Navaratri Garba-Raas, Durga Puja, Indo/Pak Independence Days, gurdwaras, mosques, and a host of other sites and events)
Media contact to bring cases and issues to light
Extensive coalition work with other social justice groups
Member of the United Response Collaborative, a Bay Area multi-ethnic/religious alliance assisting victims, and doing education and organizing work in targeted communities.
For more informaton about ASATA, go to their website at www.asata.org