New Jersey South Asian American Women Launch Organization Aimed at Inspiring Other South Asian American Women

L to R Azra Baig, Board of Education member. Sadaf Jaffer, Candidate, Montgomery Township. Khyati Joshi, Board Vice President. Shanti Narra, Freeholder, Middlesex County. Toral Patel, Board Vice President. Kiran Gill, Board President

Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, NJ Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Gives Keynote Address at Inaugural Event

In the richness of New Jersey’s diversity, a group of both veteran and new-to-civic engagement South Asian American women have launched a new organization, Inspiring South Asian American Women (ISAAW). ISAAW, founded by a dozen women from across New Jersey, each with a unique SAA experience, seeks to bring other South Asian American women together to promote community engagement and public service in New Jersey.

L to R Hetal Gor, Community Advocate. Sadaf Jaffer. Ayesha Hamilton, Councilwoman, Township of West Windsor. Suchitra Kamath, Community Advocate. S. Nadia Hussain, BAWDI, ACLU-NJ

At a launch event last night in New Brunswick, a crowd of approximately 100 – mostly women – from across the state gathered to hear about ISAAW and how the organization can support each of them be more engaged in their communities. Special guest Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver delivered the keynote address touching on inclusion and emphasizing the critical value in having a seat at the table.

“Women can perform in any occupational scale that can be established,” said Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (LD34). “Take your knowledge, education, and assertiveness and put it to use. Be the change agents we know we can be, lending our voices of influence to issues the most important to us, and our communities. I see in this room future mayors, freeholders, and members of Congress.”

Assemblywoman Oliver echoed sentiments from her days organizing within her community in Essex County, to making the transition to policy maker – recalling her “ah-ha” moment, when she realized the greater advancements that could be achieved for her community if she was at the policy table as a change agent.

“We are so pleased to see the turnout today and high level of interest from South Asian American women wanting to get more politically engaged,” said Kiran Gill, Board President, ISAAW. “For me personally, being involved with the formation of this organization has been eye opening. I am business owner in the state and I consider myself to be relatively informed about New Jersey’s political process. however, in creating this organization I was surprised to learn about many South Asian American women that are doing great things in our communities and the inspiring trailblazers that currently hold political office. I know through building these connections that number can only grow.”

“There is a tremendous amount of talent and skill amongst NJ South Asian American women. Indeed, South Asian immigrant women have helped to build the many cultural and religious organizations in New Jersey,” commented Dr. Khyati Joshi, Board Vice President, ISAAW. “However, they often don’t hold leadership positions in these organizations. ISAAW places South Asian American women front and center, by connecting South Asian American women across the state with each other and with opportunities to serve the public good here in New Jersey.”

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, South Asians, there are close to 400,000 South Asians self-identified in the state, with the largest concentrations in Middlesex, Hudson, Bergen and Somerset Counties. There, however, remains a disparity in not only equal representation on boards and commissions, but a greater disparity when looking at how South Asian American women occupy, or are considered for, these positions. ISAAW aspires to serve as that bridge and support network for the advancement of South Asian American women in public service.

About Inspiring South Asian American Women
Inspiring South Asian American Women (ISAAW) is a non-partisan organization seeking to empower and educate South Asian American Women to have a greater voice in their communities. Through the collective experiences of a group of passionate South Asian American women in New Jersey, we strive to increase awareness on civic issues, and mobilize to increase involvement in public service.

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifelines. He spends his time reading, swimming, hiking, cycling, and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management. Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modeled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly. Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building a strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked, and shared. He can be reached at his personal email: mediaiss@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *