Staff

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Shana Bhattacharya, Development Associate, joined Sakhi in November 2016. Shana graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in History and African and Afro-American Studies. At Brandeis, she participated in a wide variety of projects that addressed global development and international conflict, taking her everywhere from rural Maine to Western Kenya. Prior to joining Sakhi, Shana worked in development at Breakthrough and The Nature Conservancy. As a native New Yorker, committed social justice advocate, and feminist, Shana is passionate about furthering Sakhi’s mission and is grateful to be working with a team of such intelligent and encouraging individuals. She is fluent in Bengali and has trained in Bharatnatym, an Indian Classical Dance, since the age of 10. Shana loves exploring new places and has a near obsessive devotion to her tiny, yet ferocious cat Mew. She can be reached at shana.bhattacharya@sakhi.org and (212) 714-9153, x1003.

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Sohini Das, Senior Development Officer, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in September 2012, and went on to become staff member in January 2014. Sohini began her career at a web development shop during the 1990′s. She then helped produce the first ever Tribeca Film Festival, prior to joining the television network, Nickelodeon. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2004. Sohini then moved to TV Land, where she helped the network build its slate of original productions. Sohini opened the doors to her private practice television development consultancy in 2010. She is honored to have joined the amazing and inspirational team at Sakhi. She is proficient in Bengali, and holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Boston University. She enjoys life’s simple pleasures: eating brunch with her family, baking muffins, and watching Downton Abbey. She can be reached at sohini.das@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1003.

Anusha Goossens, Sexual Assault Advocate, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in August 2015. Anusha is a licensed attorney in New York and spent a number of years working on humanitarian immigration relief for various immigrant populations. Prior to her legal career, she was heavily involved in international human rights and child rights advocacy at the United Nations, working for UNICEF and Save the Children in Geneva. She holds a B.A. in International Development from McGill University, and a J.D. from American University. Anusha calls herself a “BelgoSwIndian” (Belgian, Swiss, and Indian!) and is proficient in Hindi/Urdu, Dutch, and French. She loves spending time with her family and adores the beauty and grandeur of nature – especially the Swiss mountains! Her favorite times of the day are her morning cup of tea and her afternoon cup of tea. Anusha can be reached at anusha.goossens@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1009.

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Nabah Ikram, Domestic Violence Program Advocate, joined Sakhi in September 2015. She received her Bachelors in Law (LLB) in Pakistan where she is admitted to practice in the Punjab High Court. Nabah pursued her Masters in Law (LLM) at Cornell University where she mainly focused on Human Rights. She is extremely passionate about furthering the rights and opportunities of women and is excited to be a part of the Sakhi team to help empower women. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. Nabah enjoys designing clothes that are a fusion of the East and West. She is in awe of skylines and views of nature. She can spend hours philosophizing about life with her friends and family. She can be reached at: nabah.ikram@sakhi.org, and 212 714 9153 x 1008. 

Kusum Ravindranath, Economic Empowerment Program Manager, passionately believes that anyone who desires to work deserves a sustainable opportunity to do so. She began her career as a Human Resources Manager with General Electric, working in various businesses and roles. After an extended  maternity break, she transitioned her development and business skills to the nonprofit sector, working with innovative London based organizations On Purpose and Working Chance. She has a Masters in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and in Creative Writing – Non Fiction from City University, London. She is a published and recreational writer, loves hill stations in particular and nature in general. Kusum can be reached at 212.714.9153, x 1005 and at kusum.ravindranath@sakhi.org.

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Shyda

Shyda Rashid, Domestic Violence Program Advocate, joined Sakhi in December 2015. Shyda has worked with Turning Point for Women and Families as an Education and Outreach Coordinator and successfully raised awareness of domestic violence-related services within the South Asian community, particularly among the Bangladeshi community, in NYC. Prior to that she worked as a Consular Officer for nine years at the British Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh providing consular assistance to British citizens with regard to forced marriage, domestic violence, missing persons, child abduction, life threats and arrest cases. Shyda has an MSW and is fluent in Bengali and conversational in Hindi/Urdu. Shyda enjoys the simplicity of life, and loves traveling, shopping, and spending time with family. She is passionate about helping and supporting women in distress and finds working in direct service and helping domestic violence survivors overcome hurdles an extremely rewarding experience. She can be reached at shyda.rashid@sakhi.org and 212.714.9153, x 1006.

Reshmi Sengupta, Programs Director, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in the summer of 2010, going on to becoming a full-time staff member in September.  She has a BA from Hunter College, double majoring in Economics and History, with a focus in development Economics.  After 6 years in the finance world, she decided to go back to school and get a Masters degree in Economics and Education from Columbia University-Teachers College, focusing on women’s development in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is fluent in both Hindi and Bengali. She’s an avid cinema lover who dreams of moonlighting as a film critic for the New York Times! She can be reached at reshmi.sengupta@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1007.

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Senti

Senti Sojwal, Outreach & Communications Advocate, joined Sakhi in October 2015. A New York native,she holds a B.A. from Hampshire College in Women and Gender Studies and Creative Writing. Prior to working at Sakhi, Senti spent time as an educator in South Korea and is a longtime activist and organizer in the reproductive justice movement as well as freelance political writer. She is a passionate feminist dedicated to gender justice, empowering communities of color, and believes strongly in the power of art and grassroots activism to challenge power inequalities and create long term systemic social change. Senti loves traveling, cooking, reading sassy feminist blogs, exploring the many different sides of her city, and is Nicki Minaj’s biggest fan. She can be reached at senti.sojwal@sakhi.org and 212.714.9153, x 1001.

Shalini Somayaji, Executive Director, first started working around gender-based violence issues in 2000 during a summer fellowship at Raksha, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works within the South Asian community.  There, her passion for social justice was sparked, and she continued on after law school at Tapestri, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence in refugee and immigrant communities, for over six years, first as a legal advocate and then as Co-Executive Director.  She joined Sakhi in July 2011 as Deputy Director and became the ED in June 2015. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Emory University School of Law.  She is currently on the Steering Committee of Asian Women Giving Circle.  When not trying to figure out how to make life easier with technology, you can find her hanging out with her family, looking for the best vegan meal, or writing a story based on her grandfather’s life – who first inspired her to do good without expecting anything in return. She can be reached at shalini.somayaji@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1002.

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Yumnah Syed, Youth Empowerment Advocate, joined Sakhi in April 2016. She holds a BA in Communication from UC San Diego. After working in Public Relations, Yumnah decided to make a career change, and is now wrapping up her MSW at Adelphi University’s School of Social Work, with a specialization in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Trauma. She is passionate about working with youth survivors of trauma, and is in the process of completing her SPARCS certification. She is fluent in Urdu/ Hindi. A bleeding heart feminist who has dedicated her personal and professional life to empowering people of color and ending gender based violence, one of Yumnah’s greatest accomplishments is co-directing, co-producing, and performing in the 2016 production of Yoni ki Raat, after being a cast member in the first ever production of YKR in 2015. In her free time, Yumnah enjoys cooking, drinking a good cup of chai, reading, or watching Netflix on the couch, with her cats. She can be reached at yumnah.syed@sakhi.org and 212.714.9153, x 1004.

*Photos represent where we feel most at peace