“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”
Over the past week here at Sakhi for South Asian Women, we took the time and space to feel anger, grief, and sadness. The election results felt like a complete rebuke of our work and vision for inclusivity and gender equity. We took a brief respite and now, we are ready for action. Now more than ever, we need to amplify our community’s voices and stories:
“I am a Muslim, I am a recent immigrant, I am a domestic violence survivor, and I am waiting for my U-Visa, my one hope of beginning a new life. Now I’m seriously worried whether it will ever come.”
“My teenage daughters cried last night and today when I left for the Sakhi office. They were asking me if it was safe to wear the hijab outside. Is it true that it’s a threat now?”
“Everyone around me is scared. I am legal here, so nothing’s going to happen to me, right?”
We are on the frontlines and bear witness to the pain, uncertainty, and fears of our community. We will not normalize hateful and divisive speech or ideology. We will not stand by and wait to see ‘what happens.’ We simply can not afford to.
As immigrant women of color, the women we work with at Sakhi stand at the nexus of many of the most critical issues of today. Our community was always at risk, but in the current political and social climate, we face egregious threats to our reproductive freedom, are increasingly vulnerable to anti-immigrant xenophobic violence, and fear deportation and an increase in restrictive immigration policy. Moreover, as survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, our constituents grapple with the devastation of having a man who has trivialized violence against women and normalized misogyny now serving as their president.
At Sakhi for South Asian Women, we are taking a stand in deepening our commitment to the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault that we serve in New York City. As an immigrant and women serving organization that works towards tolerance, peace, and gender justice, this means:
- We will offer more spaces for community building during these uncertain times,
- We pledge to listen even more to the needs of our constituents to ensure we are being comprehensive in our services, and
- We will participate even more fully in coalition building efforts with our feminist, POC, LGBTQ and Muslim allies.
From you, our community supporters, we ultimately need your positivity and support as we have a long road ahead of us and will be leaning on you.
Here are a few things you can do right now:
- Engage in radical self-care because we have to come from a space of energy.Here are some great ideas!
- Report all incidents of intimidation and harassment in our communities. If you witness or experience an incident, please #ReportHate.
- Play your role as a supportive ally and bystander. Here is a helpful guide in standing up for people being ‘othered.’
- Invite us to your space for Bystander Training by emailing Outreach & Communications Advocate Senti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn what to do if you witness violence, or suspect violence is affecting someone you know.
- Connect With Us! Our doors are open. Sign up for our listserv and follow us onFacebook and Twitter. As we grapple with the coming days, we will be reaching out with more concrete steps on how you can volunteer and be in community with us.
- Make a gift today. Stand up in support of the women and families facing the very real threats of violence, discrimination, and disenfranchisement. Make a tangible difference in the lives of women who deserve better.
Know that we stand here now, as we have for the past 27 years, and we have dug our heels into the ground. With your help and support, we will continue to fight for the values we share with you: inclusivity, gender equity, and respect for all. Consider this a rallying cry from us to you: our fearless supporters. Let’s work together to take a stand against hate.
Sakhi for South Asian Women