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Dear Friends,

Our deepest gratitude to our honorees, emcee, presenters, & supporters for a beautiful evening at Tribeca 360 last Thursday to celebrate our 2017 gala and look ahead to the future together.

Sakhi’s “Gender Justice: A Future for All” gala was an inspiring celebration that brought together leading women’s advocates and community supporters in a critical conversation about resilience and hope in the face of injustice.

We celebrated honorees Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now, for their notable and far reaching contributions to feminist advocacy and the empowerment of women and girls. In her speech, Reshma touched on the importance of teaching young girls resilience and bravery and shared her own experience attending Sakhi galas as a young activist and the impact our community had on her. Yasmeen made a powerful call to action as she discussed the importance of activating ourselves and seeing our own strength as agents of change.

Our emcee, WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal, discussed the importance of men in the movement to end gender-based violence and shared highlights in our programming of the past year, from community Bystander Trainings to an increased response to the mental health needs of our clients.

At the gala, we were so excited to announce that in the fall, Sakhi will launch a partnership with Girls Who Code by starting our own coding club for the daughters of the survivors we serve! With generous contributions from our supporters, we were able to raise over $320,000 at our gala. These funds will go towards supporting our youth program and expanding our client services.

We would like to give a heartfelt thank you in particular to our Gala Chair, Dr. Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos, our Gala Advisory Committee, our Benefit Committee, and our generous sponsors for their continuing and invaluable support of our work to advocate for New York City’s South Asian women. We would also like to convey our deepest gratitude to all of our guests, volunteers, and supporters. You are vital to our mission, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you and stayed tuned for upcoming events and further opportunities for engagement this summer!


Sakhi for South Asian Women Board & Staff


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Press Release: “Gender Justice: A Future For All” Gala

Sakhi’s 28th Anniversary Honorees

Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director, Equality Now

Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code

Master of Ceremonies

Arun Venugopal, WNYC Reporter & Host  

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Tribeca Three Sixty, New York City



Contact Senti Sojwal, senti.sojwal@sakhi.org


MARCH 29, 2017 — This coming May 4th, 2017, New York’s first South Asian women’s organization, Sakhi for South Asian Women, will celebrate an incredible 28 years of service and advocacy at Tribeca Three Sixty with the “Gender Justice: A Future For All” Gala.

Throughout its history, Sakhi for South Asian Women has fought to unite survivors, communities, and institutions to eradicate domestic violence and form healthy communities. Sakhi’s philosophy of empowerment has always centered first on supporting women’s agency and empowering survivors to regain charge of their lives and see themselves as positive agents of change.

Sakhi’s upcoming gala will honor two inspiring South Asian gender equality activists. Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now, is a longtime advocate for women’s rights and notably authored the first study on domestic violence in Pakistan.

“In such a critical time for women’s empowerment and gender justice, I am thrilled to be part of Sakhi’s 2017 gala,” said Ms. Hassan. “Throughout Sakhi’s history, they have been on the frontlines of the battle for immigrant rights and fought for New York’s South Asian women. I’m honored to be a part of this celebration and look ahead to the exciting work Sakhi has planned for the future.”

Reshma Saujani, also being honored at this year’s gala, is the CEO and Founder of Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit working to close to gender gap in technology and equipping young women from all walks of life with the skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

“As a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls, I’m so excited to be part of Sakhi’s 2017 gala and participate in a much needed conversation about the future of our movement,” said Ms. Saujani. “Sakhi has been a pioneer in the national conversation around gender justice issues in our immigrant community, and I’m looking forward to being part of an event with so many incredible women as we reflect both on our achievements and the future we are all working together to build.”

The “Gender Justice: A Future For All” celebration will be emceed by Arun Venugopal, journalist and host of “Micropolis”, WNYC’s ongoing examination of race, sexuality, and identity. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and more.

“This is an exciting year for Sakhi for South Asian Women,” says Executive Director Shalini Somayaji. “I’m looking forward to celebrating so many different groups and individuals who have been intrinsic to our success as an organization. As we continue to grow and adapt to better serve and advocate for New York’s South Asian women and immigrant communities, I’m grateful to take a moment to celebrate as well as look ahead to our future, and the work that must be done in our community and beyond.”







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Thanks so much to all of you that came out last Monday to the Bowery Poetry Club for the first stop on Amani Al-Khatahtbeh’s book tour, hosted by Sakhi! We are so grateful to have been able to share that space with you and engage in an important conversation about Islamophobia, feminism and gender, being an ally, youth activism, and everything in between. Your questions were thoughtful and inspiring, and showed how deeply so many of you care about where our movement can go from here. Keep up with Amani and our incredible host, Blair Imani, and purchase “Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age” if you haven’t!

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Join Sakhi for South Asian Women in this exciting evening with author, media mogul, and founder of popular online magazine Muslim Girl, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh.

Since starting Muslim Girl from her bedroom at seventeen, Amani has become a prominent feminist powerhouse, speaking around the country and the world (notably at the most recent United State of Women alongside Michelle Obama and Gloria Steinem) on gender justice and issues affecting Muslim women. The site today boasts one million unique visitors, 50 writers and editors, and its creator is a Forbes 30 Under 30 in media. Amani has been profiled in various media outlets including the New York Times, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and written numerously on everything from media representation to anti-blackness in her community.

In October, Amani’s memoir, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age was published to rave reviews and named a NYT Editor’s Pick. This evening, we’ll be hearing a reading from the book, have time for an audience Q&A, and learn more about what makes this brilliant young feminist tick. This event will be hosted by Black Muslim American activist and Equality for HER founder and executive director, Blair Imani, who will be leading our conversation and sharing insights from her own activism and experience.

In the wake of the immigration bans and heightened Islamophobia in the United States and abroad, it’s more important than ever to amplify Muslim women’s voices and fight for inclusion and justice in our communities. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting night of community building and activism.



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