SAN’s staff, volunteers, and board include: a majority of women, who are persons of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepali origin from Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist traditions; first-generation immigrants and American-born; speakers of Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati, Urdu, Bangla, Punjabi and Sinhala; and queer and heterosexual members.
SAN’s diversity reflects the multiple identities within the community, as well as multiple issue areas and methodologies for community building. Staff come with extensive experience and knowledge of public health, civil rights/ immigrant rights, intimate partner violence and community education.
Community Advocate – AWAZ
Aisha, born in Pakistan and raised in the U.S., became an advocate for victims of violence and their children and for young women’s esteem at 16, after she witnessed abuse in the community. With a degree in Psychology, Aisha joined SAN in 2009.
Civil Rights Advocate
Through civic engagement and outreach programs, Almas works to support marginalized South Asians including immigrants, women, youth, and the LGBTQ community. Almas graduated from Smith College where she received her Bachelors in History and Government. After pursuing a Fulbright Fellowship in Jordan, she returned to Los Angeles to become an advocate for the South Asian community. She speaks Urdu.
Manjusha is Executive Director at SAN. Prior to joining SAN, Manju served as Senior Attorney at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) for eleven years. At NHeLP, Manju worked to improve access to quality health care for low-income individuals. Manju has been awarded the Public Service Award by the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California in 2005. She was also selected for the Women’s Policy Institute Fellowship program in 2006, a project of the Women’s Foundation of California to train women to take on leadership roles in state policy advocacy.
Manpreet is a Health Advocate at South Asian Network for the CHAI Unit. She holds a Masters in Social Work from University of Southern California. She enrolls community members in public health benefit programs. She speaks Hindi and Punjabi.
Neeta was born in the U.S. by a father who wanted to save the world. She started doing volunteer work at a young age and found a cause that would always stay with her. She is currently working on her Bachelors degree in Sociology with the goal of becoming a counselor focusing on the needs of the South Asian community. Neeta speaks Gujarati and Hindi.
Nina has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She worked in SAN’s Health Unit from 2002-2008. Nina also worked as the Resident Care Coordinator and a Cal-Works Case Manager at a domestic violence shelter. Nina is currently a Community Advocate in SAN’s CHAI and AWAZ programs. Nina mostly works with the Bangladeshi community in Koreatown and various other places. Nina can speak Bangla and Hindi.
Mental Health Therapist
Rucha was born in India, raised in Dubai and has resided in the US for over 13 years. She has a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) with a specialization in clinical Art Therapy. She began her work with non-profits through developing and teaching art programs for under-served children in India, Dubai, and San Francisco. Rucha is passionate about utilizing culturally relative expressive arts therapies to better serve her clients and affect social change. Rucha speaks Hindi and Marathi.
Saima was born in Pakistan, raised in four countries, and speaks five languages. With a Ph.D in Human Rights, Saima started at SAN in 2007 as community advocate with AWAZ, she later coordinated the AWAZ unit, and is now SAN’s Deputy Director. In 2009, Saima was selected as a Fellow for the Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute, a project that trains women to take on leadership roles in state policy advocacy. She has previously worked on police violence, disability rights, and governance.
Mental Health Therapist
Vimmi was born and raised in India. She holds Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from USC and speaks five languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati and English. Vimmi started working for human rights and equality for South Asian women and South Asian LGBTQ community since 2008. She uses culturally competent therapeutic techniques to assist her clients. She has previously worked with Los Angeles County’s department of children and family services, and continues to fight for human equality and social justice.
Danyaal Mashedy, Technology
Deanna Cherry, Fundraising
Janis Weir, Fundraising
Neha Shahpatel, Mental Health, email@example.com
Rakhi Varma, Youth Leadership Development, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Chair – Sanjay Chhugani, Santa Barbara Applied Research
Board Secretary - Nazleen Bharmal, UCLA Department of Medicine
Board Treasurer - Suresh Seeram, FX Productions
Firdaus Dordi, Federal Public Defender
Sridavi Ganesan, Blank Rome LLP
Sayema J. Hameed, Cabada & Hameed LLP
Milan Kapadia, CoreLogic
Suma Mathai, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Sonia Shah, Kaiser Permanente
Rohit Shendrikar, Yahoo! Inc.
Shiraz Tangri, Meyers Nave
Nisha Vyas, Asian Americans Advancing Justice/LA