Non-partisan advocacy group for Indian Americans hosts Summit and Gala

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, on stage at right, with moderator, at the Indian American Impact Project Summit and Gala June 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C.. PHOTO: Twitter @IA_Impact

The Indian American Impact Project, which describes itself as a non-partisan organization aimed at advancing the civil rights and representation of Indian Americans and South Asians, held its 2023 Summit and Gala June 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Impact Project is the education arm of Indian American Impact.

The event brought together more than 350 South Asian Americans from across the country. The theme of the event was “Next 100 Years” and it attracted some high profile guests such as Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, civil rights activist Valarie Kaur, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, US Senators Chuck Schumer and Cory Booker, US  Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Shri Thanedar.

More than 21 South Asian-led organizations and 75 speakers addressed the Summit, with programming featuring numerous breakout sessions along four tracks: Policy Advocacy, Running for Office, Community Organizing, and Activism through Art. Notable sessions included “Breaking the Mold: Raising Our Voices in Media,” “Charting the Path Forward on Climate Change,” and “A South Asian Health Agenda.”

The Summit also featured a Congressional Panel with U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Shri Thanedar, moderated by Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The Gala, hosted at the Kennedy Center by Emcee Nimesh Patel, was a celebration of the achievements and contributions of the Indian American and South Asian community, a press release from the organization said.

The evening’s keynote speakers were Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Senator Cory Booker, with a special appearance by Senator Schumer.

A panel discussion featuring, from left, Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi, Shri Thanedar, Ro Khanna, as well as moderator, NARAL-Pro Choice Executive Director Mini Timmaraju. PHOTO: videograb from Twitter @ia_impact

The Dalip Singh Saund Award was presented to Delegate Kumar Barve, the first Indian American elected to a state legislature in the United States. This award recognizes outstanding public service and dedication to civic engagement and involvement at the state and local levels of government.

The Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris Award, named after Vice President Kamala Harris’ mother, was presented to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. This award recognizes courage, determination, and commitment to allyship and the cause of civil rights for all in the United States.

The Gala also featured a musical performance by Rizwan Jagani and a special performance by Ari Afsar and Nikhil Saboo.

Held during Immigrant Heritage Month, this year’s Summit and Gala took place 100 years after the U.S. Supreme Court Case Thind vs. United States in which Indian immigrants were declared ineligible for U.S. citizenship because they were not white.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here