South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) celebrates 28 years of impact

This year, three outstanding individuals were recognized at the SAYA gala for their contributions, Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO of BentallGreenOak, left; Priya Parker, acclaimed author, center, and Anand Giridharadas, author, right. PHOTO: Courtesy SAYA

South Asian Youth Action ( celebrated its 28th anniversary at its annual gala on May 18, 2024, marking nearly three decades of connecting underserved New York City youth to opportunities and championing solutions that foster educational equity.

The event, held at Tribeca 360° in New York City, brought together close to 400 guests for an evening of philanthropy, inspiration, and celebration, organizers said in a press release.

Some 400 people attended the SAYA gala May 18, 2024. Seen here is a section of the audience. PHOTO: SAYA

SAYA’s annual gala recognizes the significance, contribution, and achievements of those community members who leverage their privilege and platform toward positive societal change. This year, three outstanding individuals who embody these principles—Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO of BentallGreenOak; Priya Parker, acclaimed author; and Anand Giridharadas, esteemed writer, were honored.

Guests were treated to a performance by the celebrated musician Ali Sethi.

Performance by Ali Sethi at the SAYA gala, May 18, 2024. PHOTO: SAYA

The evening was hosted by actress/author and SAYA board member Sheetal Sheth.

The highlight of the evening was the stories shared by SAYA youth, which showcased the organization’s impact on the lives of young people throughout New York City.

“Thanks to the altruism of attendees and supporters, the gala raised over $750,000, which will directly benefit SAYA’s programs and initiatives—aimed at empowering youth and fostering their academic, social, and personal development,” organizers noted.

“I am deeply grateful for the incredible dedication of everyone who joined us to celebrate SAYA’s legacy. The powerful stories shared by our youth highlight our history and the far-reaching impact of our programming,” Executive Director of SAYA Sonia B. Sisodia, is quoted saying in the press release.

Some of the attendees enjoying the SAYA gala May 18, 2024. PHOTO: SAYA

“The generosity of our supporters, along with the incredible $1 million gift from Mackenzie Scott SAYA received earlier this year, will advance SAYA’s important work in a profound and transformative way. Together we are creating a lasting impact in our communities,” said SAYA Board Chair Samidh Guha.



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