By DEEPA IYER
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 11, 2013) — On the 12th anniversary of September 11, 2001, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) remembers those who lost their lives and loved ones on that tragic day. We remember the courage of the first responders and the dedication of organizations, policymakers and community members who continue to address the ongoing impact of the events of 9/11.
As we remember the events of September 11th today, it is also important that we recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and equality. For SAALT and many of our partners in the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations, the past 12 years have been shaped by the experiences of backlash that our community members have confronted in a post-9/11 environment. Twelve years after 9/11, we continue to be witness to hate violence, discrimination in the workplace, bullying at schools, surveillance of community members in places of worship, student associations and non-profit groups, and harsh immigration enforcement.
To provide a fuller understanding of the impact of the post-9/11 environment, SAALT is releasing a number of resources today. SAALT’s Post-9/11 Timeline provides a twelve-year perspective on key domestic events and policies that have uniquely affected South Asians, Sikhs, Muslims and Arab Americans. The timeline can be used as a tool for education, a basis for dialogue, and a catalyst for change. It is a work in progress, and we would appreciate comments and additions to most accurately reflect the impact of post-9/11 events on our communities. We welcome your feedback at [email protected]
We also encourage you to access several resources about the post-9/11 environment, including a piece in the Huffington Post by SAALT’s Policy Director, Manar Waheed, and a blog at the SAALT Spot by SAALT’s Communications Assistant, AuriaJoy Asaria, about the recent revelations of NYPD surveillance, as well as SAALT’s materials on profiling, hate violence, best practices and models for coalition building, and guides for educators.
Together, we can change the course of the post-9/11 environment. As we carry with us the memory of September 11th and its ongoing effect on our communities and our nation, we pledge to recommit ourselves to the journey towards equality and justice for everyone. We hope you will join us.
Deepa Iyer is the Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together.