Lessons from the South Asian Domestic Worker Movement
- Organizer: Andolan Archive Project
- Address: New York, NY United States
UPDATE: Please note, this event, originally scheduled on Friday, November 13, has been rescheduled to Friday, November 20.
Presented by the Andolan Archive Project. Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Equality Labs, and South Asian American Digital Archive.
Since the year 2000, Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers has fought for justice for survivors and workers, always moving in solidarity with other oppressed communities. As we face a global pandemic, rising fascism, and continued sexual violence, learning from the organizing of South Asian domestic workers is more important now than ever. This virtual program features Andolan community members Gulnahar Alam and Rina Ali in conversation with South Asian American Digital Archive Executive Director Samip Mallick and longtime Andolan volunteer Chitra Aiyar.
Accessibility note: This event will be hosted online. For questions or access needs, please email
Nahar Alam has been an organizer in the United States and Bangladesh for twenty-seven years. She is the founder of Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers. Alam works towards a world in which all workers are treated with respect and their rights are enforced. She has been organizing South Asian immigrant workers in New York City since 1993 through several grassroots Asian/Pacific Islander community organizations. Since 2008, Alam has been a community health worker at DREAM (Diabetes Research Education and Action for Minority) at the Center for the Study of Asian American Health at NYU Medical Center, educating Bangladeshi diabetic patients. Alam was also the co-founder of the coalition that passed the New York State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010.
Aisha “Rina” Ali has been a member of Andolan for two decades. She has been a taxi and Uber driver, and is also the mother of three children.
Samip Mallick is the co-founder and executive director of SAADA, the South Asian American Digital Archive. For the last twelve years, SAADA has enabled academics, artists, journalists, students, and community members to write books, create new content, and shape public understanding about the South Asian American community. Through its archival collections and digital storytelling initiatives, SAADA works to reimagine the potential of community archives in the digital era. Mallick’s work at the intersection of technology and storytelling builds on his backgrounds in history, computer science, and library and information sciences.
Chitra Aiyar is an attorney, educator, and longtime Andolan volunteer. She served as co-producer of the documentary Claiming Our Voice (2008), which focused on a theatre production developed by Andolan members. Aiyar’s decision to move to New York City in 2001 to attend law school was largely influenced by the opportunity to connect with Andolan members who she had heard so much about. Twenty years later, she continues to be clear that it was the right decision.