5 messages. 4 examples. And 2 mistakes to avoid.

5 messages. 4 examples. And 2 mistakes to avoid.

Key messages:

  1. South Asians have been living, working, and building family and community in the US since the 1600s.
  2. Unfortunately, our communities have been and continue to be affected by hate. We are affected in multiple ways by the systems, institutions and policies of white supremacy, misogyny, racism, economic inequality, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.
  3. In the wake of the election, many in our community are legitimately worried about rhetoric and policies that target us and others. This ranges from the spate of hate violence and bigotry occurring today to the policies of enforcement and deportation that may threaten hundreds of thousands of people to the Muslim registry.
  4. Everyone deserves to be treated with human dignity and equality.
  5. At this time, we need our neighbors, cities, elected officials, and schools to take a stand to reaffirm dignity and justice for everyone.


Example 1 (160 words) – College Students

As a college student at ______ (insert name of college/university), I am anxious and worried about the climate of fear and suspicion since the election. This isn’t new. In fact, South Asians, especially Muslims and Sikhs, have been confronting the impact of violence, discrimination, bullying and surveillance in the 15 years since 9/11. But the divisive rhetoric during the election cycle and the policies suggested to register Muslims and conduct “extreme vetting” of immigrants and refugees – as well as the spate of violence and bigotry in the wake of the election – deeply concern me, a ___ year old South Asian [enter preferred identity/identities] college student. I urge our campus administrators to take a no-tolerance stance against any attacks on our students. This includes the creation of safety and sanctuary zones for undocumented students, strong statements against bigotry in every form, enforceable anti-bias policies, diverse curricula and faculty, and anti-racism trainings for staff and students. That’s a fraction of what it will take to demand justice and inclusion for all.

Example 2 (105 words) – Anyone

The first South Asian American came to the US in 1622 Jamestown. Yet, almost 400 years later, my community is still impacted by hate — including some of the rhetoric and policies of the new administration that target us, and many others. I’m very worried by the all the post-election hate violence, as well as the threats to deport hundreds of thousands of people. Every one of us deserves human dignity and equality. In these troubling times, I’d like to see the city of ______ take a stand to oppose bigotry in every form, and treat every resident with the respect and dignity they deserve. We need our lawmakers to pass resolutions condemning bigotry, creating safe and welcoming spaces, and laws that advance equity and inclusion.

Example 3 (107 words) – Family

Our family has been living in ____ for __ years. This is our home. But during this election season, and especially in the days after the election results, I have increasingly felt like an outsider. [Insert one’s own experiences if applicable]. It’s not surprising. Around the country, there have been reports of hate violence and bigotry targeting people of color, LGBTQ communities, Muslims, immigrants, and refugees. Hate violence is not a partisan issue. We need our elected officials, the media, and faith leaders to call for dignity and inclusion in every part of American life.

Example 4 (109 words) – Organization with Directly Affected Community Members 

Our organization (Name) affects South Asians who are already being affected by the  hostile climate since the election. Among our members are (description). Some of our members have experienced harassment (if possible, add story), while others are deeply concerned about the threat of deportations and a registry for Muslim immigrants. As we navigate the uncertain future ahead, we call upon our local and state policymakers to take measures to protect and support the most vulnerable people whose lives are literally at stake. Right now, our communities need to know that the city of _____ (add) will be a safe haven for them to live, work and raise their families.

Avoid these mistakes!

  • Don’t say “we are Americans too” or “we are all American.”
    • This language implies that only U.S. citizens have value. Non-citizens (documented or undocumented) in our community deserve to be treated with dignity.
  • Don’t say “we are a nation of immigrants.”
    • This excludes Native Americans and African Americans. If you’re mentioning immigration, make sure not to imply that all Americans are immigrants, or that it’s the most important theme in our history.