ARUNA RAO & SHAMINA SINGH: South Asians Celebrate Pres. Biden’s Respect for Marriage Act

ARUNA RAO & SHAMINA SINGH: South Asians Celebrate Pres. Biden’s Respect for Marriage Act

ARUNA RAO & SHAMINA SINGH: South Asians Celebrate Pres. Biden’s Respect for Marriage Act 1920 1080 Kanika

Today I am interviewing two luminaries pioneering the movement to create space for and celebrate those who identify as LGBTQ+ within our South Asian Community.

Aruna Rao is the proud parent of a transgender young adult and the founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, which serves diasporic LGBTQ+ South Asians and their families. She has served on the PFLAG National Board and has two decades of experience as a mental health advocate and non profit executive. Previously, she was the Associate Director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey, where she founded SAMHAJ, the first program in the USA to provide support and education for South Asians affected by mental illness. She has received several awards for her mental health work, including the 2011 South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) Changemaker Award.

For more than 20 years, Shamina Singh has been on the front line of developing and implementing solutions to make the global economy work for everyone, everywhere. Shamina is the founder and president of the Center for Inclusive Growth, the social impact hub of Mastercard. She also serves as executive vice president of Sustainability and is a member of the company’s Management Committee.

Currently, she sits on the boards of ADL, a global anti-hate organization, and the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas. She serves on the advisory boards of several organizations, including Data and Society, The Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellowship, and the New York Department of Financial Services Innovation Advisory Board. She has been named to the Financial Times Top 100 LGBT+ Executives and Fast Company’s Queer 50 lists.

Deeply committed to public service, Shamina has held senior positions in the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2015, Shamina was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a six-year term on the Board of AmeriCorps, a $1 billion independent agency that places over 270,000 volunteers with social sector organizations across the U.S. She served as chair for two years.

Shamina is a lifelong learner who has studied at Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the Indian School of Business.

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