SHAKTI: Community Ambassadors

Join Now! Become a Community Ambassador

Chhaya seeks dedicated and passionate college students, recent grads, and young professionals to join our leadership training program, Shakti: Community Ambassadors. The program will provide a platform for concerned community members to learn about the needs of low-income South Asian and immigrant New Yorkers, get involved through direct organizing and service, and be a part of Chhaya’s mission to fight for economic and social justice.

Based in Jackson Heights, Queens, Chhaya Community Development Corporation is dedicated to creating more stable and sustainable communities by increasing civic participation and addressing the housing and community development needs of New Yorkers of South Asian origin and their neighbors. Its work encompasses community organizing, education, and one-on-one counseling, as well as research and advocacy around fighting gentrification and xenophobia through tenant rights, financial empowerment, homeownership, and civic engagement.

In these times of rapid gentrification and a rising tide of racism against South Asians and other communities of color, Chhaya is seeking to train the next generation of leaders who will step up to preserve and protect our communities.

The program includes:

  • Weekly training sessions where participants will build solidarity and learn about salient economic, social, and political issues affecting the South Asian community
  • Hands-on volunteer experiences to build skills in community organizing, advocacy, and grassroots activism
  • Networking opportunities with elected officials, activists, advocates, and organizers leading the movement for social justice in New York
  • Opportunities to engage in Chhaya’s work to prevent displacement, promote systemic change, and build the power of the South Asian community

Admission Criteria:

  • Must be 18-30 years old to apply;
  • A passion for economic and social justice with a particular interest in serving and organizing low-income, immigrant New Yorkers;
  • An understanding and connection to South Asian communities in New York and a commitment to racial equity;
  • An interest in learning about and volunteering on critical frontline issues in the South Asian community including but not limited to:
    • Resisting gentrification and displacement;
    • Fighting wealth and income inequality;
    • Civically empowering South Asian New Yorkers;
    • Promoting a just immigration process;
    • Protecting communities from discrimination and hate crimes.
  • Interest in building skills in community organizing, policy advocacy, civic engagement, and social service;
  • Willingness to participate in a 12-week training program with weekly Saturday meetings;
  • Committed to mobilizing the community around Hate Free Zones & sanctuary cities; providing volunteer organizing assistance for a 3 month period after training;

Benefits of Joining:

  • Gain grassroots organizing experience volunteering alongside seasoned leaders in community organizing, policy advocacy, and civic engagement
  • Develop professional & leadership skills for successful careers in the non-profit sector, public sector, and grassroots activism
  • Meet with city officials and elected representatives to share your concerns about your community
  • Learn how to become more civically engaged and how to make change in your neighborhood
  • Work with up-&-coming leaders to create a just & equitable city

Apply today. Program Begins: Saturday 9/16/2017