The South Asian Community United Launches "We Are America" Campaign

Sheetal Sheth
Sheetal Sheth

New York, Oct 16, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) The “We Are America” campaign was launched at an event held at the Copacabana, in Manhattan, which was organized by The South Asian Community United (SACU), to provide a platform to unite members of the South Asian Community and 18 + nonprofits in New York City under one roof.  The community was not only invited to be a part of the largest South Asian debate watch event in the nation, but everyone heard important issues that affect our community specifically from the voices of our own South Asian celebrities, as they encouraged and energized the re-election vote for President Obama.

Video: Obama PSA 2012 - We Are America

The campaign features celebrity voices of: Reshma Shetty (“Royal Pains”), Sheetal Sheth (“The World Unseen”), Sarita Choudhury (“Homeland”) Debargo Sanyal (“The Magic of Belle Isle”),  Samrat Chakrabarti, (“Midnight’s Children”), Sanjiv Jhaveri (“Walkaway”), and Reena Shah, (My Pet Dragon).

The idea for this campaign came about when long time friends, Social Entrepreneur, Tim Dutta, and Actor Samrat Chakrabarti, began a discussion about the upcoming election and the importance of the South Asian Community's vote.

“In speaking to all the South Asian community leaders, it was easy to see that even though a large number of South Asians supported President Obama in the last election, four years later they have lost touch and felt a bit left out in this year’s election process from the Democratic party’s outreach”, said Tim Dutta.  “We now needed a platform to re-engage and reunite the community, to not only recharge them but provide a emphatic reminder of what has been accomplished by President Obama and the Administration for our community”.

Tim asked Samrat to take the lead on the concept and direction for creating seven Public Service Announcements (PSAs), by South Asian celebrities for the South Asian community.  Samrat reached out to a network of fellow actors, artists and performers, who came on board to speak about real grass roots issues that affected them like: the economy, healthcare, women’s rights, domestic violence, civil rights and equality, hate crimes/bias and anti-discrimination.

However, the messaging had to speak to these very serious topics in a way that the community would not be divided, but rather united.  The message had to demonstrate what President Obama is doing to address these important issues, and how we as a community had to help him continue what he started.

“To have a voice in the USA, we must unite our South Asian Community and move forward together.” said Samrat Chakrabarti, “We must create a campaign that reminds America, that South Asian Americans come in all sizes, shapes, and  shades of brown. And that we are an important part of the fabric of this country."

We Are America
We Are America

Together, Dutta and Chakrabarti leveraged all their contacts and networks to recruit others who had the same passion for the community and Obama. They brought in the prolific and well-respected Cinematographer, Vishesh Sharma, to shoot and edit the PSA videos. They also approached the branding and social media firm of SCG Creative to help with the messaging and branding of the campaign. “It was very clear that Tim and Samrat were very passionate about re-electing President Obama, and the answer was in uniting the community.” said Rahul Siddharth, CEO of SCG Creative.

Celebrities for  The South Asian Community United (SACU)

Together, they came up with the concept and branding of “We are America, and America is Us”, to unite and represent that we are South Asian Americans, and “The Next Four Years,” to be consistent with the messaging of Obama’s current campaign of moving “Forward”.

Through the process, in creating the talking points for the community, they realized that this effort of getting President Obama re-elected needed to be a two-way process of not just holding the community accountable for the re-election vote, but to now hold the White House Administration accountable in also collectively achieving the needs of their constituents.  Hence, “The Next Four Years,” The South Asian Agenda 2012 is becoming the central vehicle to achieve this, with all the South Asian nonprofits united.

We Are America - Obama 2012 campaign and South Asian Community United: We Are America – 2012, is a campaign which was created by South Asian community advocates/celebrities for voter engagement of re-electing President Obama to continue what he has started in addressing the needs of the South Asian community.  South Asian Community United (SACU), is a group that unites all the South Asian nonprofits and associations in a unified platform to address the needs of the South Asian Community, to evoke representation in: government policy decisions, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and campaign based initiatives to enhance the interests and fair representation of the South Asian demographics in the United States.

Join the Campaign, by downloading the "We Are America" sign, taking a picture of yourself holding it and then sharing that picture online:

Disclaimer: This article is based on a press release and does not necessarily reflect the views of Washington Bangla Radio or WBRi Inc.