Immigrant advocate & scholar Sayu Bhojwani to present Carleton convocation

October 17, 2018
By Kou Okada '22

Renowned immigrant advocate and scholar Sayu Bhojwani will present Carleton’s weekly convocation on Friday, October 19 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled, “Immigrant Voices Make Democracy Stronger,” Bhojwani’s address will focus on how inclusion and participation make democracy stronger.

Carleton convocations are free and open to the public. They are recorded and archived for online viewing here.

An influential immigrant rights advocate, Bhojwani is the founder and the president of the New American Leaders Project (NALP), a non-profit organization working to build an inclusive democracy by preparing first- and second-generation Americans to use their power and potential in elected office. Since the NALP’s founding in 2010, she has worked to engage people in public debates and in the democratic process. The only national, non-partisan organization focused on bringing New Americans into the political process, Bhojwani has been recognized by the Case Foundation as a Fearless Changemaker for her work with the NALP. She has also been honored by Citizens Union New York and was awarded the BMW Foundation’s Young Leaders Award in 2013.

Prior to her work with the NALP, Bhojwani served as New York City's first Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 1997, she founded the South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), the first and only organization working exclusively with youth of South Asian descent.

A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, CNN In America, and other online publications, Bhojwani is active in the media as well. She currently serves on the board of the National Immigration Forum and recently authored the book, “People Like Us: The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door” (The New Press, 2018). Howard Dean, former DNC chair and Vermont governor, writes, “Bhojwani’s analysis of what works and what needs urgent change serves as a road map for the future of our democracy. ‘People Like Us’ is a must-read for this political moment.”

Bhojwani holds a Ph.D. in politics and education and a M.Ed. in comparative education from Columbia University. Born in India and raised in Belize, Bhojwani is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Since 1984, she has lived in New York City with her husband and daughter. Learn more about her here.

This event is sponsored by Carleton College Convocations. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located at First and College Streets in Northfield.