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Aruna Rao

Aruna Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, the first national organization dedicated to serving diasporic LGBTQ+ South Asians and their families, and building an intergenerational community dedicated to allyship.  


She is the proud parent of a transgender child, an activist representing families of LGBTQ+ children, and committed to organizing and uplifting the voices of Desi LGBTQ+ folks and their families. Aruna has also served on the PFLAG National Board and on the steering committee of API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC.

Aruna has two decades of experience as a mental health advocate and nonprofit leader. 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.

2020 Community Catalyst Awards Sponsors

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