NQAPIA is excited to announce the hiring of Pabitra Benjamin as NQAPIA’s new Organizing Director, focusing on immigrants’ rights. Pabitra will work directly with LGBT AAPI member groups across the country and other LGBT and AAPI national groups in Washington, DC. She will also help plan and recruit for NQAPIA’s National Conference in Chicago next summer, Aug 6-9, 2015.
Bex Ahuja, NQAPIA Board Co-chair said, “Pabitra will build on the excellent ground work that Ben de Guzman laid for NQAPIA since 2005 and will bring our work of supporting and convening local Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT groups to the next level. We’re so excited to have Pabitra join the NQAPIA team.”
With over fifteen years of community and national organizing experience in human and civil rights movement building, Pabitra has done extensive campaign work on LGBTQ equality, immigrants’ rights and against racial profiling. She has also guided and worked for a number of cross-sector and multi-issue based coalitions including the Rights Working Group. Pabitra enjoys working with local communities directly, managing teams to accomplish directed goals and visioning future possibilities to build a stronger, more inclusive, and healthier society founded on providing basic human rights to all people. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with majors in Political Science and Languages & Cultures of Asia and certificates in Women’s Studies and South Asian Studies. Pabitra attended the APIA summit at Creating Change in 2005 where NQAPIA first formalized its structure. She has watched NQAPIA grow throughout the years.
Upon hearing the news of Pabitra’s hire, Kabzuag Vaj from Freedom Inc. in Wisconsin said, “I’ve known Pabitra for over 15 years. When I met her in her first year of college she had already done so much in Madison to create change for Asians and Queer API folks. She was one of the few to speak for and stand up for LGBTQ youth issues at a time when no one was speaking up. She is so courageous. She is an organizer at heart and will strengthen NQAPIA’s connection to grassroots movement and organizations. I am excited to build with her and NQAPIA.”
Pabitra said, “I’m thrilled to be on staff serving NQAPIA members and working on immigration as it concerns the queer APIA community.” She will work alongside Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA’s Co-Director for Development. Stay tuned to hear from Pabitra about NQAPIA’s “LGBT AAPI National Week of Action for Immigrants’ Rights” next year.
Pabitra can be reached at pabitra_benjamin(at)nqapia(dot)org
NQAPIA thanks the Four Freedoms Fund and Walter and Evelyn Haas, Jr. Fund for their support of NQAPIA’s immigrants’ rights work.