Adhikaar promotes human rights and social justice for all through the following strategies:
Organizing & Grassroots Advocacy
Adhikaar organizes Nepali-speaking immigrants so that our emerging immigrant community can have a voice in determining policies that affect us. Alongside other social justice advocates, we have organized to protect domestic workers, expand paid sick leave, end human trafficking, and create a healthier nail salon industry. Adhikaar currently leads the New York Healthy Nail Salons Coalition, Justice in the Home Campaign, and the Beyond Survival Campaign (against trafficking of domestic workers), and is an active member of many other campaigns including the Justice for Jobseekers campaign. We also advocate for language justice and data dis-aggregation to ensure that our community’s needs are documented and met.
We build leadership of our members to strengthen our organizational capacity as well as build a stronger social justice movement led by low-wage immigrant workers. We develop leadership from within the immigrant worker community, whereby those directly affected by labor, civil rights, and immigration abuses lead the effort to improve their own conditions.Through informal on-going conversations, structured workshops, and a formal leadership training series, members develop the skills needed to fully participate in civic life and social change efforts. We also use art as a tool for leadership development, to explore the challenges of immigrant lives and find creative solutions.
Participatory Action Research
Through participatory action research, we build leadership of our members and also document our community’s stories so our program decisions and policy recommendations are truly rooted in the community.
Adhikaar completed the first comprehensive needs assessment of our community, including surveys, focus group discussions, and individual interviews. The 2010 report – Snapshots of the Nepali-Speaking Community in New York: Demographics and Challenges – provides the baseline data about our community. Adhikaar served as an anchor organization and trained workers to serve as surveyors for the first national domestic workers’ survey. We have also completed ground-breaking worker-led participatory action research documenting nail salon industry conditions and published the report, Behind the Polish: Experiences of Nepali-speaking Nail Salon Workers in New York City.
Check out some of the research Adhikaar has led or conducted in partnership with other organizations.
We organize Know-Your-Rights workshops and community forums on a range of issues of importance to our community, including workers’ rights, immigration, and tenant rights so that we can realize our rights. We work with media partners in the community to reach the broader population.
In January 2015, 180 people attended our workshop on the newly created municipal ID (IDNYC) and the Executive Action on immigration. We organized the event in partnership with Council Member Daniel Dromm and Nepali-language media outlet Sampreshan.
Workforce Development Training
We host skill-building trainings such as CPR certification, nanny training, and green cleaning, tailored to the needs of Adhikaar members. In 2014, in partnership with JFREJ and Damayan, we developed an innovative pilot training conducted jointly with eldercare providers and recipients. In 2015, we partnered with Cornell University to develop a bilingual nanny training program, and trained 20 nannies.
Our English for Empowerment classes build language capacity and confidence among our members. We have weekly 2-hour English classes at multiple levels to meet the needs of our community, including those who have never attended school. We currently hold classes on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Our class schedule may change due to other programming. To confirm class schedule and to register, please visit us at our Community Center or call us at 718-937-1117.
Support Services & Referrals
In order to provide holistic support to our members, we provide case management support and referrals to services to individuals and families. We have created successful partnerships with other organizers, advocates, service providers, and elected officials to provide high quality services to our community. Access to information and resources allow new immigrant families to make informed decisions, and rebuild their lives in the new country.
Adhikaar is the community’s 411/311 information and referral service. We are the first stop for other community organizations, government agencies, researchers, and media personnel looking for information about the Nepali-speaking community. Adhikaar is also a gateway between the Nepali-speaking community and other social justice movements, elected officials and mainstream institutions.
As low-incidence languages, Nepali and Tibetan are not covered by language access policies at City, State, or Federal levels. By advocating for increased services in Nepali and Tibetan and translating important information, we ensure language access for our community members so that they can access vital services regardless of their English skills. We train bilingual and multilingual individuals to provide interpretation and translation services, and we have created a handbook for interpreters.