To fulfill its mission of commitment to community service and to be an integral part of the fabric of the South Asian community in Massachusetts, SABA GB created the “Know Your Rights!” program (“KYR”) in 2010. Since the inception of KYR, South Asian community leaders have attended twelve two‐hour sessions on a variety of topics, including but not limited to: employment law, consumer protection, criminal law, civil rights and racial profiling, the court system and legislative process, family law and domestic violence, immigration, Social Security and disability law, Medicaid, and elder care. The KYR program culminates in an annual graduation ceremony.
Graduates of this program leave equipped with information and contacts to disseminate to members of their respective communities, which span the New England area. For this initiative, SABA GB won SABA North America’s Outstanding Program Award in 2011, as well as a SABA North America Foundation Grant in 2015, and has been recognized in various media outlets. Additionally, former SABA GB President Manisha Bhatt received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award from the Boston Bar Association for founding the KYR program as well as for her work at Greater Boston Legal Services.
Based on the tremendous success of the KYR program and the need for additional services in this space, SABA GB expanded KYR to include additional quarterly community newsletters, which feature upcoming SABA events of interest to the South Asian readers, and will feature KYR article submissions by SABA GB attorneys. Moreover, SABA GB has added community‐based Q&A style open forums where community members are encouraged to interact with and seek answers from experts across the legal, academic, and non‐profit sectors. The 8th Annual KYR graduation ceremony, organized by Anuj Khertapal (co‐chair of SABA GB’s KYR Committee) was held on June 18, 2018 (see photograph above), featuring a keynote speech by Wakefield Town Councilor, Mehreen Butt, followed by a reception.
Because of KYR’s success, SABA GB won SABA NA’s 2011 Outstanding Program and has been recognized in various media outlets. In addition, SABA GB board member Manisha Bhatt received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award from the Boston Bar Association for her design of KYR as well as her work at Greater Boston Legal Services.
Recent participants of KYR include representatives from Saheli, Gurjar, India Circle of Caring, Chinmaya Mission, Aavkar, American India Foundation, Lokvani, the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, the India Association of Greater Boston, and Next Generation Foundation. If you are interested in becoming a KYR participant, or if you know of someone who might be interested, please contact Manisha Bhatt at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.