Indo-American Center’s Civic Engagement Program integrates voter registration, mobilization, empowerment, and education into our Public Benefits, Adult Literacy, Citizenship and Immigration, and Seniors Programs. This comprehensive approach is designed to emphasize the importance of civic engagement in the form of voting, census participation, and advocacy in immigrant communities—regardless of their immigration status.

Voter Mobilization:

During major election seasons, IAC clients, staff, and volunteers work together to encourage South Asians in West Ridge, Rogers Park, and neighboring suburbs including Lincolnwood, Niles, and Skokie to vote in primary and general elections through door-to-door canvassing and phone banking.

Voter Education: Through our collaborations with the City of Chicago Board of Elections and the South Asian American Policy Research Institute (SAAPRI), the Civic Engagement Program hosts educational events designed to help guide clients and community members through the voting process. Our Voter Education initiatives strive to inform individuals about their rights as US citizens, the practical elements of voting, as well as the availability of bilingual voting materials in Hindi and language assistance at the polls.

Voter Registration:

IAC’s civic engagement efforts also include voter registration. In addition to voter registration drives at local community spaces, individuals who are U.S. citizens can register to vote when they come to IAC for any program or service.

Empowerment:

Regardless of citizenship status, the Civic Engagement Program aims to empower our clients speak up about issues in that affect their communities. We work closely with the I Speak Power curriculum, which incorporates civic education into the Advanced Adult Literacy classes and empowers students to gain confidence and develop their English public speaking skills. They employ these skills during public during rallies, bi-annual trips to Springfield, meetings with elected officials, and in other advocacy and grassroots organizing settings.

For more information, please contact:

Anar Parikh |anarparikh@indoamerican.org | ext. 115