Seema has nearly 20 years of experience working in the community development and immigrant rights sectors, focused primarily on the challenges of providing housing, economic opportunity, and support systems for new immigrants. She is a founder and former Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, a member of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development that works with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Chhaya CDC reaches thousands of new immigrants each year through its organization, education, and service work. She was formerly the Coordinating Consultant to The Fund for New Citizens at the New York Community Trust, where she managed a donor collaborative of more than 20 foundations supporting immigrant rights work in New York City. Seema also served as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at Citizens Committee for NYC, developing the core training curriculum and implementation of a capacity-building program to support volunteer-run organizations addressing poverty and hunger. She began her work in New York City with Asian Americans for Equality where she stayed for eight years, initially as a project manager developing affordable housing, and later in other roles including fundraising, communications, and coordinating the Lower Manhattan Health Care Coalition. Her parents emigrated from India in the mid-sixties to Chicago where she was raised and earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy.
Articles, Publications, and Appearances
Defining The AAPI Community (Comcast Newsmakers, May 12, 2017)
Anti-Displacement Organizing Should Start Here (Shelterforce, December 5, 2019)
In the News
Asian American and Pacific Islander voters may soon face potential shift in political power: Experts (ABC News, December 17, 2019)
Advocates worry housing issues may lead to an Asian-American census undercount (NBC News, August 21, 2018)
Asian Americans now most economically divided group in U.S., report finds (NBC News, July 11, 2018)