SUKHI New York
According to its website...
SUKHI NY stands to unite the people of diversity from all over the world and have chose New York as their new home. "Integrating diversity into One Nation," Empower minority women, bring the people of diverse cultures closer via multicultural approaches of depicting art, craft, music, attire & food of global heritage by organizing events, festivals, and exhibitions. Initiate and carry out issues of diverse communities, and minorities with authorities of city, state and federal Govt.
Improving the Quality of Life and promoting the use of green energy, recycling, organic agriculture. Serve as an intermediate forum for addressing the growing concerns in the areas of “Right- to- know”. Initiate dialogue and Knowledge for the minorities, different faiths, and sexual orientations to improve human development methodologies by envisioning and devising. Help promote the culture of tolerance and peace and respect for diversity. Draw strategies to eradicate extremism with dialogue, knowledge and capacity building.
Brief Background and Story
SUKHI New York, a nonprofit, is working for interfaith harmony among diverse communities of New York to foster better mutual understanding for the greater goal of peace, prosperity and inter-community relations. Now SUKHI NY is also a steward of “Diversity Plaza”. 37th road was a gateway of economic and diverse heritage; you could walk down the street and feel the vibrancy of different cultures engulf you with a swarm of people who walked the streets every day. These people had come here to get a taste of their culture from back home by simply leaving their homes, getting on a train and coming to Jackson Heights. However, during September 2011 a Pedestrian Plaza emerged without any prior notice to the stakeholders on this block. This blocked the gateway and shocked everyone that lead to demonstrations and a shutter down strike, NY 1 made a news story along with many other media channels. The battle was long and fought hard with demonstrations and intervention of the some foreign actors who wanted to hijack this movement to exploit it for their political interest against elected officials.
A mother of two young children Shazia Kausar who runs a small café at this 37th Road was organizing and leading a coalition of the merchants, workers and neighborhood residents against this Plaza to reopen the 37th road for traffic. This 37th Road was serving as an economic gateway for decades to this slum of immigrants and was like oxygen to Jackson Heights by providing a large number of movement and traffic, to this trading hub and a safe haven for undocumented immigrant’s job market.
One evening of this 8 month long battle field of street demonstrations, she walked out of a meeting by refusing to talk for the support of labor union leaders and foreign actors who intended to highjack this issue. By withdrawing her leadership and stand against this plaza and road closure, she surprised every one of her friends even her husband and family. She turned to her husband to ask for his help and support to find a way that could help both the plaza and small businesses of this neighborhood.
The road has since been renamed Diversity Plaza. It is a living United Nations in New York since communities from different ethnic backgrounds converge here.
SUKHI NY has a history of successfully hosting a variety of events for example: Christmas, Eid Festivals, Diwali, Presidential and vice presidential debate watch parties live public screening, documentary of Malala by New York Times was also screened, 9/11 Candle Light Vigil, first ever public and outdoor Community Board meeting, and many special days of various ethnic backgrounds including Indian, Bengali, Nepali, Tibetan and for the People of South American heritage. Most recently Independence Day and Live Macy’s Fireworks from west side for the people who are coming from Jobs and could not find a time to go there.
These events showcased art, music, and cultural heritage of this living United Nations in Queens, New York. Such events from the platform of SUKHI have enlightened the diverse communities about the heritage of each other. Additionally it has helped to bridge the gaps between followers of various faiths. As a result, social cohesion is taking shape to strengthen bonds.
One very major event was the Peace for All Rally to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad saw taken place on January 25th, 2014 to promote interfaith diplomacy and harmony within the city. This became a huge success a Resolution presented on that day, which was adopted by New York State Senate less than two months later. This interfaith diplomacy initiative is historic significant and hoped this American model of coexistence travel across the globe one day.
Mrs. Shazia Kausar and daughter Fatima Baryab, Muslim women by heritage, have contributed immensely to the City of New York. Their dedication to build the bridges among the minorities of faith, culture and above all Shazia’s unprecedented stand for the Equality “rights and respect for the LGBT people” has vibrated among many. At the same time she has become a challenge to the religious conservative people in her surroundings. Her passionate logical argument with her husband became one of the important reasons for to found SUKHI.
By representing American values to help envisage the American Dream among the less informed and literate immigrants of this City SUKHI has become a role model for other organizations despite only being two years old. During this rough course a woman who runs a small family business in the typical conservative men driven surroundings of Jackson Heights, astounded her family, friends, people of this neighborhood and many of the elected officials in the City through her firmness and great deal of philanthropy by dedicating her only lively hood, a café at Diversity Plaza to help grow SUKHI and to improve the quality of life at Diversity Plaza and its surroundings.
She fed SUKHI like a mother who cares for her children equally. All this has been done without any outside help any call for donation, or funding from any source
- SUKHI is a leader in developing Diversity Plaza