South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)
Sudha Acharya, executive director of the South Asian Council for Social Services, has been active in the community for forty years. Twenty-one years ago, she co-founded SACSS and led the organization’s growth from a one-room organization with two staff to a thriving community center with more than 20 staff. SACSS responds to the needs of South Asians and all immigrants, many of whom do not speak English, are unaware of services available to them, and experience isolation after arriving in the US. Acharya represents the interests of these immigrants and advocates at the City and State level for them. SACSS currently focuses on healthcare access and literacy, senior support, civic engagement, and food security, offering services in 18 languages. In 2016, SACSS started the first food pantry to serve culturally appropriate food. Under Acharya’s leadership, SACSS was one of the most influential organizations that kept thousands of people fed and connected to critical services during the pandemic.
Acharya represents the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) at the United Nations, where AIWC has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. Acharya works at the international policy level on issues affecting women’s physical, economic, and social well-being.
Acharya’s work has been recognized with many awards, including the Union Square Award, the India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for Community Service, and the Change Maker Award from Domestic Harmony Foundation. She has a Master’s Degree in English Literature and Financial Management.