India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
India Currents Foundation is the first nonprofit South Asian media organization in the United States. Our mission is to tell critical, relevant, and investigative stories for and about the South Asian diaspora, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We chronicle diverse and inclusive stories through responsible reporting and crowd-sourced narratives. We employ strategies like collaborative community events to promote civic engagement and nuanced discourse.
The year 2020 was overwhelmingly shaped by COVID-19 and while sheltering in place, we realized what an amazing spot India Currents had carved in our readers’ hearts. We were OVERWHELMED by the deluge of writings that came our way from everyday readers who shared their stories about health, well-being, and belonging at this strange moment in history.
Our small, but mighty, team delivered stories about life in a global pandemic, as well as informed readers about important issues like Census 2020, Elections, Black Lives Matter and the effects of Climate Change as we witnessed California on fire yet again.
We started hosting virtual events and weekly Instagram LIVE shows to engage with readers in meaningful ways. We upgraded our technology stack and deployed Salesforce, MailChimp, Time.ly and Paybee.
In August, 2020 India Currents was selected for the Springboard program by Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). At INN we learned business modeling strategies, gained exposure to fundraising tools, reviewed financial resources for early-phase nonprofit news outlets and connected with a supportive community of peers and leaders.
Buoyed by this we were able to run our first donation campaign, on Giving Tuesday, asking our readers to support our work.
What a year!
On the Editorial front:
- We won 10 Awards from SF Press Club for editorial excellence
- We published 660 stories
- We worked with 128 citizen journalists
- We offered training and mentorship to 4 Interns
Our efforts at Community Engagement resulted in:
- Organizing 3 Virtual Poetry Readings on the theme of “Belonging”
- Running a Whatsapp Campaign for engagement on Census 2020
- Launching “Desi Talk,” a weekly Instagram Live show
- Co-hosting a show about Census 2020 on Radio Mirchi
- Producing “Short Takes” a series documenting local South Asians Running for Public Office
We developed Collaborations with:
- Ethnic Media Services: attended weekly briefings and wrote 61 stories informed by them
- DingDing TV: Co-sponsored a Video & Essay Contest on COVID-19 along with Civic Leadership – USA
- Talking with Henrietta, a weekly show on Community television: participated on discussions about the Census & Black Lives Matter with diverse panels
- Climate Reality: Planned to launch a podcast in 2021
Fiscal Year 2020 Summary
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
United Way Bay Area
East Palo Alto Center for Community Media
Ethnic Media Services
Several individual donors supported us during our first Giving Tuesday campaign. These donations became eligible for matching funds from Newsmatch.
Donors in 2020
|A V Sridhar||Era Nangia||R. Jayaraman|
|ActBlue Charities Inc.||G. S. Satyanarayana||Rachna Dayal|
|Ajay Srinivas||G.V.Rama Rao||Raj Ramaiya|
|Akemi Flynn||Gautam Sinha||Rajesh C. Oza|
|Akhilesh Gulati||Happy Yashu||Raji Pillai|
|Akshat Rajvaidya||Hemal Surrette||Rakesh Kumar|
|Amy Catlin||Indra Advani||Ralph Nazareth|
|Amy de Lorimier||Indu Liladhar-Hathi||Ramesh Yadava|
|Amy Funabiki||Inner Directions||Randi Shafton|
|Anantha Subramani||Ishita Verma||Ranj Ramaiya|
|Anil and Jyoti Godhwani||Jamie Shin||Ravi Mehta MD|
|Anil Verma||Jaya Padmanabhan||Ravi Narayan|
|Animesh Mishra||Jeevan Zutshi||Renaissance Charitable Foundation|
|Anirvan Chatterjee||Jennifer O’Sullivan||Richard Gordon|
|Anish Goyal||K Muralidharan||Rick Banks|
|Anjali Sinha||K Suresh||Rishi Sahay|
|Anke Otto-Jung||Kalpana Asok||Rita Charles|
|Anooshka Kumar||Kasturi Rajaram||Ritam Priya|
|Antonia Minnecola||Krishna Rajan||Rupi Singh|
|Anu Singh||Krishna Sastry||Saiva Siddhanta Church|
|Anuradha Rajkumari||Krishnamurti Gopalan||Samantha Rajaram|
|Aparna Tripathi||Kristin Vaughn||Samir Jain|
|Archana Asthana||Kuzhilethu Kshepakaran||Sandeep Prasada|
|Archana Roy||Lakshmi Singampalli||Sandhya Washikar|
|Arun Nataraja||Lalitha Kasthurirangan||Sanjay Gajare|
|Arvind Iyer||Laxmi Hiremath||Sanjoy Banerjee|
|Arvind Kumar||Leisha Israni||Santa Dasu|
|Ash Kalra||Madhu Kakarala||Satish Amin|
|Asha Bijj||Madhu Raghavan||Satish Chohan|
|Asha Ramesh||Mahesh Nihalani||Saumya Balasubramanian|
|Asha Viswanathan||Mala Mehrotra||Shachi Patel|
|Atish Sanyal||Malathi Iyengar||Sharmila Kumar|
|Atul Dubal||Mangala Kumar||Shiva Singh|
|Avaneendra Gupta||Mani Ayyar||Shobha Subramanian|
|Avantika Sinha||Manikya Duggirala||Shruti Miyashiro|
|Basant Lal||Manisha Verma||Shyamala Raman|
|Belal Aftab||Manjeshwar S Bhat||Sruti Patnaik|
|Beverley Polt||Marci Gerston||Subbarao Gunupudi|
|Bhanumathi Guruswami||Marie B Young||Subodh Toprani|
|Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran||Maureen O’Connor||Subramanian Krishnan|
|Bindu Desai||May G Petry||Sudhakar Kalluri|
|Bipin Shah||Melissa Lynn Woodburn||Sudhir Prasada|
|Birendra Prasada||Misti Mukhopadhyay Sangani||Suhas Patil|
|Celine Schein Das||Mohan Dadlani||Sunil Tolani|
|Charles E. Seshan||Mohan Mahal||Sunita Sohrabji|
|Chhaya Sinha||Nand Prasad||Susan Luther|
|Chip Williford||Nandini Pal||Suvarchala Rao|
|Cindy Ruby||Navneet S Chugh||Toni Vanwinkle|
|Dan Dalal||Nidhi Doshi||Usha Akella|
|Dattatri Mattur||Nikhil Arora||Vandana Sheel|
|David Bini||Nina G Wouk||Varsha Kumar|
|Debra J Engel||Nirupama Vaidyanathan||Varun Agarwal|
|Deepak Puri||Noopur Prasad||Venu Thirumala|
|Deepka Lalwani||Padmanabhan Nair||Vidya Sundaram|
|Diana Rohini LaVigne||Padmanabhan S Pillai||Vijay Gupta|
|Dinesh Arora||Paul Mahal||Vijay K Rajvaidya|
|Dipendra Sinha||Piyali Biswas||Vijay Kumar Modi|
|Dr. D.V. Giri||Prabha Gopal||Vijaya Jammalamadaka|
|Dr. Daniel Beilin||Pradeep B. Deshpande||Vijendra Prasad|
|Dr. Savithri Narayanan||Prakash Lothe||Vikash Verma|
|Dushyant Oza||Pranay Varma||Vikram Deshmukh|
|Eddie Oberoi||Prasad Kaipa||Vinita Agarwal|
|Eileen Fagan||Praveen Madan||Vivian Miranda|
|Elizabeth Bedortha||Punita Khanna||Vrinda Bhandarkar|
|Era Nangia||Punita Sinha||Wendy Murphey|
|G. S. Satyanarayana||Purandar Amin||William D Swackhamer|
Vandana Kumar: Serves as Publisher & CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine in 1987 and published an award-winning print magazine from April 1987 to Dec 2017. Fully digital today, India Currents has the largest following among Indian-Americans in the United States.
Vandana has won awards for Overall Excellence at the Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards hosted by the San Francisco Press Club over the past several years (2020, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014)
Vandana has won the Asian American Hero Award from the County of Santa Clara and the Leadership in Business award from the California Legislature Assembly. In 2020 Vandana was nominated as an American Leadership Fellow, Class XXXIX, American Leadership Forum.
Vijay Rajvaidya: Serves as Managing Director. He is a veteran of the high-tech and Information Technology industry of Silicon Valley. He has an MBA in Finance from Santa Clara University and multiple degrees in engineering. Vijay has 30 years of experience in global marketing and sales.
As a member of the Rotary Club of Evergreen, Vijay is involved in community initiatives around Climate Change and health and wellness in the shadow of a pandemic.
Srishti Prabha: serves as our Managing Editor. Srishti attended Northeastern University in Boston and graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Harvard University to better understand culture-specific interventions to help marginalized communities.
As a Public Ally Fellow Srishti worked on the effects of gentrification in East Palo Alto through journalism at EPA Today. She is passionate about diversifying spaces, preserving culture, and removing barriers to equity. She has found that community media and journalism are the perfect blends of anthropology and advocacy. She believes that narratives catered to the community it serves provide voice and agency to those that have none.
Meera Kymal serves as Contributing Editor and creates stories and multimedia content on social issues that impact the South Asian community. She covers broader public topics like immigration policy and reform, public health and the pandemic, voting rights, the census, and agents of change. She also does grant writing and has obtained funding from the Facebook Journalism Project, United Way Bay Area, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Ethnic Media Services. In 2020 she received a Journalistic Excellence award from the San Francisco Press Club.
Meera has over 20 years in corporate communications in the healthcare and IT industries in the US and UK. She holds a BA from Madras University, a Fellowship from Mount Holyoke College(MA), and a MA in Communication from Ohio University.
Katie Lindsay: Serves as Operations Manager. She is a graduate from Sonoma State University with a degree in Business Marketing.
In her spare time, she enjoys watching the Golden State Warriors and hanging out with her spunky cat and lovable dog.
Anu Barman: Serves as Events Manager. She has a B.S. in EECS from UC Berkeley and has worked in the Semiconductor Industry for many years. Anu is passionate about physical fitness, enjoys dancing and hiking, and loves organizing.
Soma Chatterjee: Serves as Diversity Ambassador. She also serves on the Board of Silicon Valley Interreligious Council representing Hinduism. She is a Media & Communications professional working in the start-up ecosystem with a focus on data science.