Raj Chaudhary | CEO
Mrs. Raj Chaudhary was born and raised in India, and moved to the US in 1967. She and her husband have been been married for 50+ years, and have three children and five grandchildren. She is the founder of SEWA and has been working to help the community since 2004. She has won numerous awards including the Scholarship to Advance MN’s Priority Populations (LAAMPP) and the Asian Pacific Partnership of Empowerment & Leadership. In 2007 she was named one of MN’s Most Innovative Women by the MN Women’s Consortium and in 2012 received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award by the Governor’s Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans. Her broad expertise in advocacy includes domestic violence, human trafficking, health disparities, equal employment, elder populations, race, ethnicity, board development, legal custody, substance abuse, and public housing.
Mubina Qureshi | Co-Executive Director
Mubina is a passionate intersectional feminist, research scholar, translator and interpreter with more than a decade of academic experience. She holds a PHD in Islamic Feminism focused on the areas of SA Literature and Gender Studies. She also has two Master’s degrees in English Literature and African American Literature. She has more than 7 years of college teaching experience in India. She has trained multilingual students in languages, literature, theatre, soft-skills and self-care. She has directly worked with underserved ‘Dalit’ women as interpreter and translator to a Canadian Research Scholar for 2+ years. This experience set the tone for her future endeavors to fulfill her passion to work for and work with women on gender issues. She is a collaborator and core-member of theatre & reading group called Parakh-MN in Twin Cities since 2017. She is fond of solo traveling, camping in State and National Parks of US, exploring different cultures and learning new life-skills.
Dasharath Yata | Co-Executive Director
Dasharath Yata was born in a village in Nalgonda district, Telangana State, India and studied at Osmania University, Hyderabad. He moved to the US in 2011. His wife Padma Yata is an Enterprise Data Architect – IT at Medica and they have two kids in college. He is extremely dedicated and highly involved in all the various health based projects for SEWA dealing with mental health, community outreach and civic engagement. He organizes three free health clinics a month in the Twin Cities area and educates people about the high rates of diabetes and cholesterol problems. He also works with over 35 partner organizations on providing culturally specific services to the community through education and training.
Atul Mishra | Medical Director
Dr. Mishra graduated from MLN Medical College Allahabad UP India in 1982. He moved to Minnesota shortly after, and completed his residency at the University of Minnesota. He questioned his decision when he first moved, and wondered whether or not he had actually relocated to the North Pole. His wife, Usha, likes the warmer climate, but Dr. Mishra prefers Minnesota and its colder climate. Growing up, Dr. Mishra looked up to his grandfather. His grandfather would ask his 26 grandchildren, “Why do the branches of an apple tree come down when it is laden with fruit?” His grandchildren would respond that it is because of the weight. His grandfather would then respond with, “The branches come down so people in need can quench their thirst, satisfy their hunger, and be happy. When you all grow up, I want you each to try an be an apple tree for others.” That advice has led Dr. Mishra to SEWA-AIFW, where he has volunteered with his wife for years. He loves the work he has done as a physician and at SEWA because it allows him to help the community and fulfill his dream of being “an apple tree” for those in need.
Srivani Ganji | Program Coordinator (Women & Victim Services)
Vani was born and raised in India where she got her Master’s degree in Computer Applications. She moved to Minnesota in 2005 after graduating. Her favorite place in Minnesota is Duluth, especially in the fall as she loves seeing the changing colors. Vani has been working at SEWA since 2018. She enjoys working at SEWA because it was the only Asian organization that could help her during a tough time in her life. In her free time she likes watching movies, spending time with her kids, and making (and eating) her favorite homemade Desi foods.
Srividhya Srinivasan | Program Specialist (Senior Services)
Srividhya was born and raised in a village in Tamil Nadu, India. She graduated from Madurai Kamaraj University. In 2000, she moved to MN where she lives with her husband and 2 kids. She began volunteering at the Hindu Mandir of MN and the Maple Grove Hospital before she discovered SEWA. In 2020, she began volunteering at SEWA-AIFW, and she officially joined the team soon after. Working with the SEWA-AIFW family has been a rewarding experience for her. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her puppy, shopping, watching Tamil & Telugu films, going on walks, and doing yoga. She also enjoys cooking and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes and appliances.
Rohini Ramanuj | Program Coordinator (Senior Services)
Rohini was born in Chennai, India and came to the USA 35 years ago with her husband. When she came to MN in 2009, she went back to school at HTC and got a degree in Floral Arrangement and Business Operations. She was introduced to SEWA-AIFW when she was taking care of her sister-in-law, who was diagnosed with a serious illness. SEWA helped with her care and she became one of SEWA’s first senior clients in Minnesota. Later when the opportunity presented itself, she was very happy to return the favor and join SEWA-AIFW’s team. The time she has spent serving the people within SEWA has been the most fulfilling part of her life so far. Outside of work her hobbies are cooking, taking walks with her husband, watching sports, spending time with her kids, going on cruises, relaxing, traveling by motorcycle around the country, and watching Indian movies.
Anil Gurung | Program Coordinator (Meals & Transportation Services)
Anil has been working with SEWA-AIFW since February of 2021. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. In the past, he has worked at Best Buy, Target, Burlington, and the DRC. Anil enjoys working at a nonprofit because it has been a new experience that allows him to be around different mindsets and do selfless work. In his spare time, Anil enjoys hiking and visiting new places.
Bharati Mehta | Program Coordinator (Neurodiversity & Senior Services)
Bharati is an Occupational Therapist who practiced in North Dakota for nearly 36 years working with various patients from premature babies in the NICU to seniors in their homes. She helped those who needed assistance to be independent in their life. She moved to the Twin Cities in 2019 and began looking for volunteer opportunities within the South Asian community. She started to volunteer at the Hindu Temple of Minnesota after moving. She heard about SEWA while volunteering there, and she wanted to be involved in our aim of total wellness for the South Asian community in Minnesota. She began as a volunteer, then eventually joined our team! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, dancing, cooking, arts and crafts, gardening, exercises and traveling.
Arcadian Barrett | Communications & Marketing Manager
As the Communications and Marketing Manager, Arcadian's role at SEWA involves maintaining the website and all social media. They are also the person to reach out to regarding any sponsorship for events or organization partnerships. He is an Indigenous (Xaymaca Taíno) and Jewish two-spirit author. With a desire for learning, they received their degree in History and seek to pursue creative ventures wherever possible. Their passion for writing led them to starting a publishing and media company, Crow House Press, along with publishing a fantasy series. They also serve on the Minneapolis Transgender Equity Council In their free time, they enjoy playing games like Fortnite, Civ XI, or The Sims.
Omid Yaqoobi | Project Coordinator
Ramesh Hashemy | Communications & Marketing Associate
Aarti Raghavachari | Youth Engagement Representative
Aarti was born and raised in the United States, where she received her undergraduate degree in International Affairs, Political Science, Chinese, and International Human Rights from the University of Cincinnati. She has been working for SEWA-AIFW since June of 2022, and is newer to the Twin Cities communities. She is particularly passionate about engaging with and uplifting South Asian youth, LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive individuals in her work. She also serves as Program Coordinator for the Karuna Women Lead mentorship program at SEWA, and she enjoys working with South Asian individuals in getting the personal and professional resources they need to thrive. Her current praxis and beliefs are informed by grassroots organizing, feminist international relations, BIPOC queer and trans liberation, survivor-based healing, transformative justice, and so much more. Her first language is Tamil, and she is a speaker of Hindi and Chinese as well. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, mastering languages, singing, gathering tips on interior design, and learning about different plants and succulents!
Bree Hayworth | Program Coordinator
Bree grew up in Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Child and Family Services. After college she spent 20 years living in Kansas before moving to Minnesota in 2018 with her husband and three kids. Bree volunteered at SEWA last year and made the transition as a new team member in September. Bree enjoys attending her kids' sporting events, traveling and reading.
Ankita Ashrit | Event Programs Manager
Ankita is the Event Programs Manager and is so excited to be on the SEWA-AIFW team. She passionate about social justice, specifically how theatre and performance can be healing and empowering unserved and marginalized communities. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her mom and her cat. Other hobbies include, swimming, playing video games, listening to audiobooks and, going to antique stores.
AJ | Mental Health Program Coordinator
Rituparna Rana | Women’s Engagement and Artistic Healing
She serves as Program Associate Women’s Engagement and Curator for artistic healing. Her doctorate specialization from the European Union is on South-Asian Migration, memory, post memory, intergenerational trauma transference, processing loss and trauma and how this affects how a migrant conceptualizes their identity and creates a sense of belonging. She incorporates oral narratives, interviews and testimonies to study South-Asian migrant populations and the psychological dynamics of their migration. She has also established a multi-media virtual migration museum, ‘The South-Asian Migrant Identity: Narratives, Spaces, and Constructs, which is a collaboration between University of Minnesota, and State Library Berlin, Germany.
She will be conducting, harvesting, and creatively presenting stories of victim-survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for the women’s programing. She is also in-charge of the conceptualization, design and execution of the digital archive of South-Asian narratives in Minnesota and formation of a story-map using these narratives.
Ruth Sebiyan | Program Associate