India-Born Activist’s Mission to Change the Immigration Debate in the U.S.


The rancorous debates around race and immigration have made this year’s presidential race a fraught one for many U.S. immigrants. Sayu Bhojwani’s mission is to change the conversation by getting some of them into politics.

Ms. Bhojwani, 48 years old, is the founder and president of the New York-based New American Leaders Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides training to first- and second-generation immigrants seeking elected offices.

Since it began in 2010, the organization has trained more than 400 people nationwide in the intricacies of political candidacy, from meeting constituents to delivering a stump speech to raising funds. The next training session, specifically for women, will happen in New York next month.

For Ms. Bhojwani, who was born in India, raised in Belize and came to the U.S. as a student, the goal is to elevate the often-acrimonious discussion of immigration.

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