We offer a number of core programs to increase civic engagement in our Massachusetts Indian American communities and to provide access to top-notch political education. These programs are provided at no-cost and are designed to create multiple opportunities to access an arena where Indian Americans are greatly under-represented. Specifically, our programs provide forums to help increase awareness of political candidates, facilitate discussions on social and political issues affecting our community, as well to increase voter turnout among the Indian American community in local, state, and national elections.
IAFPE Political Fellowship Program
We are proud to have placed youth from Massachusetts in political fellowships across the country for over 20 years, including The White House, The Massachusetts State House, The MA Attorney General’s Office, The Indian Embassy, Indian Consulate, The Democratic National Committee, The 2016 Massachusetts Olympic Committee, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Saheli, The United Nations, and various advocacy groups and political campaigns. Our fellows have gone on to work in high profile positions for political figures and institutions, including US Senator John Kerry, former MA Governor Deval Patrick, State Representative Jay Kaufman, former US Congressman Barney Frank, and former and departed US Senator Edward Kennedy.
IAFPE Fellows have the opportunity to:
- Meet political figures from across the state.
- Learn about the legislative process, policy and the inner workings of the Massachusetts political system through legislative seminars, hearings, and exclusive State House programs.
- Work with community organizations on advocacy and community-based impact projects.
- Present their community project at an IAFPE meeting and IAFPE events.
- Earn a stipend upon completion of their fellowship.
- Receive special recognition for their work or speak at an IAFPE Fellowship event.
- Write about their experience and publish their thoughts on the IAFPE website or interested media outlets.
- Become members of an exclusive IAFPE Alumnae group.
If you meet the following criteria, you are eligible to apply:
- You are a US Citizen of Indian subcontinent origin, between ages 17-25.
- Attend high school, college or university in Massachusetts.
- Have a keen interest in the American political process and are eager to participate at a local, regional, statewide or federal level.
- Are able to commit a minimum of 20 hours to your fellowship placement for at least two of the summer months.
- Have innovative ideas for a community impact project that incorporate your specific academic or work experience or skills you develop in your fellowship placement.
- Are ready to take on a challenging, memorable experience under the mentorship of the IAFPE Fellowship subcommittee.
Established in 1982, IAFPE is the oldest and largest non-partisan Indian American organization for political education in the country. It is nationally recognized for its outstanding work to enhance political awareness among the Indian American community and encourage civic engagement through seminars, symposiums, and their flagship fellowship program.
Our Community Program
For years IAFPE has hosted community forums to hear about pressing issues affecting our community, including immigration law and policy, federal aid to India, mental health services, public education, student loans, social justice and race relations. These forums are usually hosted at public libraries and consist of panels, presentations, and community discussions. Upcoming events can be found on our events page.
IAFPE Get Out The Vote (IAFPE-GOTV) Program
IAFPE works hard every election cycle to help increase voter turnout among the Massachusetts Indian American community. We utilize our widespread IAFPE membership, the MA Indian American community, and our IAFPE Fellowship network to aid us in our efforts. We have also received grants from local organizations to help finance our efforts. Our outreach efforts include:
- Contacting membership and youth in areas with high Indian American demographics to encourage them to voter in the 2016 scheduled elections.
- Conducting voter registration efforts at upcoming IAFPE events.
- Conducting Get Out The Vote (GOTV) for target areas; lit drops, phone banking and distribution of voter pledge cards.
Meet Your Candidates Program
IAFPE hosts a number of ‘Meet and Greets’ to help introduce newly elected officials to our community as well as introduce our community members to current and future candidates for office. Our Executive Committee members as well as our Fellows and volunteer members help us run these events. We have had many successful Meet and Greets, hosting an impressive list of candidates, including former Governor Deval Patrick, former Governor Mitt Romney, and Shrewsbury State Representative Hannah Kane. In accordance with our community traditions, we always provide snacks and tea! All past and upcoming events can be found on our events page.