Our Stories
An Introduction to South Asian America

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For educators

Today, there are more than 5.4 million individuals in the U.S. (or more than one in every hundred Americans) who trace their heritage to South Asia.

If you imagined that all of the South Asians in the country lived in one state, it would be the twenty-third most populous state in the country (larger than South Carolina, and almost as big as Minnesota).

Yet South Asian American histories are rarely taught in classrooms, even in districts with substantial South Asian student populations. Most young South Asian Americans never have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the legacies of individuals who shaped the American narrative.

We are grateful to you for your interest in incorporating Our Stories into your classroom. The resources below, including an Educator Companion to the Our Stories book, are intended to help you in this process. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can provide any further support. Thank you!
Educator companion
The educator companion to Our Stories offers educators suggested discussion questions, activities, and excerpts to explore issues of identity, belonging, collective action, and social change.

The guide offers prompts and ideas for educators to utilize Our Stories in junior high or high school (grades 7–12) or college classrooms. The companion could also be utilized by parents to lead discussions with their children at those grade levels, or in after-school or community group settings to guide discussion.

Print edition (coil bound): USD $15
Digital edition (pdf): Free download

Created by a team of educators:

Monisha Bajaj
Professor, International & Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco

Mona Chitkara
Educator, Peer Resources and San Francisco Unified School District

Malathi Iyengar
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies, College of San Mateo

Nirali Jani
Assistant Professor, Education, Holy Names University

Simmy Makhijani
Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies, California State University, Northridge

Gautam Premnath
English Teacher, Castro Valley High School

Ruchi Rangnath
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, University of San Francisco
For the last thirteen years, SAADA has documented, preserved, and shared stories of South Asian Americans, ensuring that today’s struggles for inclusion, representation, and belonging are not the same struggles we leave to the next generation. SAADA’s collection of more than 4,100 items is the largest publicly accessible South Asian American archive, enabling academics, artists, filmmakers, journalists, students, and community members to write books, create new content, and shape public understanding about the South Asian American community.

SAADA’s innovative approach has been recognized with awards from the Society of American Archivists and the American Historical Association and grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Historical Publications & Records Commission, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, National Endowment for the Humanities, and others. SAADA’s work has also been highlighted by the New York Times, the Atlantic, NPR, and other national and international media.
Browse the archive
SAADA's collection of 5,329 items is the largest freely accessible collection of stories and materials about the South Asian American community. Containing rare photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, oral history interviews, videos, born digital materials, and other ephemera, SAADA’s archive is widely used by scholars, journalists, artists, filmmakers, students, and community members.

Here are a few of ways to get started exploring the archive:
• Browse the materials in the archive
• Read TIDES, SAADA's online magazine
• Visit SAADA's participatory storytelling projects:
     · First Days Project
     · Road Trips Project
     · Letters From 6' Away
     · Election Stories
Other teaching resources
SAADA's Revolution Remix walking tour shares stories of South Asians in Philadelphia dating from 1785 to the present day. This immersive experience will help your students see the heart of the American republic through a new lens.

Revolution Remix is accompanied by a teaching guide created by Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, EdD.

See a variety of lesson plans on incorporating the archive into your classroom.