Senator Peralta Honors 2014 Woman of Distinction - Seema Agnani is the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation
Seema Agnani is the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation and was one of the initial founders when it was officially formed in 2000.
Under Chhaya, Ms Agnani works with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Using a strategy that combines direct services and community organizing, backed by critical research and policy advocacy on core areas of housing and economic development, Chhaya is able to impact a range of social outcomes including education, employment, civic participation, community pride, as well as mental health and well-being.
Before returning to the organization as Executive Director in 2007, Ms. Agnani was the Coordinating Consultant to the Fund for New Citizens at The New York Community Trust, a donor collaborative supporting immigrant rights work. Ms. Agnani also served as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at Citizens Committee for New York City. She was instrumental in the development of the core training curriculum and implementation of a capacity building program to support volunteer-run organizations addressing poverty and hunger.
A tireless advocate, Ms. Agnani worked with Asian Americans for Equality for eight years as project manager under its housing and neighborhood development department, and later took on several other roles including manager of resource development, coordinator of the Lower Manhattan Health Care Coalition, and fi nally as Managing Director of Chhaya CDC (where the organization was initially incubated).
Ms. Agnani currently serves on the board of directors of the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development and the New York Immigration Coalition, and she was on the boards of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development and the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective for more than ten years.
Ms. Agnani is a diligent advocate who has enriched the quality of life through her hard work and dedication on behalf of the Asian American community.