Key Highlights of the 'Desis Decide Summit' Attended by US President and Vice President

Written on 05/19/2024
Asia91 Team

Leaders from across the nation gathered at the Desis Decide Summit in Washington D.C. to discuss key issues affecting the South Asian community in the U.S., highlighting the importance of political involvement and advocacy for Indian Americans.


The Desis Decide Summit, hosted in Washington D.C. on May 15-16, 2024, marked a significant convergence of leaders, experts, and community members, emphasizing the growing influence and engagement of the Indian American community in the U.S. political landscape.


Key Points of the Summit


What It Is: The Desis Decide Summit is a biennial event organized by Impact, an advocacy group aimed at amplifying Indian American participation in American politics. The summit gathered over 44 South Asian-led organizations, 100 speakers, and 500 attendees to engage in crucial discussions on a broad range of topics.


Who Attended: The event saw an impressive roster of participants including federal and state lawmakers, health experts, filmmakers, student leaders, and candidates running for various offices. Notable speakers such as Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden provided insights and support through their speeches.


Key DiscussionsTopics at the summit covered a wide array including Healthcare Equity, Youth Impact, Climate Crisis, Inclusive Communities, and Racism. Issues such as mental health resources, prescription drug costs, and the heightened risk of diseases like diabetes in the South Asian community were major discussion points.


Why It Matters: The summit highlighted the critical role of Indian Americans in shaping U.S. policy and governance. By fostering dialogue on pivotal issues and encouraging more members of the community to seek public office, the summit serves as a catalyst for increased representation and advocacy.


Additional Highlights


  • Advocacy and Representation: Impact's work in promoting adequate representation and supporting Indian Americans in public office was a focal point, with community leader Deepak Raj recounting the organization's journey and its endorsements by influential figures like Vice President Harris.


  • U.S.-India Relations: Discussions also touched on the delicate dynamics of U.S.-India relations, with emphasis on democracy, human rights, and the strategic partnership between the two nations in the context of global politics.


  • Controversial Discussions: The summit was not without its controversies, particularly regarding the inclusion of certain organizations and speakers. The Hindu American Foundation expressed concerns over the participation of groups they deemed problematic, highlighting ongoing debates within the community about representation and advocacy tactics.


Why This Summit Is a Game Changer


The Desis Decide Summit is more than just an annual event; it reflects the growing power and responsibility of the Indian American community in U.S. political discourse. 


As Vice President Harris noted, engagement in democratic processes and the quest for office are fundamental to shaping the future of the country. This summit not only acknowledges the contributions of Indian Americans but also propels them to the forefront of political activism and leadership.


In summary, the Desis Decide Summit of 2024 stands as a pivotal moment for Indian American engagement in U.S. politics, emphasizing the community's integral role in driving national conversations about democracy, equity, and justice.