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Laal means red in Bangla

Laal symbolizes the mark of menstruation, the alta Bengali womxn use to adorn themselves; the red saree Bengali womxn wear on their wedding day; the red bindi for which Bengali womxn are famous; and the red sun which is in the center of the Bangladeshi flag. We chose this as our name because it serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience of Bengali womxn.

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Our Mission

Immigrant Bengali womxn in The Bronx have been treated as second class citizens — culturally, systematically, and institutionally — and isolated, as a minority, from a community within which they are such integral members, as caregivers. They lack dedicated and safe spaces to congregate and the resources to adjust to a healthy, joyful and engaged lifestyle in New York City. This is where Laal comes in.

Our methodology is influenced by civil rights community organizing in the US. We follow in the footsteps of the civil rights leaders who, between 1957 and 1970, established a grassroots educational campaign to help members of the Black community pass the literacy tests required for voter registration. They opened over 900 schools in rural areas to teach literacy as well as train members to become activists themselves and work for change in their communities. Septima Clark, founder and director of the program summarized its mission: “Literacy means liberation.” We too, believe that Bangladeshi womxn will find liberation through literacy but we won’t stop at just that.

A timeline of Laal's work so far

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Our Vision

Laal envisions a network of individuals part of the Bangladeshi-American community in Norwood, the Bronx led by Bengali Womxn towards racial, environmental, and political justice. Laal strives to amplify the voices of the Bengali community by collecting data and providing need-based support through programming, such as ESL and wellness classes, financial and civic engagement guidance. We are working towards acquiring and facilitating a dedicated physical space where Bengali womxn can congregate, learn and grow, safely.

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Meet Our Co-founders

Immigrant Bengali womxn in The Bronx have been treated as second class citizens — culturally, systematically, and institutionally — and isolated, as a minority, from a community within which they are such integral members, as caregivers. They lack dedicated and safe spaces to congregate and the resources to adjust to a healthy, joyful and engaged lifestyle in New York City. This is where Laal comes in.

Our methodology is influenced by civil rights community organizing in the US. We follow in the footsteps of the civil rights leaders who, between 1957 and 1970, established a grassroots educational campaign to help members of the Black community pass the literacy tests required for voter registration. They opened over 900 schools in rural areas to teach literacy as well as train members to become activists themselves and work for change in their communities. Septima Clark, founder and director of the program summarized its mission: “Literacy means liberation.” We too, believe that Bangladeshi womxn will find liberation through literacy but we won’t stop at just that.

Help us grow our community and uplift Bengali womxn