Executive Director & Co-Founder
Sanjana Khan (she/they) comes from a diverse background in the nonprofit sector, service, and fashion industries. Sanjana has been in the nonprofit sector for over 9 years before she co-founded Laal in 2018 with Ayesha Akhtar.
As a Bangladeshi womxn, Sanjana was determined to change the reality and disrupt the narrative that there was no organization led by and for Bangladeshi womxn. Sanjana moved back to NYC in 2015, after the horrifying incident when a young Bangladeshi womxn threw her newborn child into a courtyard in Queens. Sanjana was determined to work with Bangladeshi womxn in the Bronx, having been born and raised in the Bronx. There were a handful of organizations serving the South Asian community, even though Bangladeshi's are the fastest growing immigrant population in NYC-- there was no organization specifically dedicated to Bangladeshi women, and no Bangladeshi womxn in leadership positions, even though most of these organizations were serving predominately the Bangladeshi community. Laal is a manifestation of a space where Bangladeshi womxn can gather, congregate, and be in community with each other. Understanding the responsibilities and the history of Bangladesh, Laal is a testament to the resilience, power, and revolutionary spirit of Bangladeshi womxn and femme.
Sanjana has also worked as a stylist, bartender, server, and doula. She has worked in clinical research, cooperative development, program development, and data analysis at an array of international and locally-based organizations including FIVDB in Sylhet, Bangladesh; Rahab's Sisters in Portland, Oregon; Sapna NYC and Green Worker Cooperatives in the Bronx, NYC; and BRAC in Bangladesh. She worked closely with The Cuban Ministry of Economics and The University of Havana when she was the Cooperative Developer at GWC, where she collaborated in creating the process of transition from government-owned businesses to worker cooperatives.
Sanjana is also a partner in her family's business, Khan and Daughters, LLC; a real estate and property management company based in NYC and greater New York. Sanjana believes her diverse background makes her an exceptionally strong leader and movement builder.
Sanjana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Feminism from The Evergreen State College, a Post Baccalaureate in Business Development from the University of Vermont, and a Master in Public Policy and Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.