SIREN Spotlight: Reshma Shamasunder

In honor of Women's History month SIREN is excited to honor a fierce immigrant rights advocate whose continuous activism has made it possible for California to make major strides in the immigrant rights movement and set an example for what is possible across the nation. After over a decade of working alongside immigrant community leaders, advocates, and partners, Reshma Shamasunder stepped down from her position as Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center at the end of 2015. 

During Reshma’s tenure at CIPC, California has continued to lead the way in integrating immigrants across the state, including increased access to health care, support for legal services and outreach to immigrant communities, greater opportunities for immigrant students, and strengthened protections for immigrant workers. They helped to spearhead many successful campaigns at the state level, including placing limits on cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities, preserving important health and human service programs, winning driver’s licenses for all Californians, stalling abusive employment verification practices, and furthering important immigrant integration efforts. 

Reshma most recently received the Health Equity Advocate of the Year Award from Families USA, a preeminent national health advocacy organization. Reshma served on the boards of Health Access California and the South Asian Network in Los Angeles and was an inaugural fellow with the Rockwood Fellowship for a New California, a leadership program for California’s immigrant rights leaders. She was previously Director of Benefits Policy and Government Affairs at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and also worked for several years on child labor issues in India. Reshma holds a Bachelors Degree from UCLA and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Reshma continues her dedicated work through consulting with advocacy and grassroots partners to advance policy campaigns and issues that benefit low income, immigrant, and vulnerable Californians.

Thank you Reshma for your continued support and dedication to the betterment of our communities!