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About the Campaign

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is a month-long celebration in Canada that aims to recognize and highlight the contributions of South Asians to Canadian society. This celebration takes place during the month of May and is an opportunity to showcase the rich cultural diversity, history, and heritage of South Asians in Canada.

During SAHM, various events, activities, and initiatives take place across the country to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of South Asian Canadians. One such initiative is the annual poster and panel discussion organized by CASSA, which brings together South Asian-Canadian trailblazers to share their experiences and insights.

The poster and panel discussion serves as a platform to showcase the contributions of South Asian Canadians in various fields, such as health, politics, entertainment, business, and academia. The event aims to inspire and empower the younger generation of South Asian Canadians to pursue their dreams and aspirations, and to make a positive impact on Canadian society.

Through this event, CASSA strives to promote cultural understanding and appreciation among Canadians of all backgrounds and to create a more inclusive and diverse society. SAHM is a valuable opportunity to celebrate the cultural richness and diversity of Canada, and to recognize the significant contributions of South Asian Canadians to the fabric of Canadian society.


In 2023, the SAHM initiative centered around the theme “South Asian-Canadian Systemic Changemakers,” spotlighting seven remarkable individuals who have left an indelible mark on South Asian communities through their contributions to research, advocacy, activism, art, policy, outreach, and education. The featured changemakers were:

  • Gurdeep Pandher – Bhangra Artist and Educator
  • Masuma Khan – Community Organizer and Artist
  • Dr. Nasima Akter – Executive Director of Bangladesh-Canadian Community Services
  • Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains – Director and Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley
  • Seher Shafiq – Civic Leader, Writer, Speaker, and Consultant
  • Sonali (Alyy) Patel – Writer, Activist, and Author
  • V.T. Nayani – Director, Producer, Actor, and Writer

The hybrid panel discussion took place on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Scarborough Civic Centre. Simultaneously, the event was broadcast on Zoom for remote participation. Throughout this dynamic discussion, panelists shared their experiences and challenges in fostering equity and justice, driving systemic change within the South Asian community. They also imparted valuable recommendations for future generations to build upon the progress initiated by current South Asian changemakers.


In 2022, the SAHM initiative explored critical aspects of “Mental Health and Supports in South Asian Communities”, spotlighting seven outstanding Mental Health Practitioners and Advocates who emphasized the need for awareness and action within the community. The featured experts were:

  • Dr. Farah Islam – Advocate, Educator, and Researcher
  • Dr. Farooq Naeem – Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Dr. Parvathy Kandasamy – Counselor, Researcher, and Author
  • Maneet Chahal – RN and Co-founder of SOCH Mental Health
  • Jasmeet Chagger – RN and Co-founder of SOCH Mental Health
  • Dr. Ripudaman Singh Minhas – Developmental Pediatrician and Associate Professor
  • Rita Kohli – Registered Psychotherapist and Traumatologist

The virtual SAHM panel discussion took place on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Throughout this engaging conversation, the panelists shared their unique perspectives on mental health issues specific to the South Asian community. Rooted in their own lived experiences, they not only shed light on the challenges faced but also provided invaluable insights and practical suggestions for addressing and navigating the complex landscape of mental health within South Asian communities.

A recorded version of the panel discussion can be found below:


In 2021, the SAHM initiative centered around “Celebrating COVID-19 Champions,” highlighting six impressive South Asian-Canadian individuals who demonstrated extraordinary resilience and strength in aiding victims of the pandemic. The heroes featured were:

  • Fairuz Karim – Advocate
  • Sukhmeet Singh Sachal – Medical Student and Health Activist
  • Dr. Supriya Sharma – Chief Medical Advisor at Health Canada
  • Doly Begum – Member of the Provincial Parliament
  • Dr. Naheed Dosani – Palliative Health Care Physician and Health Justice Activist
  • Dr. Samir Sinha – Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health and University Health Network

The virtual SAHM panel discussion took place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Throughout this captivating discussion, panelists candidly discussed the challenges encountered in their respective fields, highlighted their achievements, shared invaluable lessons learned, and offered recommendations for individuals in the South Asian community aspiring to make a positive impact amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A recorded version of the panel discussion can be found below: