Three American Indians Named Inaugural AAPI Ambassadors by AAPI Victory Alliance, Victory Fund | Indian of the world

On September 24, the AAPI Victory Alliance and AAPI Victory Fund officially launched their AAPI Ambassador Program, an inaugural cohort of a passionate and influential AAPI group eager to mobilize the rapidly growing AAPI electorate and advocate for issues at the forefront of the AAPI community like voting rights, gun violence prevention, misinformation / disinformation and climate change, three of which are American Indians.

Varun Nikore, Executive Director of AAPI Victory Alliance and Chairman of AAPI Victory Fund, Varun Nikore, said: “We created the AAPI Ambassador program because we realized that a relationship between influencers and AAPI Victory Alliance and the AAPI Victory Fund is essential for engaging audiences who have not been connected. to politics.

“2020 has been the most crucial election of our lives and there is no doubt that due to AAPIs across the country we have been able to topple critical states. But there is so much more work to come.

Nikore added, according to a press release: “We need to engage across the country and pay attention to the youth voting bloc, which is the largest voting bloc in the country. Part of this AAPI Ambassador Program talks about it. The influencers in our program are broad in reach and are committed to ensuring that AAPIs across the country engage in the civic process.

The three selected Indian American AAPI Ambassadors are Nik Dodani, Parvesh Cheena and Soman Chainani.

Actor, comedian and writer Nik Dodani, one of the most watched emerging talents in the entertainment industry today.

Dodani co-founded The Salon, a forum for South Asian artists and entertainment executives to accelerate the creative development of South Asian Americans in television and film through community organizing. Earlier this year, Dodani, along with Reena Singh and Rishi Rajani, announced the show’s first mentorship program, a year-long program that will connect aspiring South Asian talent with established members of the entertainment industry. .

The 23 individuals participating in the Salon’s mentoring program were selected from a national pool of over 850 applicants recruited through an open application and a rigorous review process led by Dodani. The finalists have been matched with a mentor in one of five tracks – writing, acting, producing, directing or executive leadership – and will work closely with their respective mentors during 2021 to identify areas for growth, discuss strategy and expand opportunities. Mentees will also have exclusive access to monthly educational programming.

Throughout the past year, Dodani has also been active in organizing the South Asian community to support the Biden / Harris presidential campaign. To kick off the election season, Dodani partnered with Meena Harris to design and publish the iconic “Vote for Aunty” merchandise campaign that celebrated Kamala Harris’ South Asian legacy and raised funds for Biden / Harris, according to the press release.

Dodani also rallied South Asians in film and television for a NowThis video to celebrate Kamala Harris’ groundbreaking candidacy and discuss voting power, especially in the South Asian community. Dodani, who wrote, directed and produced the video, was joined by other Hollywood heavyweights, making the video one of the most-watched political spots of the cycle.

Following the success of her first video, Dodani teamed up with Maya and Meena Harris (Kamala Harris’ sister and niece) to produce and star in a follow-up video to help motivate the South Asian community for the second. round of elections in Georgia. The video was the first in a series of voting videos in Georgia from IMPACT, the Indian American Impact Fund. In addition to directing, Dodani co-wrote the video alongside Meena Harris.

Last year, Dodani also rallied other artists to support the Black Lives Matter movement, joining efforts to oust former Los Angeles Attorney Jackie Lacey and co-hosted a Netflix town hall in support of the #BlackAutisticLivesMatter movement. .

Dodani can be seen in Universal’s upcoming adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen,” based on the original Tony Award-winning musical. He stars as the eccentric and charismatic Zahid in Netflix’s “Atypical” and did it again in season two of Netflix’s “Trinkets”.

Prior to that, Dodani played a regular role in the series on CBS’s sequel to the award-winning iconic series “Murphy Brown”. Cinematically, Dodani starred in the horror “Escape Room” from Columbia Picture and “Alex Strangelove” from Netflix.

In early 2020, Dodani completed director Hannah Marks’ second feature film, “Mark, Mary & Some Other People,” which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Parvesh Cheena, who currently plays the voice of Zulius in Netflix’s “Centaurworld”, has also been named AAPI Ambassador. He also stars in the Apple TV comedy series “Mythic Quest”. The nine-episode series follows a fictional game development studio working on its latest expansion and invites us to remember the little details of the work.

He will then star in “Shine Vale” alongside Courtney Cox on Starz. The show will be about a dysfunctional family who move from town to a cursed house in a small town.

Cheena also starred in the NBC ensemble comedy “Connecting” which follows a group of friends trying to stay close (and sane) through video chats as they share the ups and downs of these. extraordinary times. He joined the cast of “Family Style Season 2,” which debuted in September 2020 on, YouTube and Facebook. We will see him next in “Music” produced by Sia, opposite Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler, the release noted.

Cheena is best known for his roles as “Gupta” on “Outsourced” and “Sunil” on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, and he has voiced many characters on animated shows like “TOTS” from Disney Junior, “Disney’s The Owl House” and “Transformers: Rescue Bots”.

The third selected AAPI Indo-American Ambassador is author Soman Chainani, whose first series, “The School of Good and Evil”, has sold more than 3 million copies, has been translated in 30 languages ​​on 6 continents and will be a major Netflix film in 2022.

Each of the six books in the series – The School for Good and Evil, A World Without Princes, The Last Ever After, Quests for Glory, A Crystal of Time, and One True King – debuted on the bestseller list of the New York Times. Together, the books have been on the printed and extended lists for 38 weeks. Chainani recently announced a new book, Beasts & Beauty, coming September 28, 2021 from HarperCollins.

A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Chainani began his career as a screenwriter and director, his films showing at over 150 film festivals around the world. He was nominated for the Waterstone Prize for Children’s Literature, was nominated for the Out100, and also received the $ 100,000 Shasha Fellowship and the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, both for early writers. He lives in New York.

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