Diya Basu-Sen

Executive Director

Diya brings with her over 10 years of management experience, both in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Before joining Sapna, she worked in the education sector, focusing on staff management & development, training, and program & curriculum development. Prior to that, she also worked with HIV/AIDS awareness in Harlem and managed a Soup Kitchen in Morningside Heights. Diya received a B.A. degree in Sociology and Premedical Sciences from Barnard College of Columbia University. She also earned a M.S. in Global Health and Population from the Harvard T.S. Chan School of Public Health. She is passionate about the intersection of empowerment and health and believes strongly in the need for accessible, quality programming in both areas in order to foster successful communities.

Naurin Islam

Deputy Director

Immigrated from Bangladesh at four years old, Naurin Islam grew up to complete her Bachelors in Political Science from Stony Brook University, and her Master’s in Global Affairs from NYU with a concentration in International Law and Human Rights. Naurin gained multiple experiences from various organizations and figures, such as the United Nations, International Center for Transitional Justice, U.S. Senator Gillibrand, and both Queens and Nassau DA. However, just before joining SAPNA NYC, Naurin was a graphics/Twitter consultant for Bengalis of New York and was a Refugee Documentary Researcher for a small production company. She aims to use these experiences and her passion to work for immigrant communities and the South Asian diaspora.

Nafisa Subhan

Program Associate

Nafisa graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a major in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. Before joining SAPNA NYC, she was an investigative intern at a non-profit housing organization, Housing Rights Initiative. There she focused on gathering evidence on income-based discriminatory practices. She also worked as a peer educator at her college’s wellness center assisting students in regards to their financial, mental, and physical health concerns. She is passionate about minority rights and strives to work towards creating more safe spaces for such issues. Housing rights are particularly important to her as she struggled with sustaining shelter growing up and wants to ensure that others can navigate through such crises.

Priyanka Bhowmik

Community Health Worker

Priyanka Bhowmik believes that social change is possible by helping others to overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive. She is passionate about helping others. Through Sapna, she is determined to help South Asian immigrant communities to overcome their daily challenges. As a journalist and a writer, she has been reporting many local issues to the local and international media. She immigrated to the US from Bangladesh in 2012 and has been living in NYC since. She is continuously seeking to gain more skills to hone her competencies. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s in childhood education at the City College of New York.

Salma Rashid

Community Health Worker

Salma facilitates healthy lifestyle training for community members including diabetes prevention and also works on the CHALO! project on early childhood health. She is a Dietetic Technician graduate from LaGuardia Community College, where she worked at several facilities providing nutrition education, conducting outreach and healthy cooking demonstration as well as assisting in patient care. Before joining Sapna, Salma was a peer advisor at LaGuardia Community College in the Health Science Department, where she advised and mentored students, helping them with academic plans to ensure their successful futures. She immigrated to the US from Bangladesh in 2011 and is passionate about giving back to the South Asian immigrant communities in New York City through health education.

Arpita Chatterjee

Mental Health Counselor

Arpita brings over 15 years of experience in diverse community based settings in India and the U.S. With a background in clinical psychology and social work, her work has focused on mental health among adults and families and in recent years,  on the South Asian immigrant community and the health disparities they experience . Arpita received a B.A. (Honors) degree and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from University of Delhi (India) & an M.S.W. (Direct Practice) from the School of Social Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her passion is driven by the direct nature of services and impact seen in community based organizations and the pivotal role they play in bridging mental health gaps for underserved communities. Arpita is fluent in Bangla and Hindi.

Dr. Naeema Akter

Child Mental Health Counselor

Naeema graduated from Hunter College in political science and attended Columbia University for a post-baccalaureate in psychology before earning her doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University. She has experience in providing psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and children in outpatient and inpatient hospitals, community mental health clinics, and a school. Her doctoral training and years of delivering psychotherapy have provided her with extensive experience helping individuals of all ages with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, identity exploration, adjustment and life transition issues, and other life situations. Her integrative approach is well suited for addressing interpersonal and multicultural issues, She works from a social justice-oriented and trauma-informed lens to provide clients with culturally competent treatment.

SM Yeakub Ali

Community Organizer

As a journalist and documentary maker Yeakub brings more than a decade of experience in audio-visuals and print media to the realm of organizing and activism. Alongside working with various international organizations like Unicef, Save The Children, UNDP, ActionAid, DRUM Desis Rising Up and Moving, CAAV, Housing Justice for All as both full time and on a contractual basis, he also has worked many years with local television. Before emigrating from Bangladesh, Yeakub completed his Bachelors and Masters in Business Management from the university of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. He has excellent computer efficiency and sound knowledge in both Windows and Mac-based operating environments. He is also an adept of Social media marketing, Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress and Java programming. Yeakub wishes to use these acquired skills to bridge the gap between working class communities and the information and rights they deserve. He hopes to promote a platform of communication that can keep people in the loop, and connected with those that can fight with them.