Shinjini Das’ riveting “Go-Getter Girl” article published in The Huffington Post in 2015 has led to a life of empowering women all over. From being covered by Marie Claire, Forbes, ABC and CBS, this go-getter girl has no plan to stop empowering women. Since the popular article that went viral, life for this motivational speaker has been busy writing her own story.
Aside from staying on track to empower people, Das is also the founder and CEO of The Das Media Group, a digital media company, where’s she’s endlessly encouraging people to reach their highest potential.
“I am supremely thankful for the ability to empower men, women, and children around the world to take steps to achieve their highest potential, she said. “I am building a lifestyle brand to empower go-getters internationally, and partnering with non-profits fighting for causes closest to my heart such as girls’ education, women’s empowerment, youth empowerment, and childhood hunger in America.”
Das’ main focus has always been to build the strength of women as a united community and still that hasn’t changed one bit.
“We definitely need more messages of female empowerment in the world, and I just want each woman reading to recognize how truly powerful she is and how much power she has to create change in her own life as well as in the lives of so many others around her,” Das said.
According to this 24-year old CEO, an empowered woman is someone who has control over her mind, body, soul, career and life path. She said she believes each woman should achieve her goals and create the life each woman wants.
She can decide to cultivate her energy towards overcoming that which holds her back because she is passionate about building the life of her dreams,” said the CEO.
A strong advocate for women to take risks and get what she wants, Das encourages women to become more familiar with the word “risks.”
“I strongly believe that millions more women should take risks to pursue paths towards happiness and personal fulfillment because a meaningful life is a life well-lived,” she said. “Happiness, personal fulfillment, and meaning are important to achieve, but are all too often neglected in the quest to live lives according to society’s expectations or whatnot.”
She’s even more thrilled that South Asian women are breaking out of the typical mold, but still encourages those who are afraid to take the leap.
Even during this year in politics, the Women’s March is just one force fighting for women to get enough respect in the world, especially South Asian women. Though the fight will be ongoing, Das advised how women in the South Asian community can take action for progression.
Das said, “I would recommend that South Asian women raise their voices to be heard in the workplace and in the world as a first step.”
Even beyond the cultural difference, Das said women should band together to empower each other and it starts with something as easy as compliments.
“It is critical that women stand up for other women and celebrate each other as well as themselves because female forces are unbreakable.”
She also mentioned the benefits of compliments: “Complimenting other women freely and building each other up is truly critical to success in female friendships and female support networks.”
A strong-willed South Asian woman, Das is on a never-ending quest for empowerment of both men and women. Her goal is to see millions of people empowered. And her worst fear is living a life of mediocrity devoid of meaning.
Even now she’s still on the hunt to accomplishing greater goals. She’s now working on her accomplishing another one of her dreams: writing a book.
“I have always dreamt of writing a book, and am taking the first step towards achieving that goal by serving as a co-author on a business and entrepreneurship advice book to be released internationally this summer,” Das said.
It’s safe to say Das is far from being done with spreading the power of confidence and happiness to each person. This “Go-Getter Girl” author is still writing the chapters in her life.
“I am thankful and excited to continue writing this story!” she said.
A New York native, Alicia Chinatomby finds it very hard to pry herself away from a strong-willed protagonist or action-filled book. When she’s not doing that, she’s dancing her way to the beach or diving into a new adventure.
Every year on August 5th, the Sikh American community remembers one of our community’s most devastating tragedies in recent memory — the Oak Creek massacre. On this day in 2012, a white supremacist gunman entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, a gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin where he shot and killed six worshippers and severely injured others. This violent attack was the deadliest mass shooting targeting Sikh Americans in U.S. history, and at the time, was one of the worst attacks on a U.S. house of worship in decades. Six worshippers — Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, and Satwant Singh Kaleka — were killed on that horrific day. An additional community member, Baba Punjab Singh, was severely paralyzed and ultimately passed away from complications related to his injuries in 2020. Others, including Bhai Santokh Singh and responding police officer and hero, Lt. Brian Murphy, were seriously wounded during the shooting.
In 2022, the community came together to demonstrate that we are undaunted. My organization, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) joined in supporting the anniversary observance at Oak Creek: a remembrance eventcentered around the theme of “Heal, Unite, Act.” The Oak Creek Sikh community hosted a series of in-person events, including the 10th Annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Anniversary Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on Friday, August 5, 2022. The program included a representative from the White House, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, and representatives of the families who lost loved ones. Being there in Oak Creek 10 years after the tragedy was deeply meaningful — both to see the inspiring resilience of this community and to remember how much remains to be done.
In D.C., SALDEF continues to fight for policies that improve the lives of Sikh Americans. I had the honor of chairing the most recent iteration of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council at the Department of Homeland Security, providing recommendations at the request of Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. Consequently, the three subcommittees published a report that emphasized the importance of greater accessibility, greater equity, and greater transparency in counterterrorism efforts that for too long revolved around surveilling populations like the one that was senselessly attacked at the Oak Creek gurdwara in 2012. Leading the FBSAC as a Sikh woman, and representing a community that was highly targeted alongside Muslims by both white supremacists and in post-9/11 counterterrorism profiling, was an opportunity to push the Council to advocate more fiercely for further information-sharing between communities and law enforcement, extending grant opportunities for security for Gurdwaras and other houses of worship, and building trust between the government and Sikh communities. In addition, I advocated for accountability for the damage needlessly caused to Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) communities by federal agencies historically pursuing “counterterrorism” objectives which has resulted in eroded trust rather than the development of strong partnerships.
Although we have made great strides in this country, there is still more to do. Through our work we have partnered with many across the nation to come together and find solutions through tenets central to Sikhism and America — unity, love, and equality.SALDEF continues to strongly endorse the policy framework articulated across the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350 / S. 963); Justice for Victims of Hate Crimes Act; and the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Improvement Act (H.R. 6825). We believe strongly in mandating federal agencies to create dedicated offices to investigate domestic terrorism; allowing prosecutors to feasibly indict perpetrators of hate crimes; and allowing religious nonprofits to access federal funding to enhance their own security.
While 11 years have passed, the effects of the Oak Creek shooting are never far from the minds of Sikh American advocates and the community we serve. SALDEF will not stop taking a stand against senseless violence and hate crimes. We continue to work in unity with our community and movement partners, and fight for better policies that will actively keep all of our communities safe. Through tragedy, we find hope. We know there can be a world where people from all backgrounds and cultures can practice their faith freely and, even though it has eluded the Sikh American community in the past, we still believe this world is possible.
Photo Courtesy of Amrita Kular