Akash Patel: A 2014 Human Rights Award Winner
Nominated by Hilda De Leon Xavier
Akash Patel supports human rights in Oklahoma by being an advocate for people without a voice, raising awareness of critical issues for young undocumented immigrants, and expanding opportunities for others that were denied to him. Akash and his family came to the United States as legal immigrants, but due to complications in the immigration system, they were forced to navigate that system as unauthorized immigrants for 17 years. Even after getting their green cards after this time, Akash’s sister was kicked off of the application due to her age.
Inspired by his experiences, Akash launched a successful non-profit organization to support undocumented immigrants in Oklahoma, Aspiring Americans Initiative. AAI serves Oklahoma’s undocumented immigrant youth by providing free trainings to educators about relevant resources for migrant students, hosting clinics with pro bono attorneys, conducting know-your-rights forums, and providing grants and scholarships to families in need.
“Everyone has the right to a nationality.”
“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”
(Article 15 of the UDHR)