South Asian Awareness Network

The South Asian Awareness Network was formed in 2002. SAAN began by organizing an annual conference - now, the largest South Asian undergraduate conference in the nation. They bring speakers from around the United States and South Asia to engage with members of the community about a variety of issues and promote innovative solutions to social justice problems. SAAN aims to educate a wide variety of people on issues pertaining to the South Asian American community as well as in South Asia. 

The conference is completely student-planned and organizers invite prominent individuals (academics, activists and artists) from across the country for a weekend of workshops, keynote speeches and panels. These events throughout the weekend include discussions on gender in the community, sexual assault, caste dynamics, and politics. This event also emphasizes the importance of networking opportunities for both participants and speakers. Drawing almost 500 activists, artists, businesspeople, academics and students each year, the conference is an opportunity to interact with both developing and accomplished individuals whose work has impacted the world today.


SAAN aims to increase awareness of issues salient to South Asian communities, encourage its participants to engage thoughtfully with their surroundings, and promotes innovative solutions to issues of social justice. Responsible for the premiere undergraduate South Asian student conference in the nation, SAAN prides itself in the diversity of topics it covers (from the creative arts to politics) as well as the quality of its speakers. The organizations also strives to provide a platform for conversations about identity, culture, social change, and activism. They collaborate with organizations at and beyond the University of Michigan. They also host regular dialogues and have recently developed the SAAN Arise Mentorship Program, a program for incoming freshmen to get involved with the program.










University of Michigan. South Asia Awareness Network., ed. “SAAN.” Serial. [Ann Arbor, Mich.] : [Ann Arbor, Mich.], 2002.

SAAN conference promotes visibility of South Asian Organizations. Michigan Daily. February 23, 2003. Volume 113, Issue 86.