2012 Media

Please contact Ramey Ko, Media Outreach Coordinator, at with any questions or requests regarding press.


Sept 2, 2012
Ramey Ko (Media Outreach Coordinator)
(512) 577-5729
Rupal Shah (Volunteer/Project Coordinator)

Save the Day! Save the Date: Be the Change National Day of Service Will Take Place in Austin on October 1st

AUSTIN, TX – On Saturday, September 29th, the people of Austin will come together to
serve their community as part of the Be the Change National Day of Service. Inspired by
Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quotation, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,”
Be the Change takes place every year on or near Gandhi’s birthday. Started at the University
of Michigan over a decade ago, Be the Change has grown into a volunteer and leadership
development program that attracts thousands of volunteers across the country. In 2010, nearly
3,500 people volunteered in fifteen cities and on over sixty college campuses nationwide. In
2011, over 1,000 volunteers participated in community service projects in Austin alone, marking
the second year in a row that Austin led the nation in number of volunteers. Be the Change is
coordinated nationally by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non-
profit organization dedicated to building a more just and inclusive society.

This year’s Be the Change National Day of Service in Austin will kick off on Thursday,
September 27th, with a celebration from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the south steps of the Texas
State Capitol, followed by service projects throughout the day on Saturday, September 29th.
Volunteer registration is now available online at for the Town Lake
Animal Shelter, Recycled Reads, and many other service opportunities. Current proposals for
this year’s Be The Change are closed; however, proposals for next year’s 2013 projects should
be submitted to George Luc, Be the Change Volunteer Coordinator, at
Groups are also welcome to volunteer together; for more details on how to register as a group,
please visit Volunteers are also encouraged to
RSVP, join the community discussion, and share the event with their networks on Facebook at

Austin has also been selected for the third straight year as a featured Core City, which will be
highlighted nationally by SAALT. Last year, Austin held the largest event in the country, with
over 1000 volunteers participating in over 25 service projects for organizations such as the
Capital Area Food Bank, Texas After Violence, Trees for Pease, and the Workers Defense
Project. Organizers are confident that Austin’s spirit of service will enable the city to build on last
year’s tremendous turnout and are aiming to exceed last year’s numbers through partnerships
with local universities.

This year’s participants will kick off their service projects with a keynote speech from Nimesh
Patel, a singer and songwriter turned altruist. Nicknamed Nimo, he began his career in
Manhattan after graduating from Wharton Business School in 2000. At the same time, he
founded Karmacy, a hip hop group, and rapidly achieved international stardom on MTV Asia
and VH1. His success continued as co-creator of a comic strip that led to the development of
an international award-winning animation studio. Despite these tremendous accomplishments,

Nimo was concerned that his achievement had not led to a sense of peace and fulfillment; that
was when his path and his life were changed forever by Mahatma Gandhi’s quotation: “The
best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Leaving his former career
behind, Nimo moved to India and joined the non-profit Manav Sadhna, where he helps street
children achieve a brighter future through music, education, and the arts. Having just finished
a summer tour of the US and UK with 16 children and their dance drama show EKATVA, Nimo
looks forward to sharing the story of his journey with the Austin community and hopes to inspire
others to make service, love, and togetherness a central part of their lives.

In collaboration with the Be the Change National Day of Service, the Austin chapter of the
Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) is sponsoring a creative writing contest on the topic, “If
you could work with Mahatma Gandhi to solve one current world problem, what would you do
together?” All pre-college students in the Austin and Round Rock areas are invited to enter
and compete in three categories: students aged fifteen to eighteen, students aged ten to
fourteen, and students nine and under. Submissions may include essays, poems, stories, and
other forms of creative writing that address the topic question. Entries may be fiction or non-
fiction and no more than 1,500 words. Entries should be submitted electronically, via email to by no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, September 21, 2012. Entries should
include a cover page that lists the following:

  • Student’s name and age at time of submission
  • Email address and/or phone number
  • School presently attended
  • Title of submission

NetIP will award a first and second place winner in each category, with prizes including an Apple iPad and Nexus 7 Tablet. Sponsorship for the writing contest is also being provided by Res Ipsa, a litigation support firm based in Austin.Event Details:

Be the Change Day of Service
WHAT: Kickoff Celebration – Thursday, Sept 27th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
WHEN: Service Projects – Saturday, Sept 29th, Various Times Depending on Project
Kickoff Celebration – Texas State Capitol, South Steps
Service Projects – Various Sites

HOW: Volunteers from all across the Austin area

Register to volunteer and find more information at


2010 Media

City of Austin Proclamation Designating October 2nd 2010 as Be the Change Day in Austin

Interview with KVUE Weekend Daybreak –