Council of Peoples Organization (COPO)

Award Recipients - 2003

Abbas Razvi, Shafiq Hassan, Salamat Ali, Mohammad Razvi, Ahmad Razvi & Jagajit Singh, Co-Founders

Mohammad Razvi, Executive Director

The Council of Peoples Organization, formerly known as The Council of Pakistan Organization (COPO) is an informational and educational center for South Asians living in Brooklyn.  Its mission is “to assist low-income community members to thrive and develop their full capacity and to build understanding and cooperation between diverse communities.”  COPO addresses the need for decent jobs, affordable housing and healthcare, and provides services aimed at “educating, empowering and building relationships among community members.”

After September 11th, South Asians faced a rise in racist violence and immigration detention.  In February 2002, COPO emerged in Brooklyn with the mission “to be present in times of crisis and provide support in daily life challenges of the immigrant community.”  Current programs include English-as-a-Second-Language classes, citizenship test preparation, computer training, housing assistance, domestic violence workshops and clinics to inform community members of their rights as residents and immigrants.  When the Immigration and Naturalization Service instituted regulations requiring men from more than twenty-five countries to register, COPO provided legal services to assist with the process.  COPO also participated in a survey undertaken by several New York City agencies regarding discrimination experienced by Arab Americans and Muslims since September 11th.  

COPO believes that the best way to build unity among diverse communities is by providing opportunities to learn from one another. Toward this goal, COPO has co-sponsored events across racial, religious and ethnic lines and initiated several youth programs.

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