DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving

Award Recipients - 2001

Monami Maulik, Founder and organizer


Monami Maulik formed DRUM – Desis Rising UP and Moving in 1999 to organize New York City’s low-income South Asian immigrant communities for racial, economic, and social justice.  “’Desi refers to people of South Asian descent from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the diaspora in Africa, England, Fiji, Guyana, and Trinidad, approximately 600,000 to 800,000 in the city.”  DRUM creates social change through community education, grassroots campaigns, and coalition building.  
Since enactment of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the number of detainees under INS authority has risen from approximately 3,000 to 30,000.  DRUM launched the “INS De-Detention Campaign” to raise public awareness, build leadership of detainees and families, and repeal the 1996 law.  “On a broader level, the campaign exposes institutional xenophobia and racism in the United states against immigrants and people of color though the exponentially growing INS detention system.”  DRUM runs a visitation program to local INS detention centers to provide translation services, legal referrals, case advocacy, and access to housing and employment upon release.  DRUM hosts monthly gatherings for families of detainees, offers free immigration law clinics and informational forums.  DRUM’s YouthPower! program develops working class immigrants youth, ages 16 to 21, as community organizers

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