DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center (formerly Desis Rising Up and Moving) is a multigenerational, membership led organization of low-wage South Asian immigrant workers and youth in New York City.
Founded in 2000, DRUM has mobilized and built the leadership of thousands of low-income, South Asian immigrants to lead social and policy change that impacts their own lives- from immigrant rights to education reform, civil rights, and worker’s justice. Our membership of over 2,400 adults, youth, and families is multigenerational and represents the diaspora of the South Asian community – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Guyana, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad. In over a decade, we have built a unique model of South Asian undocumented workers, women, and youth led organizing for rights and justice from the local to the global.
Our organizing model involves five core elements:
- Base building- Daily outreach in schools, workplaces, communities
- Leadership Development- Monthly workshops, trainings, and Leadership Institutes to build the skills of our members in policy change campaigns and social justice issues.
- Policy Campaigns- Running short and long term campaigns to reform policies at the city, state, federal, and international levels on issues ranging from immigration, civil rights, education, and labor rights.
- Alliance Building- Forging collaborations with diverse communities and sectors to build strong social justice movements for change.
- Institution Building- Building democratic and mass participatory spaces for people otherwise marginalized from shaping public policy.
Our long-term vision is to build the power of immigrant workers in the U.S in unity with all workers and communities for human rights. We see our movements for justice in the U.S. rooted in working in solidarity with people of the Global South for just global trade, economic, and foreign policies. Our cornerstone is building strong cross-community alliances across the U.S. and globe to amplify progressive movements- with African Americans, Latinos, Indigenous communities, Arab and Middle Eastern communities, labor, youth, civil rights, and Global South movements from Egypt, to South Asia, to Latin America.