Colin Rajah

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Colin Rajah...isa political refugee from Malaysia. He has been an activist for migrants’ right for almost 25 years. He is co-founder and Coordinator of the Global Coalition on Migration; the Secretary for Migrants Rights International; the Director of the International Migrant Rights and Global Justice Program at the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; and co-founder and Co-Chair of the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development & Human Rights. Rajah has authored numerous publications and delivers lectures worldwide on migration.


“Seattle was organized with a particular culture, a very white culture,” explains Colin Rajah, director of the San Fransisco-based global justice youth organization Just Act. “That led to folks centering the message on turtles rather than issues that were relevant to youth of color. Globalization is certainly relevant to the people we organize, but we did not feel included in the mobilization itself.[1]

Up For Democracy

Up For Democracy, created in the mid-2000's, described itself as "a multi-cultural grassroots coalition for participatory democracy, economic and social justice and peace"[2]

Steering Committee members included Colin Rajah - National Network on Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[3] War Times. Endorsers of the project included Colin Rajah, executive director, Just Act.

Letter to Obama

In March 2009 dozens of 'human rights groups' and activists in the United States, signed a statement urging President Barack Obama to rethink his decision to boycott the United Nations-sponsored anti-racism conference.

As you know, the Durban Review Conference is one of the most important international platforms for discussing the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. Given the brutal history of slavery and Jim Crow in the United States, your Administration has much to contribute to this discussion. A boycott would be inconsistent with your policy of engagement with the international community…

Individual signers of the statement included Colin Rajah, Director of the International Migrant Rights & Global Justice Program and member of the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, (NNIRR).[4]

Highlander connection

On June 11-13 2009, Highlander Research and Education Center brought together a team of 16 African American, immigrant and refugee organizers, community leaders, popular educators, artists and cultural organizers to develop three educational tools that help people understand globalization and migration in the context of race.

In 2008, Highlander organized a delegation of 12 activists, popular educators and artists to attend the International Conference of Racism and Globalization, a gathering for people of color organized by Agricultural Missions and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund and held in Chicago. Highlander drew from this delegation, as well as participants from our Southern Strategy sessions, and our immigration, cultural organizing and youth work to bring together a race and globalization working group to develop these tools.

The working session participants were: Tomas Aguilar from Colectivo Flatlander, Austin, TX, Malik Browne and Vassie Browne from Storytree, Etowah, AL Jona Kasoanga from Greensboro, NC, Roxanne Lawson from Washigton, DC, Ann Lennon from the American Friends Service Committee, Greensboro, NC, Ana Mercado, from Blocks Together, Chicago, Chioma Oruh from Washington, DC, Colin Rajah from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Oakland, CA, Tonio Verzone, from Washington, DC, Attica Scott from Kentucky Jobs with Justice, 13 year old Advocate Scott from Louisville, KY, and Jamil Smith from the United Methodist Church, New York.

The gathering was facilitated by staff members Tufara Waller Muhammad and Monica Hernandez and Board Chair Maurice Turner.

The group worked on developing three popular education tools that integrate art and culture as a way to bring communities together and to jumpstart a dialogue around race and globalization. They include:

A series of 3 workshops on the impact of globalization on food sovereignty around the world An Interactive Listening Party to challenge individuals to envision themselves a global actors and activists making change and to help generate community discussion about how to frame their organizing work within the global level. [5]

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights in International Migrants Day Reception 2011, December 20, 2011;


With Khanh Pham, Deborah Lee, Colin Rajah, Gerald Lenoir Laura Rivas-Andrade, Vivian Yi Huang, Claudia Reyes, and Phil Hutchings.