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Palika Makam

Laal Board Member

পালিকা মাকাম


Palika Makam (she/her) is a Digital Organizer and Storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. For the past decade, she has used digital organizing, video, and ethical storytelling to expose abuses and advocate for change in policies, practices, behaviors and laws. A core tenet of Palika's work is the belief that everyone has a role to play in creating more equitable world, and she has honored that belief through her years of training communities across the globe - from Ferguson to South Africa to Palestine - to use video and storytelling to fight police brutality, advocate for immigrant rights, demand housing rights, equitable education, get people out of prison, defend human rights and more. 


At 23, Palika cofounded and ran the Babel Project, a youth media organization that trained youth activists to use documentary video as a tool for their advocacy work. Films produced with the Babel Project have been used to successfully defend Black and brown students in a human rights court case in South Africa, screened at the UN for International Day of Migration, used as a truth-telling tool with families who lost loved ones to police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and screened across classrooms across the country. Palika has also led programming at WITNESS, an international human rights organization supporting people to document human rights abuses and advocate for change, and as the Senior Campaign Manager for Criminal Justice at Color of Change, the largest national Black-led racial justice organization in the country. 


Palika is currently the Director of Digital Organizing at the 8th Amendment Project where she is fighting to abolish the death penalty and other forms of carceral harm like life without parole, and imagining a world more rooted in people not punishment.


Palika is an Emerging Activist Fellow with the Social Change Initiative and a recipient of the Coaching Fellowship. She holds a BA in Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University, and MA in International Affairs concentrating in Human Rights and Media from The New School. 


She is the proud daughter of immigrants and the South Asian diaspora community that raised her.

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