DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving
Dispatches from Eckshate

Dear ,


Greetings from Eckshate - a young womens' liberated area!


Last year, I imagined Eckshate as an explicit space for young women in my community to realize our collective power. As a young, working-class Desi woman I saw and felt its need deeply for a few of reasons:


1. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK! Domestic violence, gender-based expectations, street harassment, and unequal treatment by our fathers, brothers, and partners are just among the many issues we face within our communities. On top of that, in this current political climate of rampant Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment, we are particularly vulnerable to external attacks.


2. WE HAVE SPECIFIC STRUGGLES! As young, working-class South Asian and Indo-Caribbean women, we are at the cusp of multiple oppressions and this gives us a specific kind of struggle. Our struggles are personal, but they are also rooted in systems of oppression. We need Eckshate here at DRUM because, as a working-class organization, its the only place in the country where we can belong to as young working-class women.


3. WE NEED A SPACE! As young women with a specific experience and facing attacks internal and external to our communities, we need the space to realize and be affirmed in what is happening to us. We need the space to THINK and to be together, and to challenge the isolation that oppression imposes on us. We need a liberated space of transformation and challenging power as well as creating it.


4. WE ARE POWERFUL! When given the space to bring our whole selves, we are powerful! In a space where we are connecting our stories and heal through building relationships, we begin to organize ourselves so that we can change our communities - and the world - in concrete ways.


I wanted to call on you, as someone who works to support young women in their fight for collective liberation, to sustain this program. Every contribution, small or large, will go towards supporting an initiative created by and for young working-class South Asian women.

Spread the word: #GurlsJustWannaFightForLiberation!


With power,

Jensine Raihan

DRUM Leader, Sadie Nash Fellow, & Founder of Eckshate



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