Dangers of Walking to School (South Africa)
Youth Speak Truth (Ferguson)
BIOGRAPHY: Palika Makam is a media activist from Chicago using data, storytelling and film as tools for police accountability, exposing immigration abuses, and protecting the rights of LGBTQ and Indigenous communities across the country.
She is the cofounder of The Babel Project – a youth media nonprofit that trains youth activists around the world to use documentary film and storytelling as tools for change. Palika is also the full-time U.S. Program Coordinator at WITNESS – a nonprofit that supports activists around the world to film and document human rights abuses for advocacy and evidence.
Palika has trained activists from Ferguson, to South Africa, to Occupied Palestine. Media she’s helped produce and organize has been used as evidence in human rights abuse court cases, and utilized for human rights campaigns around education, police violence, and immigration reform. Films have been screened at international film festivals, at The United Nations, community groups, and in high school and university classrooms. Palika believes that visual documentation and counter narratives are integral to creating systemic change, and hopes to help equip more people with the documentation skills and support necessary to bear witness to injustice.
Palika is an Emerging Activist Fellow with Social Change Initiative. She holds a BA in Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis from NYU, and MA in International Development concentrating in human rights and media from The New School.