Malia Lazu is currently the director of The Gathering Project in New York City. The Gathering is an answer to the generational and racial schisms that have many justice organizations working in their own silos. They create an intergenerational; interracial space to allow the justice community; in its broadest sense; to get to know one another and to find the common agenda that will allow them to support one another as they continue their work.
Formerly, Malia was the Director of the Racial Justice Campaign Fund at Progressive Majority, where she focused on creating models to elect candidates of color and help progressives win. She was also the National Field Director for Cities for Progress. Malia was responsible for reaching out to and recruiting activists and locally elected officials in 30 cities through out the country to work on progressive policy campaigns in their respective cities.
During much of 2004, Malia left the IPS staff to serve as the National Field Coordinator for Young Voters Alliance. She campaigned to increase voter participation among young Americans in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and New Mexico. Prior to working for Young Voters Alliance, Malia was a youth coordinator for the Democracy Action Project. In addition to her youth work in 2004, Malia was a participant in the Showtime Original Series, American Candidate. Malia mounted a presidential campaign for herself and finished second in the national call-in vote tally.
Malia’s activist and political experience is extensive. Most recently Malia was campaign manager for Rev. Damon Lynch III, a civil rights leader in Cincinnati who was running as an independent for city council. Lynch lost by 500 votes, but came closer to winning than any other independent in 30 years. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston , Malia was the founding Executive Director of Mass VOTE, a statewide non-partisan coalition of community and faith-based organizations and neighborhood associations. She has been recognized by the Massachusetts State Senate and House for her role in increasing voter turn out in Boston.
Malia was named “Activist of the Month” by MTV in June 2000, and is a board member of the Youth Council of the Partnership for Excellence in Government as a representative of MTV. She also was host of “The Fall of Tarzan” a political talk show on the web. Her work as been covered in print and electronic journalism, including Newsweek, the Boston Globe and ABC-TV's Chronicle. In 2001, Malia was also listed in Boston Magazine as one of the most powerful minorities in Boston . Malia also currently sits on the boards of the League of Pissed Off Voters, The Hip Hop Political Convention, FairVote and Change the Game. Malia is also co-author of “How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office.”