National Civil Rights Group to Honor Organizer Daisy Maldonado for Work in New Mexico’s Colonias

Leader of the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County a National Example for Muslim Changemakers

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, national civil rights group Muslim Advocates announced that it will honor New Mexico organizer Daisy Maldonado with its Muslims Making Change National Honor. Maldonado will be honored with the Civil Society Award on October 14, 2020 at the Muslims Making Change: National Honors ceremony for her longstanding dedication to organizing communities in New Mexico’s colonias.

Maldonado, the director of the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County, was chosen from over 175 nominations made by the public for American Muslims showing leadership during the defining issues of 2020: Civil society and civic engagement, racial justice, and COVID-19 relief.  As a resident of Southern New Mexico and Doña Ana County for 15 years, she has been an advocate for community programs, policies, and organizations that put people at their center and shift power to those most impacted by oppressive systems.

“Daisy advocates for oft-overlooked communities like Sunland Park and Berino, both by using her own platform and by cultivating leadership within the communities themselves,” wrote Dawn Hommer, CEO of Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, in her nomination for Maldonado. “In addition to teaching people how to navigate political channels, Daisy and her team also identify and develop fledgling leaders. Moreover, Daisy is willing to go the extra mile (literally) by transporting these volunteer community leaders to Santa Fe for the New Mexico Legislative session each year.”

“The families in the colonias are so often overlooked and America deserves to know about their history, resilience and their needs,” said Maldonado. “I love my people, I love my work and I love my community. For too long, the families of Doña Ana County colonias have been ignored by policymakers and leaders. This award is not for me, it’s for them. It’s a platform for the colonias to stand up and declare that we are here and we demand dignity, equality and respect.”

“Daisy Maldonado is an advocate’s advocate,” said Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates. “She is making a difference in a corner of America that so many people in power would rather ignore. She’s dedicated, she’s strong, she’s tenacious, and she does it all with a sense of humor. We are so honored that she accepted this award.”

Muslims Making Change: National Honors is a free and online event streaming at 7pm on October 14th honoring American Muslims from across the country making a difference on the defining issues of 2020, including Racial Justice, Civil Society, and COVID Relief.  More information on this award and the other honorees is available at