"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Minority Rights News

Project Sheridan: Providing Due Process for Asylum Seekers

Individuals feeling violence and persecution in their homeland were detained in a federal prison upon arriving in the United States and asking for asylum.  ICAAD and the Innovation Law Lab provided legal counsel and other services and helped secure the release of nearly 80 asylum seekers. They will now be able to […]

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Standing Up for Asylum Seekers and Immigrants

Protecting due-process and ensuring that asylum seekers are treated with dignity is a moral and legal duty America accepted following the ratification of the Refugee Convention of 1951, the Convention Against Torture, and passage of its own domestic immigration laws. ICAAD is no stranger to asylum cases […]

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How can we hold torturers accountable if we are unwilling to uphold our own laws?

India attempts to justify its practice of torture by saying that it has a good faith obligation not to torture, but not a legal obligation. The issue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is simple. India agreed not to torture an individual, Kulvir Singh Barapind, in […]

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Tortured Sikh Leader Sues Indian Government in U.S. Courts

ICAAD is representing, on appeal, a Sikh political activist in India who is seeking damages in U.S. Courts from the Government of India and Punjab Police for being tortured while in police custody. Kulvir Singh Barapind, with assistance of the non-profit Sikh Alliance, is seeking remedy based […]

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Kirpan Accommodation Victory! Call to Action for Sikhs to Test Policy to Accommodate Kirpan

Kirpan Accommodation Victory! Call to Action for Sikhs to Test Policy to Accommodate Kirpan Houston, TX – November 28, 2014: In a historic settlement with the United States government, Kawaljeet Kaur Tagore was granted: an accommodation to wear her article of faith, Kirpan, in federal facilities, attorneys fees, and training […]

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Supreme Court: Amicus on Prison Grooming Policies

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Knight v. Thompson upheld grooming policies that deny inmates basic human dignity by subjecting them to cruel and unjust practices that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. ICAAD and the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law filed an […]

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2013 Highlights and Global Developments for 2014

As we head into 2014, ICAAD is working on four flagship projects to strengthen the rights of marginalized communities globally. Imagine places where: violence against women impacts 60-80% of all women and girls; law enforcement only documents 3% of all hate crimes; and children’s religious identity is […]

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Preservation of Identity a Major Issue for Minorities at UN Forum

Preservation of Identity a Major Issue for Minorities at UN Forum “Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities” Highlights: Testimony Before the UN Forum on Minority Issues Upcoming Shadow Report on France Partnering with French Pro Bono Counsel Geneva, December 9, 2013 – ICAAD Advisor, […]

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American Exceptionalism & Hate Crimes

      American Exceptionalism & Hate Crimes When looking at the conception of America as an exceptional nation, a paradigm shift has occurred from a core principle of egalitarianism to that of superiority. The US foreign policy (eg drone strikes, border security, NSA global surveillance) prioritises US interests to the […]

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Report Reveals System Failures in U.S. Documentation of Hate Crimes

Report Reveals System Failures in U.S. Documentation of Hate Crimes Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 16, 2013: The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) submitted a Shadow Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Sept. 13, 2013, for the upcoming review of United States (U.S.) compliance […]

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#RaiseYourShield

This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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