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

A Moment of Reflection – 2014 Year End Highlights

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A Moment of Reflection – 2014 Year End Highlights

This year has been a truly transformative year for the organization. From project launches in Fiji and India to teaching at Fordham Law School, it is important to reflect on how the support of our donors and partners have shaped ICAAD as we head toward our 3rd Anniversary early next year (March 2015).

What we have accomplished in 2014 is only because of the tremendous support we have received from our supporters and partners. If removing the structural barriers that contribute to discrimination against women and minorities is important to you, show your support before the end of the year and donate NOW!!

2014 Highlights

Prof. Carlos Texiera, Hansdeep Singh, Lillian Tong,  Stephanie Lukito, and Joe Wheeler (from left to right).
Final Presentation on December 15, 2014.

Collaboration between Transdisciplinary Design Program at Parsons the New School and ICAAD

  • After meeting with over 40 stakeholders in Fiji, Parsons students under the supervision of Prof. Carlos Teixeira, developed a concept for an online platform to assist grassroots organizations in Fiji to expand their networks, access mentors, and tap into pro bono and funding resources globally.
  • In 2015, we will take this concept and develop it into a fully functioning platform connecting local work to address violence against women to the global arena.

Ulysses S. Smith from Linklaters LLP, students from Fordham, and Jaspreet Singh
ICAAD completed its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Training & Human Rights Lawyering program at the Leitner Center for Int’l Law & Justice at Fordham School of Law 
  • The in-person and virtual course included 11 speakers nationally from the U.S., India, and Fiji.
  • Special thanks to Linklaters LLP for previously co-developing the UPR training materials and research methodology used in the course, and to the speakers that participated and shared their experiences and expertise.

Network of Activists
(photo courtesy of Nazdeek)

Launched groundbreaking mobile and mapping platform to increase accountability in delivery of maternal health services for tea garden workers in Assam, India

  • Developed End Maternal Mortality Now interactive website to map failures in the health system in the State of Assam, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in India.
  • Over 40 women in the District of Sonitpur were trained to report violations in the health system and submit information via codified SMS texts, which are being mapped to detect patterns of violations.
  • In the first six months of the program, 50 cases of violations, including detailed reports of 11 maternal and infant deaths resulting from insufficient health services and facilities were reported on endmmnow.org. This information is being shared with health authorities.
  • Special thanks to Nazdeek and PAJHRA for their tireless efforts as local implementing partners.

Regional Consultation on Gender and the Law – Fiji
(image provided by RRRT) 

Regional Consultation on Gender and the Law in Nadi, Fiji November 2015

  • ICAAD and our pro bono counsel, DLA Piper Australia, delivered a presentation and workshop on Nov. 20, 2014.
  • Trained 50+ attorneys from over 12 Pacific Island Countries (including observers) representing government (Attorney General’s Offices), judiciary (magistrates), private practitioners, and civil society.

Secretary Hillary Clinton & Hansdeep Singh, ICAAD
(Photographer Barbara Kinney/ Clinton Global Initiative (CGI))

During the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 10th Annual Meeting, Secretary Hillary Clinton graciously recognized our CGI Commitment to Action 

  • The Commitment was developed in collaboration with cross-sector partners who committed to providing 4000+ hours of in-kind (pro bono) service over the next 3 years making the total value of the CGI Commitmentequal to 2 million dollars.
  • Special thanks to DLA Piper Australia and CKM Advisors who have committed to 1800 hours of pro bono service each to work on initiatives that combat violence against women in the Pacific Island region.

Google Hangout Interview w/ Kawaljeet Tagore, her attorney Scott Newar, and Jaspreet Singh from ICAAD who served as amicus curiae in the case 
Historical settlement with the U.S. Government leads to religious accommodation for Ms. Tagore and the Sikh Community



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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