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

Global Pro Bono Report: Accessing Justice – 3 Year Anniversary Review

The Global Pro Bono Report shows the breadth and depth of ICAAD’s ability to leverage multidisciplinary partnerships to catalyze social impact; helping women, girls, and minorities to achieve equality. Inside the report you’ll find informative comments from our partners, experts in their fields, on our ambitious work together.

Excerpts from the report from two of our pro bono partners:

“I’m proud to say that DLA Piper is collaborating with the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination to combat violence against women in Pacific Island Countries. The Pacific has some of the highest rates of violence against women (“VAW”) in the world and incredibly low rates of prosecution, conviction and sentencing. We are working with ICAAD to assess the structural factors that perpetuate gender inequality and VAW. The project covers 12 Pacific Island Countries and aims to intervene where law enforcement, legislation and the judiciary fail to protect women. For our own lawyers this has been a fantastic opportunity to utilise their legal skills in a way that hopefully will create lasting change for many women and families. We have had more than thirty lawyers across our Asia-Pacific offices working on this project. For some, undertaking the research and analysis was an eye-opening experience, allowing them to see just how critical non-discriminatory, well-functioning legal systems are to women and girls’ lives.” – Emily Christie, Asia-Pacific Pro Bono Manager, DLA Piper LLP

“Linklaters LLP is a leading global law firm headquartered in London with 29 offices in 20 countries worldwide. The firm has been working with ICAAD to combat discrimination globally since 2013. The collaboration began with a large cross-border pro bono project researching structural discrimination issues in ten countries. The goal of the research was to improve implementation of human rights recommendations adopted by states through the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”) process. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. Approximately forty Linklaters lawyers from ten of its offices (Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris and Warsaw) reviewed reports from UN agencies, NGOs, governments and other sources. Subsequently, they analysed legislation and policies giving rise to structural discrimination issues.” – Waleed Rasromani, Associate, Linklaters LLP


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
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook