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

Looking Back on 2018 and Promoting Equality in 2019

With 2018 drawing to a close, we want recognize how your support has helped us promote equality in an increasingly challenging environment for many in the U.S. and around the world. With exceptional efforts from pro bono partners like Clifford Chance, Manatt, Linklaters, and Conduent, ICAAD was able to leverage these resources to accelerate our impact. The best part is being able to share these resources with the local organizations we partner with globally. 

In this past year, law firm and technology partners donated the equivalent of $800,000 in pro bono hours. Since 2012, we’ve leveraged over $6 million worth of pro bono resources to advance the fight against discrimination. And the impact of creating systems change is that the lives of millions are affected positively. 

Just this year, we worked with the Fijian courts on judicial policy removing barriers for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and strengthening accountability; sustained improvements for access to basic services in Delhi for impoverished communities; made accessible our methodology so that government bodies and CSOs could monitor cases for judicial bias across 12 countries in the Pacific; and helped free over 80 asylum seekers who were unfairly detained in the United States. 

Human rights will continue to be challenged globally, but we are prepared to address those challenges.  In 2019, ICAAD will continue to take action to help deliver a brighter future for millions of people subject to daily injustices worldwide, because equality is possible. We hope you join us in taking action, either by volunteering or supporting ICAAD financially

Thank you and wishing you all the best in the New Year!

In solidarity, 
The ICAAD Team

A Few Highlights from 2018

Judicial Sentencing Handbook puts Gender Bias on the Spot

ICAAD released handbook with partner Clifford Chance detailing methodology used for TrackGBV case law analysis. “We are confident that the Handbook provides…important context to the barriers in seeking redress for victims/survivors of GBV in PICs.” Read more.

Fijian Judiciary Collaborates with ICAAD to Improve Access to Justice

Distribution of directives to all Magistrates in Fiji that ICAAD drafted on behalf of the Judiciary of Fiji based on ICAAD’s TrackGBV case law analysis. One of the directives should greatly reduce the use of “first time offender” status for reducing sentences in domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Read more.

Project Sheridan: Providing Due Process for Asylum Seekers

ICAAD and the Innovation Law Lab provided legal counsel and other services and helped secure the release of over 80 asylum seekers unfairly detained in a Federal Correctional Institute. The diverse group of people were natives of 13 countries, including Central America, India, Mexico, and Nepal. Read more.

ICAAD Continues to Advance Data-Driven Justice

The data collection initiative SMS for Justice continued in Delhi, and grievance mechanisms were tested by community paralegals to resolve complaints coming through the platform. Read the report, Women Lead the Way: Monitoring and improving government… Read more.

Sharing a Systems Approach to Systems Change

ICAAD was invited to North Carolina to conduct a workshop for senior and country staff at IntraHealth International on our systems approach to identifying and disrupting systemic problems like gender-based violence and gaps in maternal health services. Read more.

Gender Equality & Agenda 2030: Stopping VAW

ICAAD was invited to present and chair a panel at the Global Transformation towards Gender Equality and Agenda 2030: A conversation about innovative approaches to break the cycle of violence against women conference in Mexico City. Read more.


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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