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

Using Data and Legal Education to Bridge the Gap

partner hakijamii
Marginalized communities in Kenya face challenges in accessing basic resources and infrastructure. Even where government systems are in place, there are problems with the quality of services and enforcement of laws, especially in rural and impoverished areas.
Hakijamii is an organization dedicated to securing economic and social rights for marginalized communities in 15 counties around Kenya. Hakijamii recently partnered with ICAAD to launch a Kenya-wide data collection, legal rights training, and advocacy initiative to close gaps in: health, water, sanitation, education, land rights, and governance.
The first phase of the initiative requires setting up a technology platform, determining the scope of legal trainings for community members, and ensuring that the team is collecting verifiable information to assist with future advocacy efforts. Some of the data collected will include reports on dry water taps, poor quality medical care, untrained teachers/staff, damaged sewer lines, and forced evictions.
The program is replicating a model similar to ICAAD’s successful data collection for human rights initiatives with India partner Nazdeek, both in Assam (endmmnow.org) and New Delhi (smsforjustice.org).

#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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