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

Judge Marjory Fields, JD


Judge Marjory Fields is a Lawyer in Private Practice, Counsel to Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, and a Consultant to NGOs and Governments on domestic violence and violence against women. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for the rights of victims of domestic violence and has led efforts to reform laws to protect victims rights. She has published articles and lectured extensively around the world on the topic of domestic violence, human rights of women, family law, and jurisprudence.

She received her law degree from New York University School of Law in 1970.
Some of Judge Fields’ Notable Achievements:

  • New York State Governors Commission on Domestic Violence, Chair, 1979 to 1989;
  • Judge of the Family Court of the State of New York, 1986-1999;
  • Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 1999-2002;
  • New York Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence Fatalities, 1996 – 1998;
  • Family Violence Task Force, New York Court System, 1995 – present;
  • Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee, New York Court System, 1984 – present;
  • New York State Child Support Commission, 1981-1984;
  • New York State Courts Task Force on Women in the Courts, Advisor, 1984-1986;
  • United States Commission on Civil Rights, Consultant, 1978.


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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