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

Locking Horns with the World’s Most Challenging Problems at CGI

ICAAD was invited back as a member to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) this year and was fortunate to have five team members attend the recent CGI Week of Action leading up to the upcoming CGI Annual meeting at the end of September.

“Engagement with CGI members is always a deeply rewarding experience — its a great way to meet dedicated game-changers who want to help solve some of the world’s most difficult challenges,” said Hansdeep Singh, Co-Founder & Director of Legal Programs at ICAAD. He continued, “We’ve also benefitted from increased engagement from ICAAD Advisors this year, who have lent their expertise in a number of recent CGI meetings, and have been able to spread the word about ICAAD’s Commitment to Action to promote access to justice for women and girls in the Pacific Islands.”

ICAAD Board Member Bryan Miller with President Bill Clinton

ICAAD Board Member Bryan Miller with President Bill Clinton

Joanna McGibbonCommenting on the session on Gender Inclusiveness & Equality, Joanna McGibbon, Advisor said, “I enjoyed hearing the inspiring story from the Women Deliver representative of a youth ambassador from Zimbabwe who was concerned with maternal health, and successfully advocated amongst the elders in his community to ban the practice of child marriage. The ambassador shared this story with a peer in Bangladesh, who decided to replicate the focus on elders in his community for his project. It’s that kind of willingness to challenge the status quo combined with modern global connectivity that can help change the lives of girls globally.”

laura volunteerLaura Toyofuku-Aki, Volunteer Development Manager, attended two sessions, including one on Resilience and Security in the context of global health. She stated, “The session I attended was incredible and informative. I was fortunate enough to be part of a working group session on GE’s commitment led by GE Foundation Executive Director Dr. David Barash, on maternal and infant mortality during surgery.”

Parisa_bio_picParis Elahi, Advisor, who attended a session on Innovative Financing for Renewable Energy commented, “having previously worked on financing issues for a renewable energy project, it was great to converse with leaders in the field while discussing issues like the importance of pooling solar panels and mobilizing capital for projects in developing countries.”


Bryan Miller, Board Member, attended two sessions, including a reception recognizing the importance of organizations focusing on women and girls. During the reception, Bryan had the chance to meet with Bill Clinton to briefly discuss ICAAD’s work. He said, “Most surprising, the President will take a minute to meet anybody who is dedicated to making the world a better place – a genuine and exemplary man! I look forward to seeing him again as ICAAD continues to build relationships at the Clinton Global Initiative.”

As part of ICAAD’s Commitment to Action to promote access to justice for women and girls in the Pacific Islands, we will be releasing a major case-law analysis report providing data to drive the next advocacy steps in the region. We anticipate the report will be released prior to the CGI annual meeting in September, and will be discussing the results there.



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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