Civil Rights Advocates Honored for Health Equity Work

CREEC recognized as a Health Equity Champion by Center for Health Progress On November 10, 2020, Center for Health Progress recognized groups and individuals whose contributions have either reduced inequities in health outcomes and health care or whose work has changed the systems and policies that keep some Coloradans from achieving their best health. This year Center for Health Progress selected Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) as one of two 2020 Health Equity Champion Award winners. Since 1997, Center for Health Progress has held an annual event to bring together Colorado’s health leaders and honor those making important contributions to their community through Health Equity Champion awards. This year’s event included awards two Health Equity Champion Award winners: Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) Law Department of Student Engagement Initiatives at Adams 12 Five Star Schools “Colorado has so many talented, committed leaders doing incredible work across the state, and getting to recognize and thank a few of them is one of my favorite parts of the year,” said Joe Sammen, executive director of Center for Health Progress. “This year’s winners have improved the health and lives of tens of thousands of Coloradans—from changing harmful laws to providing direct support to children and families—and we’re so grateful for all they do.” At this year’s luncheon, Center for Health Project premiered their documentary, The Essentials. Center for Health Project writes that The Essentials “lifts up the voices of our friends and neighbors from around the world who are facing great barriers to survival, but who fight on nonetheless. Their stories expose the true cost of a global...

Announcing CREEC’s First Director of Operations

We are excited to announce the appointment of Ana Diaz as CREEC’s first ever Director of Operations! In this new role, Ana will oversee and coordinate the administrative, financial, and human resources aspects of CREEC. We see the addition of this essential role as a natural progression for CREEC as our organization continues to grow and evolve and, based on her experience, Ana is the ideal person to initiate and craft this position. Ana has been with CREEC since 2018, starting as Paralegal and then moving to Office Manager/Lead Paralegal in early 2020. During that time she has handled a number of administrative tasks including: playing a key role in the financial well-being of CREEC; managing personnel issues and drafting HR tools; wrangling various day-to-day administrative tasks; attending to state and federal compliance and tax issues, and more.  In her new role, Ana will also have full responsibility for firm-wide Zoom lunches, happy hours, and the annual Weird Shirt (summer) and Ugly Holiday Sweater (winter) competitions. Prior to joining CREEC, Ana’s background included experience in management, administrative support, teaching, and consulting. Her experiences working and volunteering in nonprofit settings have given her a love for their mission-driven, collaborative environments along with an appreciation of the unique challenges facing nonprofits. Ana graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, a field of study that expanded her skills of systems-level analysis, strategic thinking, and designing environments for collaboration and community. Outside of work, Ana enjoys hiking, getting involved in her community, and lovingly curating a growing home library. Ana states about her...

Court Holds Case Challenging TDOC’S Failure to Accommodate Deaf Prisoners Can Proceed

  In an important decision for the enforcement of disability rights in Tennessee, the Middle District of Tennessee held that Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT), the state’s Protection & Advocacy (P&A) organization, has standing to file a lawsuit to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. On November 12, 2020, Federal District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger issued an opinion in the case of Trivette & Disability Rights Tennessee v. TDOC, recognizing DRT’s plaintiff status and affirming DRT’s ability to bring claims on behalf of its constituents in order to vindicate their rights. DRT, as Tennessee’s P&A, has been mandated by Congress to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. DRT and Ernest Kevin Trivette filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee on March 30, 2020 based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The suit alleges that the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) is failing to provide D/deaf inmates with effective communication, including sign language interpreters and videophones, so that they can have equal access to TDOC’s programs and services. For example, Mr. Trivette was unable to get his GED because TDOC did not provide him with a sign language interpreter who would interpret the course, which was taught in English, into his primary language of American Sign Language (ASL). TDOC filed a Motion to Dismiss, claiming, in part, that DRT lacked standing to bring suit on behalf of D/deaf inmates in TDOC custody. DRT has long advocated for TDOC to provide effective communication to D/deaf and hard of hearing inmates as required by law. In...

CREEC is hiring an Admin Paralegal

Full-Time Paralegal The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) is hiring a full-time paralegal to support our team of attorneys and provide administrative support to our Director of Operations. This position is ideal for a recent college graduate who is thinking about going to law school, and who would like to gain experience in the nonprofit and legal world. Although this role is based in our Denver office, you will be working remotely during the pandemic. Paralegal or administrative experience is not required, but we do request a commitment of at least two years. Ideal Traits of a Paralegal Candidate Do you want a job where you are encouraged to take ownership of projects and find creative solutions, and where you receive frank but productive and encouraging feedback? Are you the most detail-oriented person you know? Do you have strong writing, communication, and organizational skills? Can you find humor in even the busiest days and most aggravating situations? Can you multitask? And by multitask, we mean Multi. Task. Do lots of different things at the same time. Juggle chainsaws. You know, the usual. Do you want to learn a lot about litigation and civil rights law? Do you enjoy administrative tasks and keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes? If so, you just might be the paralegal CREEC is looking for. About CREEC CREEC is a nonprofit membership organization whose goal is ensuring that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our work includes education, outreach, and investigating and...

CREEC is hiring a Director of Development and Communications

Director of Development and Communications Summary The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) is seeking an accomplished fundraising professional to be our Director of Development and Communications. This is an exciting opportunity to lead CREEC’s fundraising and development alongside an enthusiastic and successful team of civil rights lawyers and advocates. Our Mission CREEC is a legal nonprofit and membership organization. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We are widely recognized for systemic change litigation and for education and support for lawyers, advocates, and individuals working in our areas of practice. Our Work CREEC pursues our mission through education, advocacy, and individual and class action lawsuits. We represent individuals on a range of civil rights issues, but focus on the rights of people with disabilities and on the rights of people detained in immigration detention centers and prisons. Our cases in these areas include a class action against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) challenging its decision to confine immigration detainees in a federal prison; multiple class actions challenging conditions of confinement in prisons and detention centers; systemic litigation on behalf of deaf people seeking effective communication in medical and carceral settings; and class actions challenging physical barriers for people who use wheelchairs. We also have a number of educational projects, ranging from one-time webinars and continuing legal education courses to our ongoing “help desk” projects, providing technical assistance in the areas of disability rights and immigration detention conditions to other lawyers,...