Welcome Parima!

CREEC is thrilled to welcome paralegal, Parima Kadikar!  A recent graduate of Columbia University, Parima is drawn to public interest work and looking forward to utilizing what she’s learned in school and internships in the world of nonprofit civil rights advocacy. Before joining CREEC, Parima held legal internships at the Vera Institute of Justice’s Guardianship Project and the City Bar Justice Center of the New York City Bar Association, and policy internships with the NY State Office of the Attorney General and at the Solidarity is Global Institute – where she studied the impact of labor laws on refugee women in Jordan. From direct client interaction, to gaining a comparative perspective, these professional experiences helped solidify Parima’s interest in civil rights and immigration justice. In addition, Parima’s recent community involvement has included work at the New Sanctuary Coalition helping pro se litigants in immigration proceedings in New York and as Co-President of the South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance at Columbia University. Parima states, “I was especially drawn to CREEC because of the opportunity it offers to make an impact at the intersection of civil rights and immigration law. Combined with its focus on disability and health advocacy, this intersection makes CREEC a unique and vital organization both in times of pandemic and beyond.” Passionate about communicating with others in their first language when possible, Parima is fluent in English and Gujarati, works at the intermediate level in Arabic, and is conversational in Spanish and Hindi. She will be putting some of her language skills to work at CREEC with clients whose first language is not English. Outside of work and...

Welcome Sanho!

CREEC is honored to welcome Sanho Steele-Louchart as an intern this summer! An experienced disability rights advocate and former special education teacher, Sanho is currently a second-year student at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and will be working with CREEC’s Accessibility Project through August. Sanho’s interest in disability rights began when he experienced the negative impact of ableism first-hand after becoming blind at age 12. Early on, Sanho joined the nonprofit, World Access for the Blind, where he traveled throughout North America and Europe, advocating alongside disabled people and their families. Sanho eventually deepened his role, becoming a World Access for the Blind instructor, author, and presenter. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Western Michigan University, Sanho went on to earn his master’s degree in Orientation and Mobility/Special Education also from Western Michigan University. Following several years as a highly successful program coordinator and special education teacher, it became clear to Sanho that if he wanted to make an even greater difference in the lives of disabled students and their families, he would need to become an attorney. Sanho states, “It became clear to me that civil rights laws are only as good as their enforcement. If I wanted to effectively fight for the rights of my students and their families, I needed to go to law school. I believe that it is both my honor and my responsibility as a disability rights advocate to remind the world that disabled people matter.” During his internship with CREEC’s Accessibility Project, Sanho hopes to increase his knowledge of intersectionality among disabled people and to work with populations...

Update: CREEC’s 2020 Annual Event

On June 9, 2020, Amy and Tim emailed the following letter to the CREEC community: Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Supporters, We have made the difficult decision to cancel CREEC’s 2020 in-person event. We’re hopeful that Colorado’s phased-in opening process will proceed smoothly, but are not confident that the Covid-19 virus will be contained enough for us to comfortably hold a large, indoor event by mid-September. Because risk of complications from infection remain high for  medically vulnerable populations, holding an in-person event would exclude members of our community. And that is the opposite of all that we believe in and fight for. Recognizing the importance of coming together and celebrating the critical work of the civil rights community now perhaps more than ever, we at CREEC are determined to find a safe alternative to our annual in-person event. Stay tuned and please continue to reserve some time for CREEC and our community on the evening of September 17, 2020, but know that whatever we have in store for you this year can be done with your slippers on! In community, Amy and...

New Partnership – We the Action

As the need became more dire, CREEC knew who to call on.  We the Action. The successful request for emergency preliminary injunction in the Fraihat v. ICE case filed by CREEC and co-counsel at the start of the pandemic opened the legal door for thousands of immigrants in detention who are medically vulnerable to be potentially released. Except that ICE detains thousands of people who have no legal representation, and we could not be sure ICE was appropriately considering those people. When the need for short-term legal help for people covered under the court’s order increased, CREEC reached out to We the Action – a nonprofit that pairs volunteer lawyers with mission compatible projects. Director of CREEC’s Immigration Accountability Project (IDAP), Elizabeth Jordan explains, “We frankly don’t trust ICE to get this process right, and we know that data has proven time and again that immigrants who have lawyers have better odds for better outcomes on all sorts of issues. We felt that we had a duty to Fraihat class members to match as many of them as possible with lawyers to help them seek release and stay safe from the pandemic.” CREEC applied to be a We the Action partner, proposing a project in which volunteer lawyers could provide limited representation for detained people seeking custody review pursuant to the Fraihat order. Just six days after posting the project on We the Action’s website, we heard from six interested attorneys. In five short weeks, the number of volunteers grew to 38. To date, volunteer attorneys have helped at least 16 detained people request release and many more are...

Welcome Allegra!

We are thrilled to announce that Allegra Upton has joined CREEC’s Summer Intern Program! A Colorado native, graduate of CU Boulder, and second-year student at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Allegra will be working closely with CREEC’s Immigration Detention Accountability Program (IDAP) during her internship. Allegra holds a lifelong passion for disability rights and her interest in immigration rights developed while at the University of Colorado, culminating in an English Honors Thesis titled, “The Othering of Muslim Women by Western & Eastern Societies.” It’s hardly surprising that Allegra found herself drawn to IDAP where she will be on the forefront of disability law, immigration law, and their intersection.  “I was inspired to pursue these areas of law by both my personal background and a consistent dedication to helping others. CREEC offers the extraordinary opportunity to work on large scale impact and systemic change, which is exactly the type of work I envision for my legal career,” states Allegra. “I am also incredibly grateful to USF Law School for underwriting my internship experience with a Public Interest Law Foundation grant, which makes it possible to pursue such a deeply meaningful experience.” Prior to her CREEC internship, Allegra contributed to several advocacy organizations related to her professional interests. Allegra’s previous work ranges from serving as a congressional intern for Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet where she was involved with immigration casework, to three years as writer and editor at The Borgen Project, a nonprofit advocating bipartisan legislation to combat global poverty. IDAP Director Liz Jordan remarks, “We’re so excited to welcome Allegra to the IDAP team for the...