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...

CREEC Supports Those Protesting Racist Violence. Black Lives Matter.

The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) condemns racialized police brutality, racist vigilantism, and white weaponization of law enforcement. So much to condemn; so much work to do. Building on 400 years of racism and white supremacy in this country, this year has brought more shameful examples of racialized police brutality, including the recent murders at the hands of police officers of George Floyd (Black man), Breonna Taylor (Black woman), Tony McDade (Black trans man), Malik Williams (Black disabled man), and so many others on and off camera. This scourge plagues the entire nation, including CREEC’s home state of Colorado, where law enforcement murders of black men like Elijah McClain, Marvin Booker, Michael Marshall, and De’Von Bailey have not gained the national attention they deserve. We have also seen the vastly different law enforcement response to people protesting these murders – in Minneapolis, Denver, and elsewhere – in contrast to the response to white people – often armed – protesting measures instituted to protect us from the pandemic. We condemn these actions and the racist and white supremacist system of which they are a part. We call on cities to hold their police departments accountable. We call on society to recognize and work to eradicate the white supremacy that underpins so many of our institutions and replace those institutions with processes not hardwired to overpolice and cage Black and Brown people. CREEC also condemns the racist vigilantism exemplified by the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and white weaponization of law enforcement such as Amy Cooper’s attempted murder-by-cop of Christian Cooper, a Black birder in Central Park. These, too, are...

Welcome Megha!

CREEC is pleased to announce that Megha Patel is joining us as a summer intern with the Accessibility Project. Entering her third year at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee, Megha brings with her prior internship experience in criminal justice and legal volunteer work supporting the arts. Megha has a long-held passion for civil rights and is especially interested in the nonprofit sector. “My interest in civil rights and nonprofit work drew me to CREEC,” Megha states, “but I also wanted my internship to introduce me to new things. I haven’t had much experience with disability law yet and I want to know more. This internship will give me the opportunity to learn more about both disability law and the impact a nonprofit can make in the community. I’m especially interested to see how federal disability rights laws can help people during the current global crisis, when such laws at the time of creation did not anticipate this kind of situation.” Megha’s internship with CREEC’s Accessibility Project will provide her with opportunities to work on multiple critical and timely issues including discriminatory healthcare rationing and barriers to effective communication. Outside of school and work, Megha is an avid reader, enjoys painting and scrapbooking and, during the corona virus pandemic, is exploring cooking and gardening,...

COVID-19 Response Focuses on Collaboration, Action & Impact

History shows that rights are even more likely to be threatened during – or shortly after – a crisis, during times of scarcity, and when fear predominates. Recognizing this, CREEC set in motion a three-pronged response at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our response employs strong collaboration and education, swift action for individuals in need, and broad impact litigation. In the last month CREEC has focused our resources on the following: We believe that we’re stronger together. Collaboration with sister organizations CREEC joined dozens of organizations to write emergency letters and complaints in California, Colorado, Montana and Tennessee advocating for fair and legal treatment of the most vulnerable groups during this crisis, including: letter to Colorado Governor Jared Polis seeking policies and procedures to protect the rights of people with disabilities, with an emphasis on access to health care; letter to DHS, ICE and GEO Group officials at the Adelanto Detention Facility in California requesting parole for medically vulnerable detained immigrants; complaint filed with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights about COVID-19 treatment rationing plan in Tennessee and; work with the ACLU of Montana requesting reduction of population of incarcerated persons and appointment of a special master (in progress). Educating others to help CREEC’s expertise in civil rights for people with disabilities, immigrants in detention, and at the intersection of immigration and disability rights is being put to good use preparing others to help some of the most vulnerable groups during this pandemic, including: participating in a Denver Tele-Town Hall Meeting panel to discuss health care at the Aurora ICE Processing Center. virtually...