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Outreach Blog

February 18, 2016

The Attorney’s Office launched a new Department of Justice Outreach Ambassador Initiative to educate law enforcement, schools, and community groups about Islam and Sikhism.  Twenty-seven new Outreach Ambassadors were trained by the USAO and the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service to present cultural competency training on the major tenets of Islam and Sikhism, including stereotypes and misconceptions about each religion and its worshippers.  The Outreach Ambassadors are members of the community who will be volunteering their time for this program.
In opening the training, U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly stated:  “We live in a challenging time and in a challenging political climate when it comes to respect for and understanding of minority citizens – particularly members of the Muslim and Sikh faiths.  The term ‘Islamophobia’ makes nearly every nightly news broadcast in some fashion and lack of tolerance seems to be at an all-time high.  That lack of tolerance, unfortunately, has escalated to violence in many places around the country....This is a challenging time, but it is also one filled with opportunity.  We have an opportunity to educate and inform; to cultivate respect and tolerance; and to enrich Connecticut citizens’ understanding of the diversity of our state."
The Outreach Ambassadors are scheduled to train members of the Orange, Milford, Woodbridge, and West Haven Police Departments in February and March 2016.  A second Outreach Ambassador Training is scheduled for March 9 at the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center.  For information, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala Nagala at (203) 821-3700.
Outreach Ambassador Initiative - February 18, 2016


January 15, 2016

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the New Haven Public Schools, commemorated the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday at James Hillhouse High School in New Haven.  Our keynote speaker was Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization that Dr. King founded and led during the Civil Rights Movement.  Dr. LaFayette was one of the Freedom Riders injured in Selma on “Bloody Sunday” and he was with Dr. King in Memphis on the morning of his assassination.  Other program participants included a Yale student, Ade Ben-Salahuddin, who addressed the recent campus protests, and musical entertainment by The Monk-Flake Singers.  Prior to the main event, several NHPS students participated in an intimate discussion with Dr. Lafayette over lunch in the Hillhouse media center.

Dr. Bernard LaFayette


December 4, 2014

Volunteers from the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked at the New Haven Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK).  The U.S. Attorney’s Office also held a coat drive and were able to bring a large supply of coats, sweaters, hats and gloves to DESK.  The experience was so rewarding that the Office will be volunteering at DESK on a monthly basis.  The DESK is located at 311 Temple Street in the basement of the Center Church Parish House, and has been serving the New Haven Community for nearly 25 years.   DESK serves free hot evening meals seven days a week.  Monday through Friday, the hot evening meal is served in DESK’s central kitchen and dining hall at 311 Temple Street.  Friday and Saturday evening meals are served at DESK’s satellite kitchen at 323 Temple Street.  Bag lunches are distributed nightly at the evening meals at 311 Temple Street.  DESK also has a food pantry on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

September 5, 2014

AUSAs Sarala Nagala and Ndidi Moses attended a religious diversity program, which was co-planned and co-sponsored by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), the U.S. Attorney’s Office and DOJ’s Community Relations Service.  The trainers used in the program were trained through our Office’s “Train the Trainer Program.”  Friday’s program was the first installment of  a three-part series at CCSU and is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Arab Muslim Sikh outreach to local colleges and universities.

April 26, 2014

Approximately 200 members of the Bridgeport community gathered at the Good Shepard Church in Bridgeport to hear a message that undocumented individuals should not be afraid to come forward if they become victims of crime.  AUSA Alina Reynolds, speaking in Spanish, discussed victim's rights, the importance of trusting law enforcement and reporting violent crimes to the police, the availability of U-Visas and T-Visas, and protections for undocumented victims of domestic abuse under the Violence Against Women Act.  Attendees also heard messages from representatives of Bridgeport Police Department, Project Longevity and the International Institute of Connecticut.  Attendees were provided with several handouts, including a DOJ victim’s rights brochure in Spanish, and a pamphlet outlining the U-Visa process in both English and Spanish.  Similar events are planned for the coming months.

April 11, 2014

AUSA Ndidi Moses presented at the 2014 Northeast Regional Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, in Springfield Mass. The two-day conference educated state/local agencies and organizations on the Fair Housing Act, how to conduct investigations, and how to prosecute FHA cases. For more information about the conference, visit

March 6, 2014

AUSA Lisa Perkins, AUSA Ndidi Moses, and representatives from the Center for Children’s Advocacy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, conducted an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) training session for summer camp administrators in Connecticut.  The program is part of a series of outreach events being planned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address complaints that summer camps, day care centers, afterschool programs, and school systems are refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to children who are disabled in violation of the ADA.

January 14, 2014

AUSA Ndidi Moses participated in legal seminars in Norwich.  This program was the fourth in a series of free community educational forums sponsored by the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (APAAC).  Many members of the Asian Pacific American community, particularly immigrants and those with limited English skills, lack adequate access to culturally and linguistically competent legal services. These educational presentations are offered as a community service to better educate and empower the community.

November 8, 2013

Approximately 100 young women and girls from cities across Connecticut attended an anti-violence presentation at the Kenney Center at the Yale Bowl, and then the Yale vs. Brown women’s soccer game.  Prior to the game, attendees watched The 5K Motion, a film about a young woman who was sentenced to a long prison term after protecting a boyfriend who was involved in criminal activity.  After the film, they heard from a panel that included Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies, service providers, and ex-offenders, and engaged in a question and answer session with the panelists.  Twenty of the young women sang the National Anthem before the start of the game.  Special thanks to the Yale Women’s Soccer Program, Yale Bands, the Reach Foundation and U.S. Attorney’s Office outreach interns for organizing the event.

September 19, 2013

Yale Law School and the U.S. Attorney’s Office convened a panel of experts to discuss marriage equality.  When Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, the national debate over same-sex marriage intensified.   More recently,  Supreme Court rulings have been lauded as victories for those seeking marriage equality in the United States. The panel, moderated by Janis Astor del Valle, brought together a group of leading experts who have played key roles in the evolution toward marriage equality—including a married lesbian couple who successfully sued the federal government for benefits denied them under DOMA, a civil rights activist who helped lay the foundation for the legalization of gay marriage in Connecticut, an Assistant U.S. Attorney from the District of Connecticut’s Civil Division and a political journalist with insight into the recent dramatic shift in public opinion relating to LGBT rights nationwide

August 21, 2013

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service (“CRS”) held an Arab Muslim Sikh (“AMS”) diversity training program in Hartford for 30 Hartford-area police officers. The AMS program utilizes certified trainers from the “Train the Trainers Program,” which was created by AUSA Krishna Patel, and is designed to provide interactive cultural competency training to first responders and address cultural stereotypes and misconceptions of Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Americans that often prevent victims from reporting hate crimes and other crimes of violence. As a result of this program, the Manchester Police Department contacted the Justice Department and requested that a similar program be presented in Manchester. In September, CRS will begin conducting the program to members of the Manchester Police Department.

June 21, 2013

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ikari and David Nelson spoke to the Connecticut chapter of the American Planners Association at its annual “Hot Topics in the Law” meeting.  The APA is composed of professionals working in the fields of zoning and land use.  Carolyn’s and Dave’s presentation focused how towns can avoid violating federal statutes – particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) – when making land use decisions.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office has handled several of these matters recently and this outreach is part of an ongoing effort to educate municipal officials, attorneys and members of relevant professional organizations in order to prevent discrimination before it occurs.  APA members are often in the best position to prevent discrimination at the local level.

June 20, 2013

Several members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office attended the Bridgeport premiere of The 5K Motion at the historic Klein Theater in Bridgeport.  The fictional short film, produced in Connecticut by STOP Handgun Violence with the support and participation of the U.S. Attorney’s office, focuses on a severe federal sentence imposed on a young woman who assisted her boyfriend in hiding a machine gun used in a homicide, as well as crack cocaine, and subsequently refused to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.  Acting U.S. Attorney Daly welcomed attendees, and Investigator Charlie Grady introduced several of the young actors who were present, including the film’s star, a Bridgeport resident.  Attendees also heard compelling stories from members of You Are Not Alone (YANA), an organization of women who have lost their sons to gun violence, and also from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institute’s CHOICES program, made up of 12 female inmates, including many who are serving mandatory minimum sentences for distributing narcotics.  The inspiring night offered a powerful message:  Life is about choices and one bad choice can change your life.  For more information on The 5K Motion, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice Duffy at 203-821-3700.

June 5, 2013

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alina Reynolds conducted training for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police on the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) and the Gun Control Act.  This outreach initiative is part of Department of Justice effort to enhance domestic violence prosecutions and protect victims of domestic violence in Indian Country where there is an alarmingly high rate of domestic violence.  VAWA provides the U.S. Attorney’s Office with many tools to assist in these prosecutions, particularly under the newly reauthorized VAWA statute that, among other things, closed a loophole that previously prevented prosecution of offenders who crossed into Indian Country to commit domestic violence crimes.

AUSA Reynolds covered these statutes in a power point presentation and discussed the various laws and tools available to assist the Tribe.  The training also included part of powerful film produced by the Office of Victims of Crime about domestic violence in Indian Country.

AUSA Reynolds, who serves as the District’s VAWA coordinator, regularly conducts VAWA-related training sessions with law enforcement agencies, service providers and victim advocates.

Updated February 23, 2016

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