ICRC forms partnership with Burmese Advocacy Center in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne—The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) and the Burmese Advocacy Center (BAC) in Fort Wayne announced today a new partnership aimed at enhancing service to Burmese refugees and immigrants in the Greater Fort Wayne area.

The partnership will enable BAC to work with the state to bring awareness about anti-discrimination laws and protections to the Burmese population in Fort Wayne. With an estimated population of more than 10,000, Fort Wayne’s Burmese population is the largest outside the country of Burma (Myanmar).

Jamal L. Smith, Executive Director of the ICRC, applauded the partnership as an opportunity to support a population that faces many struggles.

“Not only are these new Hoosiers linguistically-isolated, but culturally-isolated as well,” said Smith. “This partnership makes the most of available resources and improves our collective ability to efficiently and effectively inform and protect their civil rights.”

Minn Myint Nan Tin, BAC’s Executive Director, echoed Smith’s sentiments and further stated that both BAC and the ICRC have important roles and responsibilities in protecting the civil rights of families.

“As BAC works with families in this community every day, we see the need for greater education and protection for everyone,” Myint Nan Tin said. “This partnership will allow us to maximize our ability to serve the public and to bring greater awareness to civil rights issues.”

This marks a significant step in ensuring Fort Wayne’s Burmese population understands their rights and responsibilities under civil rights law, and is similar to other such agreements being formalized by the ICRC throughout Indiana. The organizations will seek to:

  • Work collectively throughout the year to provide members of the Burmese communities in Fort Wayne and throughout the state information on their rights and responsibilities under Indiana Civil Rights Law
  • Collaborate on initiatives in line with the overall mission of both the ICRC and BAC
  • Work to identify appropriate local, state and federal services and funding that can be utilized by the Burmese communities in Fort Wayne

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides quality education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 501-4602.