Schedule of Events

Practicing Democracy Symposium


“Hatred in Democracy”


Friday, October 19, 2018 - The Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Frost Library 2nd Floor


3:00 p.m. Welcome and Introduction

Prof. Andrew Poe, Political Science, Amherst College


3:15-4:15 p.m. Session I –

Manar Waheed

Legislative and Advocacy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)


“I Need a Hero: False Rhetoric and Policies to End Hate”


Moderator: Prof. Jonathan Obert, Political Science, Amherst College


4:15-4:30p.m. Break


4:30-5:30p.m. Session II -

Nadia Aziz

Policy Counsel and Program Manager of the “Stop Hate Project”, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law


“Hate Crimes and Community Lawyering”


Moderator: Prof. Jen Manion, History, Amherst College


6:00 p.m. Reception and Dinner in the Lewis Sebring Commons, Valentine Dining Hall



Keynote Address:

Joseph Levin,

co-Founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center


“Hate in America: Then and Now”


Remarks: Prof. Mona Oraby, Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought

Speaker Bios:


Joseph Levin - A native of Montgomery, Mr. Levin is co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. From 1971until 2004, he served the Center in various capacities, including Legal Director, Chair of the Board, President & CEO, and General Counsel, retiring in 2016. He continues to serve the Center as an emeritus member of the board.

 In 1976, as a member of the Carter Presidential Transition Team, Mr. Levin supervised the Department of Justice transition and oversaw preparation of briefing books identifying critical issues for the incoming Attorney General. He had special responsibility for analysis of Department of Justice national security oversight of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Military Intelligence functions. As Special Assistant to the Attorney General, he superintended final wrap-up of Department of Justice transition affairs and advised the Associate Attorney General on the Department of Justice reorganization efforts.

 In 1977, Mr. Levin was appointed Chief Counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In that capacity, he represented and advised NHTSA in dealings with the Department of Transportation, Congress, the courts, federal and state agencies, and the private sector. He had principal responsibility for the massive recalls of defective Firestone “500” steel-belted radial tires and for the Ford Pinto due to defective fuel tanks.

 Mr. Levin’s extensive litigation experience includes numerous jury and non-jury cases in state and federal courts and proceedings before federal administrative panels. His better-known cases include the landmark sex discrimination case of Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973), and the private segregated school case of Gilmore v. City of Montgomery, 417 U.S. 556 (1974).

From 1979 until 1996, Mr. Levin engaged in the private practice of law in Washington D.C. A 1966 graduate of the University of Alabama Law School, Mr. Levin served in the U.S. Army, Military Intelligence branch, from 1967 to 1969. He is admitted to practice in Alabama, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.


 Nadia Aziz serves as Program Manager of the Stop Hate Project, where she works to ensure individuals and organizations targeted by hate have the resources they need to combat hate in their communities. Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee in 2017, Nadia worked at the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC as Director of Government Relations where she represented the interests of nearly 3.7 million Arab Americans to their elected and public officials on Capitol Hill and Executive branch agencies. She has previously served as a legal fellow with America Votes and Compliance Manager of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee. Nadia is a graduate of Clemson University and Charlotte School of Law. She writes and speaks on issues relating to the representation of minorities in politics, hate crimes, and the securitization of communities of color.  

Manar Waheed joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in March 2017. As Legislative and Advocacy Counsel, she works on the intersection of issues impacting Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities, including immigration, national security and counterterrorism, and hate violence and bullying. Manar works to ensure that policies affecting these communities are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. She also plays a role in developing and implementing strategic campaigns and programming within the National Political Advocacy Department with an eye towards engaging Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities.

Prior to the ACLU, Manar was the Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council in the Obama Administration where she assisted with the development of the President’s strategy for building a 21st century immigration system. In addition to immigration policy, this work included addressing anti-immigrant and -refugee sentiment and protecting the rights of all people against discrimination, harassment, and hate attacks. Manar previously served as Policy Director at South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and led their work on immigration, profiling, hate violence, and gender equity.  She also worked with domestic violence survivors at Legal Services of New York City as a Senior Staff Attorney, where she provided direct services and legal representation to survivors who were primarily from immigrant communities, and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, where she provided technical assistance on cases in which battered women were charged with crimes.  Manar has co-taught a seminar on domestic violence and legal intervention, which included the impact of media on violence at Wagner College. From 2009 to 2012, she served on the board of the Muslim Bar Association of New York.

Manar received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in June of 2004 and her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1999.








PDF icon Oct19Program.pdf245.36 KB