Posted on September 29, 2015 in Press Releases
Contact: Waseem Mardini (202-429-9210)

Arab American Institute to Host Congressional Briefing on Voting Rights

Thursday, October 1, 2015

9:15 – 10:30 am

2226 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. – The Arab American Institute will convene a discussion on voting rights with speakers Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Jasmyn Richardson, staff attorney at the Advancement Project. AAI Government Relations Manager Nadia Aziz will serve as moderator.  

Two years after the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Congress has yet to unite and restore the landmark civil rights legislation. Since the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, 110 bills that would restrict access to registration and voting have been introduced or carried over in 33 states. The upcoming 2016 Presidential election will be the first in 50 years where voters will not have the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.


Nicole Austin-Hillery is the first Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office which she opened in March 2008. In her role, Ms. Austin-Hillery has overseen the growth and development of the Brennan Center’s advocacy and policy development work in Washington. Ms. Austin-Hillery is the organization’s chief liaison to Congress and the Administration. Priority issue areas of Ms. Austin-Hillery’s portfolio include voting rights, racial and criminal justice advocacy and reform, indigent defense and felon enfranchisement.

Jasmyn Richardson is an attorney with Advancement Project’s Voter Protection Program.  She is originally from New Jersey and a graduate of Northwestern University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Global Health.  After graduating from Northwestern, Jasmyn spent two years in Washington D.C. in development and marketing for a local nonprofit, Metro TeenAIDS, which battles HIV/AIDS particularly with youth.  Jasmyn graduated from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2013 where she was a member of USC’s National Moot Court Team. Jasmyn is admitted in California. 

Nadia Aziz is the Government Relations Manager at the Arab American Institute. Nadia received her Juris Doctor from Charlotte School of Law where she focused her studies on international law and civil rights. While in law school Nadia was selected to participate in an honors externship program where she worked with America Votes in Washington, DC and studied voting rights and election law.  She received her B.S. in Political Science from Clemson University. Nadia was a summer research fellow with the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL, and has published research on the effects of the post-September 11th political environment on the representation of Arab American interests in Congress. Before joining AAI, she worked with the Democratic National Committee and the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee in Charlotte, NC.  She is licensed to practice law in North Carolina.

For more information contact Waseem Mardini (202-429-9210)