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Tahirih Justice Center Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 06/08/2012: Tahirih Justice Center

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 06/09/2014: TAHIRIH JUSTICE CENTER

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Falls Church, VA
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GuideStar Summary

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
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&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2012, 2011, and 2010 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
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Basic Organization Information

Tahirih Justice Center Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 06/08/2012: Tahirih Justice Center

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 06/09/2014: TAHIRIH JUSTICE CENTER

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Physical Address: Falls Church, VA 22042 2333
EIN: 54-1858176
Web URL: www.tahirih.org 
NTEE Category: I Crime, Legal Related
I83 Public Interest Law/Litigation
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
R24 Women's Rights
Q International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Q70 International Human Rights
Ruling Year: 1997 
How This Organization Is Funded: US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (two-year grant) - $498,344
US Deparment of Justice, Congressionally Mandated Award (two-year award) - $1,117,935
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation - $50,000


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Mission Statement

The Tahirih Justice Center's mission is to protect immigrant women and girls from violence. Tahirih works to achieve its mission through the goal of providing high-quality pro bono legal services, and bridge-building advocacy, and public education.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (IRS Form 990, January 2012)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 01, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

Total Revenue $3,019,283
Total Expenses $2,845,363

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Ms. Layli Miller-Muro

Term:

Since Feb 2001

Profile:

Prior to joining Tahirih as Executive Director in 2001, Layli Miller-Muro was an attorney at the law firm of Arnold & Porter where she practiced international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Mrs. Miller-Muro was an attorney-advisor at the US Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals. She co-authored the book, Do They Hear You When You Cry? (Delacorte Press 1998) with former client, Fauziya Kassindja, which details the story of a young woman's flight from female genital mutilation and her historical impact on US law as the first woman to receive asylum on that basis. The author of numerous articles on female genital mutilation, immigration law, and human rights abuses against women, Ms. Miller-Muro is frequently asked to lecture at universities and conferences throughout the world as well as serve as an expert on those subjects to media sources. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Miller-Muro received her JD (summa cum laude) and M.A. (international relations) from American University and BA (Phi Beta Kappa) from Agnes Scott College.

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

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Board Co-Chair

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June 2012)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)
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Board Orientation & Education ?
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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Response Not Provided
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Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
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Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
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Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
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Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

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Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in June 2012

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Programs

Program: Tahirih's Organizational Budget (GuideStar Exchange,
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June 2012)

Budget:
$2,050,826
Category:
Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy
Population Served:
Females, all ages or age unspecified
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Program Description:

Tahirih’s programs include the following: DIRECT LEGAL SERVICES: ASSURING IMMIGRANT WOMEN’S PROTECTION Tahirih provides immigrant women and girls with expert pro bono legal representation to ensure that they receive the protection from violence to which they are entitled under US law. Tahirih’s direct legal services, provided both in-house and by a network of over 580 outside pro bono attorneys, embrace a holistic approach and offer a range of social and medical services referrals to ensure that our clients can escape violence and rebuild their lives in safety. More specifically, Tahirih’s direct legal services to immigrant women and girls in the Washington, DC metropolitan area include the following:   : ·         Gender-Based Asylum: Tahirih provides pro bono legal representation to women and girls fleeing gender-based violence who have come to the United States after fleeing violence in their home countries such as female genital mutilation, torture, rape, human trafficking, honor crimes, widow rituals, forced marriage, and domestic violence. Building on the landmark case, Matter of Kasinga, Tahirih pioneers the use of the refugee definition to protect women and girls fleeing gender-based persecution to receive asylum in the United States.  ·         Battered Immigrant Women Project: Tahirih provides pro bono legal representation to immigrant female survivors of domestic violence seeking to access their right to legal status independent of their abuser under the Violence Against Women Act, so that they are not forced to choose between deportation and remaining in an abusive relationship upon which their legal status depends.   ·         Protection for Victims of Trafficking and Other Crimes: Pioneering the use of the T and U visas established under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, Tahirih provides pro bono legal representation for immigrant women and girls who have been trafficked to the United States or are victims of other violent crimes and who are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.   : Tahirih provides urgently needed, culturally sensitive family law services, which include helping our clients with temporary and permanent orders of protection, divorce, custody, and visitation. Our clients’ family law matters are often inseparable from their immigration and social service needs. : In order to help our clients truly find justice, Tahirih’s in-house social work staff assists clients by making referrals to desperately needed social and medical services such as shelter, counseling, food, clothing, and urgent medical care. Tahirih actively partners with auxiliary service providers and like-minded organizations in the communities it serves to ensure that our clients can access services. PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY: AMPLIFYING IMMIGRANT WOMEN’S VOICES Through an unusual approach to advocacy that is rooted in direct services, Tahirih seeks to amplify the voices of the women it serves to critical public policy debates that directly impact them. Tahirih’s intimate understanding of the abuse suffered provides unique insights that enable the design and execution of effective campaigns for systemic change and the long-term protection of women and girls. Tahirih is an emerging leader in a range of national public policy debates affecting immigrant women. More specifically, Tahirih’s primary public policy areas of focus include:   Tahirih advocates for the accountability of international marriage brokers (IMBs, commonly referred to as “mail-order bride” agencies) and the protection of foreign brides through legislation, public education, and precedent-setting litigation. As a direct result of Tahirih’s advocacy efforts, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) was signed into federal law in 2006 as part of the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act. Additionally, Tahirih successfully brought the first lawsuit against an IMB in the United States.   Tahirih leads national, regional, and local coalitions advocating to ensure that immigrant women and girls who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes can access help from law enforcement without fear of being placed in detention or deported. Tahirih opposes proposals to compel state and local police to do “double duty” as federal immigration enforcement agents, and supports efforts to prohibit police from asking victims and witnesses about their immigration status. Tahirih also works to affirm and expand access for immigrant survivors of crime to protections provided for them under the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.   : Tahirih works to affirm and expand protections offered by the United States to women and girls fleeing gender-based persecution in collaboration with national advocacy organizations. Tahirih also advocates for measures needed to reform the US asylum system to ensure the protection of those fleeing persecution.   : Tahirih also engages in international advocacy to end violence against women and girls, participating in national coalitions in support of federal legislation such as the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) and the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. Tahirih also strongly supports US ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.   PUBLIC EDUCATION Tahirih actively engages in outreach activities to ensure that the public and those working on issues of gender-based violence are aware of the unique challenges and obstacles faced by our clients. Tahirih educates others about the issues facing immigrant women and girls and the legal remedies available to them by training police officers, judges, prosecutors, legislators, social and medical service providers, as well as other groups serving immigrant women and girls; speaking at universities and law schools around the country; and raising awareness at community religious institutions such as mosques, churches, and temples.

Program Long-Term Success:

The past five years have been monumental for the Tahirih Justice Center. Tahirih’s efforts to protect women and girls fleeing gruesome violence resulted in a dramatic increase in our capacity to provide holistic legal services to more women in need and significant public policy successes. The following are Tahirih’s most outstanding measurable accomplishments over the past five years:   ·         Since opening our doors in 1997, through direct services and referrals, Tahirih has served almost 9,000 immigrant women and children fleeing violence. During 2008 alone, Tahirih responded to 808 pleas for help from women and children in need and engaged in the full-scale legal representation of 303 clients—a record—in over 500 separate immigration matters. Despite this increasing need for our services, Tahirih has continued to maintain a success rate of 99% in the cases we litigate. ·         Tahirih continued to increase the use of donated legal services from top area law firms to more efficiently represent a greater number of women and girls. To date, the Pro Bono Attorney Network includes over 580 attorneys from 67 law firms who are representing 75% of new incoming cases. In 2007 alone, Tahirih received over $4.8 million in donated professional services, which represents almost 80% of Tahirih’s organizational budget for the year. ·         Using the Pro Bono Attorney Network as a model, Tahirih launched a Pro Bono Medical Network in 2007 to address the urgent medical needs of our clients as we work to resolve their legal matters. To date, 12 individual providers have joined the network. In addition, Tahirih entered into an agreement with MedStar Physician Partners, who agreed to provide pro bono care to 100 Tahirih clients per year. ·         Tahirih drafted and successfully advocated for the passage of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), a federal legislation that protects foreign brides from violent husbands they meet through international marriage brokers. IMBRA was signed into law on January 7, 2006. Leading a national coalition of over 200 organizations Tahirih ensured wide bi-partisan support and inclusion of many voices to ensure a strong piece of legislation to provide meaningful protection to foreign women. Since IMBRA’s passage, Tahirih has continued to push for its full implementation and enforcement. ·         Tahirih advocated to ensure that abused immigrant women and girls have access to police protection and other vital public services. Compelled by our alarm at the terrible chilling effect that local measures to enforce federal immigration laws inevitably have on crime-reporting and help-seeking by immigrant victims like our clients, Tahirih has successfully advocated against federal efforts to deputize local police to act as immigration officers and helped build local coalitions to protect immigrant access to police protection.

Program Short-Term Success:

: During 2008, through direct services and referrals, Tahirih assisted 901 women and children in need, and engaged in full-scale representation (either begun or continued) of 303 immigration cases—a record. Currently, Tahirih is litigating 244 cases, including 509 separate matters. Of these, 44 are gender-based asylum cases (women and girls who are fleeing gender-based violence in their home countries); 90 Violence Against Women Act cases (immigrant women who are survivors of domestic violence and seek access to independent legal status so that they are not forced to choose between deportation and remaining in the abusive relationship upon which their legal status depends); 14 T visa cases (women and girls who are victims of trafficking); and 83 U visa cases (women and girls who are victims of violent crimes who are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crime). Despite the high demand for our services, Tahirih has continued to maintain a success rate of 99%. In addition, Tahirih provided in-house family law services to immigrant women and children such as temporary and permanent orders of protection, divorce, custody, and visitation. During 2008, Tahirih represented 55 family law cases, involving 60 separate matters. Currently, we have 21 open family law cases involving 36 family law matters. Tahirih’s services were enhanced by in-house holistic social and medical service referrals that address our clients’ access to basic but urgent needs—such as housing, food, clothing, counseling, and medical care. During 2008, Tahirih’s social worker served 132 clients through holistic case management services and made 320 referrals including 21 housing, 15 shelter, 62 medical, 72 food banks, 15 family law, 5 other law assistance, 50 clothing, 51 counseling, 11 childcare, and 18 community classes. : To date, the Network includes over 580 attorneys from 67 top law firms. Tahirih’s pro bono attorneys are representing 75% of incoming cases, making these donated professional services a vital resource for Tahirih that allows us to more efficiently serve the ever-increasing demand from women and girls. In fact, in 2007, Tahirih received $4.8 million in donated professional services, which represents 80% of the organizational budget for the year. : In 2007, Tahirih launched a Pro Bono Medical Network to address the urgent medical needs of our clients as we work to resolve their legal matters. To date, 12 individual providers and MedStar Physician Partners have joined the network. MedStar has 18 offices in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and has agreed to serve 100 Tahirih clients a year. In addition, Tahirih’s social worker refers clients to 72 local free or reduced-fee clinics and/or pro bono physicians. : Over the last year, Tahirih has continued to press IMBRA’s Congressional co-sponsors and others to exercise better implementation and enforcement oversight. To actually succeed in preventing abuse, IMBRA depends on two separate mechanisms: industry regulations and changes in the US government’s processing of fiancé(e)/spouse visas. While some progress has been made on changes to the visa process, a number of key government obligations remain unfulfilled or dangerously misinterpreted. A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, for example, found that only two of seven key IMBRA requirements had been fulfilled by the date the report was released.[1](http://www2.guidestar.org/NonProfitEditProfile.aspx?orgId=7831902#_ftn1) In fact, the preparation of an information pamphlet to advise foreign brides about the rights and resources available to domestic violence victims in the United States—a vital part of IMBRA’s life-saving “caution” and “emergency exit” signs—has lagged a troubling two years behind schedule, and a very rough draft was only released for public comment in late July 2008. Tahirih swiftly mobilized the survivor advocacy community nationwide to contribute to the pamphlet’s improvement. Tahirih partnered with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum to offer a telebriefing on IMBRA, and offered two more telebriefings with Legal Momentum’s Immigrant Women Program, to answer advocates’ questions on the comments submission process. Tahirih staff also reached out directly to over 500 colleagues across the country, from the Texas Council Against Family Violence to Na Loio Legal Center in Hawaii to encourage their input. Tahirih circulated a series of action alerts, technical tips for filing, and sample comments letters to guide advocates. In addition, Tahirih and Legal Momentum drafted and submitted a joint comments letter (over 20 pages), together with a proposed alternate pamphlet for the government’s consideration, by the submission deadline of September 19, 2008. Tahirih has worked closely with IMBRA’s co-sponsors and other Congressional offices to communicate all of our concerns to federal agencies and request written updates on progress. Among other efforts, Tahirih met with researchers from the US GAO team as they prepared the IMBRA-mandated report described above, the release of which in August 2008 has provided a fresh opportunity to call attention to implementation gaps and to advocate for greater government diligence going forward. Tahirih issued a press advisory on the GAO report to increase public scrutiny, and plans further follow-up directly with federal agencies. In March, June, and December 2008, Tahirih also met with senior staff on the House Judiciary Committee to ask for increased pressure on federal agencies to fulfill their IMBRA obligations. Finally, in order to be still more vigilant in the future, Tahirih hired a Senior Public Policy Attorney this fall to focus on our IMBRA efforts, which will remain critical to ensuring that the law lives up to its full protective promise.   : Compelled by our alarm at the terrible “chilling effect” that local measures to enforce federal immigration laws inevitably have on crime-reporting and help-seeking by immigrant victims like our clients, Tahirih has built and grown the “Virginia Alliance for Sensible Community Policing Efforts” (VA-SCOPE) into a robust advocacy network to strategically respond to such measures. VA-SCOPE’s distribution list now reaches over 200 individuals and we have solidified a core membership of 35 committed organizations. In the 2008 session of the Virginia General Assembly, Tahirih led VA-SCOPE to successfully defeat several harmful bills, preparing background materials, circulating updates, testifying in Richmond, and marshaling witnesses. Our allies included county governments and prominent law enforcement agencies. For her leadership in these efforts, Tahirih’s Director of Public Policy, Jeanne Smoot, was awarded the 2008 Agent of Change Award from the Virginia Domestic and Sexual Violence Action Alliance. Tahirih is working together with other advocates to explore additional avenues to ensure that all victims feel safe seeking help from the police, from appealing to the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police to endorse a model policy to equipping advocates with tools to appeal directly to police chiefs in their respective districts for protective policies. [1](http://www2.guidestar.org/NonProfitEditProfile.aspx?orgId=7831902#_ftnref1) See recently released report by the US GAO, “International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005: Agencies Have Implemented Some, but Not All of the Act’s Requirements,” GAO-08-862, August 8, 2008, available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08862.pdf.

Program Success Monitored by:

Tahirih uses a web-based case management system—PSTI Technologies—to measure our impact on the women and girls we serve and monitor client characteristics, such as the country from which they immigrated, the state in which they reside, and the type of abuse they face. Through PSTI, Tahirih records  all the details of a client’s legal representation, as well as the holistic social and medical service referrals they receive.

Program Success Examples:

Please see examples listed in the sections on long term and short term success.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

Please take a moment to envision the day when women and girls are not assaulted and abused by their families. The day when their bodies are not exploited or mutilated by their communities. The day when they are not raped and tortured during war; are not traded as commodities; are not killed in the name of honor; are not burned at their husband’s funeral; and are not punished for going to school. On this day, as women and girls stand proud and strong and are able to contribute their talents and virtues to society’s progress, humanity as a whole will truly soar. The Tahirih Justice Center exists because the reality of today’s world does not live up to our shared vision of justice. Tahirih exists to bring justice under US law to immigrant women and girls fleeing horrific violence.

Expert Reviews and Comments

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Evidence of Impact

There are no summaries available for this organization.

They have generated success at getting political asylum for women based on gender based violence, and at changing U.S. laws to prevent trafficking. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Organizational Strengths

There are no summaries available for this organization.

They have good leadership and staff and stay focused on their core mission. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Areas for Improvement

There are no summaries available for this organization.

They need better visibility. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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