About the Civil Rights Department

Each year, the CAIR Oklahoma (CAIR-OK) Civil Rights Department responds to hundreds of complaints. These complaints come in through our website reporting form, through emails, or via phone call or text, and they originate in locations across our state. First, we complete a thorough intake procedure by interviewing the complainant and collecting all relevant documentation. Then we review the complaint, looking for evidence of anti-Muslim bias, discrimination, harassment, or motive, and determining the triggering factor for the discriminatory act or acts. If the services of the CAIR-OK Civil Rights Department are required, we are equipped to represent clients for whom legal action becomes necessary.

We also conduct workshops and seminars on Constitutional Rights, Islamophobia, and many other topics. 

Request Legal Help

The CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Department exists to assist people who are facing harassment, discrimination, or other unfair treatment on the basis of religion, race, or national origin. We can help you through each stage of the process to remedy the situation and ensure that your rights are protected. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of your religion, race, or national origin, please complete this form and we will contact you as soon as we can. Please note that while we try to address new complaints quickly, it may take up to 30 days for us to determine if we can assist with your complaint.

Meet Our Civil Rights Director

Veronica Laizure

Veronica Laizure

Civil Rights Director

Veronica Laizure received her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature after graduating magna cum laude from Hendrix College in Conway, AR. During her undergraduate education, she focused on developing world literature and literary studies, concentrating on Anglophone Africa and Latin America. Through her undergraduate and law school career, she has focused on civil and human rights and multiculturalism, taking advantage of programs that allowed her to study and live abroad in Madrid, Spain; Beijing, China; Gulu, Uganda; and Managua, Nicaragua.

After earning a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and being admitted to practice in Oklahoma, Veronica joined CAIR Oklahoma as Staff Attorney and then expanded her role to Civil Rights Director. Her commentary on the state of civil rights in Oklahoma has been published in dozens of local media outlets, and she has been asked to speak at a variety of organizations, including the Oklahoma Department of Education, the John Hope Franklin Symposium, the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, and many interfaith programs. She is proud to serve the Muslim community of Oklahoma and to build bridges of tolerance, justice, and mutual understanding in the state that she calls home.

Hours of Free Legal Services

Number of Discrimination Cases

Hours of Workshops/Seminars Conducted

Department Highlights

CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Receives Human Rights Award

CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure received the “2017 Human Rights Award” from the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance (OKUHRA).

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Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Muslim Woman Barred From Courthouse Over Hijab

CAIR-OK and the ACLU of OK filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of a Tulsa Muslim woman refused entry to the Tulsa County Courthouse because of her hijab, or religious head covering.

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Civil Rights Report Shows Increase In Oklahoma Hate Crimes

Inside its 2016 civil rights report, the Oklahoma Council on American-Islamic Relations says hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims are on the rise.

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Know Your Rights

Learn about your rights as a Muslim in the workplace with a focus on common practices during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Learn about your rights as a Muslim student with a focus on common situations and scenarios students face at school.

Learn about your rights as a Muslim while traveling with a focus on common situations and scenarios faced when attending the Hajj.

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do our services cost?
All services provided by the CAIR-OK Civil Rights Department are completely free of charge to you. The generous support of our community makes this possible.
What kinds of cases do you handle?
Generally, the Civil Rights Department takes on any case or complaint that shows strong evidence of religious discrimination or bias. Our most common complaint areas are in employment, schools/student issues, public accommodations, and law enforcement/FBI harassment.
What do you do?
We can help explain the legal process you may be going through. We can help you document the circumstances surrounding your complaint to build a solid case. We can connect with other involved parties to help resolve disputes or collect information, or draft letters that help you establish a paper trail as you work through your complaint. We can also represent you in court if we decided that a lawsuit is the best solution to your complaint.
What kinds of cases do you NOT handle? What happens if you can’t handle my case?

For cases that we do not handle, we will make referrals to a network of qualified legal providers. We do not take cases that deal primarily with the following:

  • Criminal defense
  • Immigration
  • Family, divorce, custody
  • Employment (non-discrimination)
  • Contract disputes
  • Real property
Why is an intern calling me?
You will either be speaking with the Civil Rights Director or a legal intern. Legal interns are students or recent graduates who are in the process of becoming licensed attorneys. They are under the direct supervision of the Civil Rights Director and all materials sent to them will be passed along for review.
Why haven’t you called me back?
Occasionally, the Civil Rights Department experiences a high volume of calls. Because we thoroughly research each complaint, it may take time for us to fully determine if we are able to help. A delay of up to 7 business days is not uncommon during very busy periods. Please be patient with us as we work through the details of your complaint.

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