In this Wednesday series, you can get to know the CAIR-Sacramento Valley team that’s defending your civil rights and immigrants’ rights, empowering youth, and fighting for justice for all.

Meet Civil Rights Attorney Saad Sweilem!

What inspired you to work for CAIR-SV?

I actually attended law school for the sole purpose of becoming a Public Defender. However, as Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric continued to gain steam, I felt that it was important for me to do my best to do my small part in helping our community navigate through a difficult political and social climate.  I left my gig as a Public Defender in Contra Costa in 2016 and have been here ever since. Also, I can confirm that Moody (my cousin and our Policy & Advocacy Coordinator) is the tree-hugger of the family.

What do you hope to help CAIR-SV accomplish in the future?

I hope to help CAIR-SV sue some people, educate some others, while empowering our own community by teaching them about their rights, and hopefully do my part to fight back against the onslaught of injustice our community faces.

What moment working in social justice had the greatest impact on you in the past year?

Being able to do our part in reuniting Shaima Swileh with her son, Abdullah, was a very powerful moment for many reasons. One, we are in a business that by its own nature does not always lead to successful results. So it was nice to see the hard work lead to the result we all wanted. However, it also acted as a reminder of why we do the work that we do. We do it with the right intention and the right purpose and as long as we fought our hardest we can live by whatever result we get, knowing we did everything we could.

CAIR-SV Civil Rights Attorney Saad Sweilem stands with Ali Hassan during a December 2018 press conference to bring Hassan’s wife Shaima Swileh to the U.S.

If you could describe yourself or your motto in one sentence, what would it be?

I get to sue racist people for a living.

What is your favorite hobby outside of work?

Trying to troll Moody, playing basketball, working out and fighting people on my alias Twitter.

What’s your favorite food?

Fish Face Poke, but for some reason Moody only wants to go if I’m paying.

What’s the last book you read?

“Slave Patrols” by Sally E. Hadden (still reading)

Favorite area coffee shop?

Honestly, just give me 4 cups of black coffee a day and I’m happy.

In the far Northern California, Sacramento Valley or Central Valley regions? Need civil rights legal help or advice from Saad? Fill out our intake form here.