Friday, June 10, 2011

Justice Center and ACLU present program on challenges faced by minority and underprivileged communities

1963 March on Washington - courtesy National Archives
 Prof. Deb Periman, Justice Center faculty, is working with Jeff Mittman, ACLU of Alaska Executive Director, in planning and presenting a program for the public, "Disparate Opportunity in America: The Ongoing Struggle for Equal Rights," featuring speaker Anthony Romero, ACLU National Executive Director.  The event is free and scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., with a reception following, at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium on the UAA campus.

The focus of the program will be recent developments in the continuing challenges faced by minority and underprivileged communities, and the work of the ACLU in fighting for equal rights. 

 •    The "Great Society" and War on Poverty of the 1960's began with a promise of a brighter future for lower-income and minority persons, as well as the elderly.
•    The realities of the intervening years have shown that there are still many problems awaiting resolution.
•    Rates of poverty and incarceration for minority groups and the number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system are disproportionately high.  
•    Education, jobs, and health care remain pressing concerns in this country for minority and underprivileged communities, and are increasingly concerns for other sectors of the U.S. population as well.  

Mr. Romero, ACLU National Executive Director, will discuss the ongoing work of the ACLU in dealing with these issues and the efforts to ensure equal opportunities for all individuals.

Mr. Romero, an attorney with a long history of public-interest activism, has been Executive Director of the ACLU since 2001, and under his tenure the organization has expanded its nationwide litigation, lobbying, and public information efforts, including new initiatives focused on human rights, religious freedom, technology and privacy, reproductive freedom, and LGBT rights.  He is the first Hispanic to serve as executive director and in 2005 was named one of Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.” Mr. Romero is the co-author, with NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston, of In Defense of America: The Fight for Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror, published in 2007.