Civil Rights Forum features ACLU director
ASU will host a Civil Rights Forum featuring Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and internationally recognized civil rights leader Raul Yzaguirre, from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Friday, April 2, at the A.E. England Building at Civic Space Park.
The forum, hosted by ASU’s Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, offers an intimate dialogue on contemporary civil rights. The event will feature an interactive question-and-answer session in which guests can engage with the panel to lend their voice in shaping a national debate.
“The Civil Rights Forum is an opportunity for the community to lend its voice to a broader national discussion of today’s civil rights issues,” says Raul Yzaguirre, executive director of ASU’s Center for Community Development and Civil Rights. “We look forward to a stimulating conversation on what the future of civil liberties will look like on both the local and national fronts.”
The forum is the eighth in a lecture series featuring the nation's most widely recognized figures in contemporary civil rights issues.
Romero took the helm of the ACLU, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom, just four days before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis. Under Romero’s leadership, the ACLU gained court victories on the Patriot Act, filed landmark litigation on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filed the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration’s illegal NSA spying program.
Romero is the ACLU’s sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. In 2005, Romero was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.
Raul Yzaguirre was nominated by President Obama in December 2009 to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He established the Center for Community Development & Civil Rights in ASU’s College of Public Programs. Among the Center's many offerings is the American Dream Academy, which is dedicated to advancing education for youth. The Center also addresses the Latino male education gap, offers civil rights dialogue and education, and uses research and education to advance financial knowledge in underserved populations. Yzaguirre served as president and chief executive officer for National Council of La Raza from 1974 to 2004, growing it into the preeminent Hispanic policy organization in the United States.
Additional Panelists include Matthew Whitaker, Ph. D., associate professor of history in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Kathie Gummere, attorney focusing on lesbian and gay legal and political issues.
The forum is among the highlights of a daylong community event, "Action, Advocacy and Arts," focusing on the power of community at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Other activities on April 2 include the 5th Urban Gallery Exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m., celebrating the arts and community as ASU joins the Artlink First Friday Art Walk to showcase mixed media works on display at University Center, 411 N. Central Ave.
Admission is free and tickets are not required. For information, visit http://copp.asu.edu/aaa.
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Media Communications Manager,
ASU College of Public Programs
Leticia de la Vara
Community Initiatives Officer, ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights