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Organizing an ACLU Chapter to Serve Occidental College & Surrounding Communities 

What: ACLU Organizing Public Forum
Where: Occidental College, Dumke Commons
When: Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 7:30 p.m.

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Faced with such challenges as massive surveillance of personal communications, offensive intrusions into women’s reproductive rights, widespread efforts to deny long-held voting rights, and unheralded levels of immigrant deportations, protecting our rights and liberties are more important than ever.

The 90-year-old American Civil Liberties Union has long stood in the forefront of battles to protect civil liberties and civil rights in matters like these, involving freedom of speech, religious liberty, criminal justice and drug policy reform, privacy, and LGBT rights, among others.

To help equip a new generation of civil rights activists at Occidental College, the ACLU of Southern California has been working with faculty to see if Occidental students, faculty, and staff might be interested in starting a new ACLU chapter to engage civil liberties challenges on campus and in surrounding communities.

“Faculty and students at Occidental College have a long history of working for social justice and are thrilled to host this exciting event highlighting the past, present, and future work of the ACLU-SoCal,” says Politics Professor Thalia Gonz‡lez, who has been working with fellow professors Marla Stone and Thad Russell and ACLU volunteers and staff to organize the September 17th discussion.

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That evening, ACLU-SoCal Executive Director Hector Villagra will discuss the work the ACLU’s Southern California affiliate has been undertaking in recent months, followed by a discussion between Prof. Gonzalez and Ahilan Arulantham, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, about what life is like for an ACLU attorney.

“The legacy of injustice, segregation, bias, and unfairness has continually constrained the opportunities in many communities,” continued Professor Gonz‡lez. “Only through collective resistance can we protect our rights and liberties.”

The evening will conclude with a discussion of the merits of forming a new ACLU chapter on campus, what that would entail, and who would like to be involved.

Contact Prof. Thalia Gonzalez (, Prof. Marla Stone (mstone@oxy. edu), or ACLU-SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter president Dick Price (213.434.4643) with questions.