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Salt Lake City Student Ivy Fox Wins ACLU Youth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2000
The American Civil Liberties Union today announced the
winners of a nationwide student activist college
scholarship competition, awarding eight high school
students $4,000 each for outstanding contributions in
the struggle for civil liberties and the rights of young
The first annual ACLU College Scholarship for Youth
Activism Award was created to recognize the efforts of
graduating seniors who have demonstrated a strong
commitment to civil liberties and civil rights through
some form of student activism.
Salt Lake City winner Ivy Fox, a senior at East High School, made headlines and editorial pages
throughout the state for her role in helping the ACLU challenge the Salt Lake City School District’s
unconstitutional and discriminatory ban of all school clubs, including the Young Republicans, the
Polynesian Club and others, rather than recognize the formation of a Gay/Straight Alliance that she
and other students helped to found.
"I believed it was important for me to take a leadership role in promoting diversity and freedom,"
said Fox who has traveled across the country to speak to teachers, professors, administrators and
citizens about sexual orientation harassment and how to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender youth. "Bigotry is still very much alive, but through education, everyone has the power
to fight it."
Student winners from California, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, and Massachusetts
were selected based on the personal statements they wrote describing their reasons for becoming
civil rights/liberties activists. Some students established civil liberties clubs at their high schools,
while others participated in ACLU lawsuits, or fought discrimination and censorship.
"The next generation of civil libertarians will face new challenges as part of their ongoing defense of
the Bill of Rights," said Ira Glasser, executive director of the national ACLU. "This scholarship gives
the ACLU an opportunity to recognize the bravery of these students and the inspiration they
The ACLU of Utah, which won the suit filed against the school district, said that even in the face of
harassment and threats, Ivy’s commitment to fairness was unwavering.
"Thanks to Ivy and the fellow students she inspired, we were able to legally ensure that all students
in the district, including gays and lesbians, will have fair and equal access to school-recognized
student groups without fear of discrimination against gay-positive or other controversial viewpoints,"
said ACLU of Utah Legal Director Stephen Clark. "I can state without hesitation that Ivy richly
deserves recognition as a student committed to advancing civil rights."
The ACLU college scholarship fund was made possible by a grant from an anonymous donor.
Information and pictures of all of the student winners are available on the web at www.aclu.org.