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The Director’s Chair: We have begun a time of transition at the ACLU of Utah

19 April 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist

This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2016 Spring Newsletter >>

KarenBOR11As we move into spring, we have begun a time of transition at the ACLU of Utah. I will be retiring this summer in order to have more time with my family. The board has begun the search process for a new Executive Director. This transition occurs at a time when we are a vibrant and effective organization with a strong board and a talented staff.  We have a terrific group of members, supporters and community partners across our state. The ACLU of Utah is on solid footing for the future. It’s a reminder that the good work we are able to do is a result of the efforts of many 

I’ve felt deeply privileged to work with the ACLU both here in Utah and across the country. I have been encouraged and inspired by the depth of thoughtfulness, knowledge and strategic thinking that characterizes the ACLU.  The ACLU builds upon nearly 60 years of courageous and ambitious work in Utah and nearly 100  years nationally as it continues to serve as the ”Guardian of Liberty”. Each of you is an essential component in keeping us a vital and strong organization. Thank you for your passionate support and engagement.  Because of your commitment, I’m confident that the ACLU will continue to thrive.

I’ve learned from so many of you who have engaged with us in our efforts to bring about transformative changes in criminal justice reform indigent defense system, immigrant rights, racial justice, LGBT equality and women’s rights.  I’ve become more aware of the ways in which so many civil liberties issues intersect with one another and that the impact of injustices are experienced and understood differently due to circumstances such as race, poverty, social class and gender.  

We live in times when much of our national discourse gains its traction from its language of divisiveness and fear.  The concerns for the viability of our democracy and for the well being of our planet are real; the immense crises facing our world at this time can feel overwhelming.  And yet I’ve learned that each of us can move forward in ways that provide more space for productive conversations, for deeper listening, for working together to address injustices.  As we do, we lose our sense of despair and paralysis. We instead become participants in creating a better world with a quality of hope that arises from living lives built upon commitments to justice, equity and fairness for others. 

As you’ll see in this newsletter, the ACLU of Utah works tirelessly through our legislative, legal and public policy work to protect and defend civil liberties in our state. We’re excited and passionate about our work and the opportunities to shape  the future here in Utah. 

Please join us on May 20th at 7:45 am for our annual Bill of Rights Breakfast at Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City (see the back page for details.) Our theme, “Together We Stand,” is an empowering beacon lighting the way forward.

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