Friday, July 25, 2008

Why yes, we DO have a minute for Civil Liberties

Do you have a minute for Civil Liberties?
That's a question that might be asked of you on State Street or around Madison this summer. The ACLU canvass has come to town! Young activists are asking this question to bring civil liberties awareness to the streets. If you spot one of the ACLU-shirted folks with clipboards, say hello! They can also tell you about an easy way to support the ACLU through monthly donations. They will love to meet our members too.

Here's a story that has been bouncing around print and radio a lot in the past day or two. A UW study shows little difference between girls/boys math scores, but upon further reading the story is really about providing more evidence of why No Child Left Behind doesn't work. Perhaps with this study though, we will stop hearing about the so-called need for sex-segregated classrooms.

In other quasi-education news, did you know that there is going to be a movie about Brown vs. Board of Education? The landmark case that showed the unconstitutionality of school segregation will be a feature film starring dreamboat Toby Maguire. As if Constitutional lawyers weren't sigh-worthy enough in real life...

LGBT Rights
It's time to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell." This ACLU blog cites polls that show how the public's support for lifting the flawed policy is growing. There is also an action link for voters to tell Congress what they think. There is also an op-ed in the Cap Times today that insists our very safety depends on gays and lesbians and the government has wasted millions of dollars in trying to purge them from the military. The author also looks to the example of civil-rights era school integration of a time when change first came with some backlash but ultimately led to greater understanding.

Here's another story on border searches of laptops and electronics. While border patrol insists they are following the rules, American citizens of Middle Eastern descent feel their searches are racially targeted. There is a nod at the end of the article to Wisconsin Senator Feingold's action on this issue.

Check out this community event...

Community Forum: Dane County Coalition to Fight Poverty
When: Wednesday, Aug. 6th, 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Where: First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave., Madison
The Dane County Coalition to Fight Homelessness and End Poverty will hold a follow-up to it's community forum held in June. The event will be an interactive evening designed to increase the individual's understanding of the barriers facing those who are homeless in our community, as well as a greater understanding of the shelter system. The Coalition will also discuss action steps to address homelessness in our community. A light dinner will be provided and the event is free and open to the public, however registration is requested. To register please contact Linda at Madison-area Urban Ministry at 256-0906 or