Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Saturday, We're Recognizing Wisconsin’s Endangered Civil Liberties and Honoring Racial Justice, Education, and Housing Advocates

On Saturday, March 19, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin members and supporters will recognize some of Wisconsin’s community leaders in civil liberties at its annual Bill of Rights Celebration. This year’s special guest will be actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi.

Aasif Mandvi will share his experiences of growing up as an Indian Muslim in the United States, acting in Hollywood, and working with the ACLU to bring awareness to the experiences of victims of torture and rendition. Mandvi is best known in his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Several outstanding organizations and community leaders who work to protect freedom in Wisconsin will receive awards from the ACLU of Wisconsin:

Barbara Munson: The Eunice Z. Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award – Munson will be recognized for her many years of work to encourage schools to eliminate race-based mascots. As chair of the “Indian” Mascot and Logo Taskforce for the Wisconsin Indian Education Association since its inception in 1997, the Taskforce actively worked to support the 31 Wisconsin school districts that have retired race-based mascots and was instrumental in the passage of Act 250 in 2010.

Tenants of the South Milwaukee Lake Bluff Apartments: William Gorham Rice Civil Libertarians of the Year Award – Residents of Lake Bluff filed a federal complaint of housing discrimination in 2003 when it was clear that their city government intended to raze the integrated, accessible, affordable housing complex. The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee assisted the families in court where a federal jury found that tearing down the apartments would have a discriminatory effect on persons of color and persons with disabilities.

Riverside University High School Teachers, Bonnie Brusky, Paul Moga and Tom Wild: Jack and Lucy Rosenberg Youth Civil Libertarian of the Year Award – Riverside University High School in Milwaukee’s core values in teaching include social responsibility and justice. These teachers’ leadership has paved the way for students to participate in powerful social awareness programs about racial justice, homelessness and the importance of civic participation. Participants in Riverside’s ACLU Student Alliance have gone on to become young community leaders in Milwaukee.

The event is held annually as a benefit for the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation’s work to educate Wisconsin residents about their civil rights. This year’s event will be held at the Pfister Hotel at 424 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee and begins at 6:00 p.m. A private reception with Mandvi is available at a separate ticket price.

Tickets are still available: Please visit the event webpage to order tickets online or contact Emily Plagman by email or phone at (414) 272-4032 extension 24.