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ACLU Dinner Celebrates Bill of Rights, Recognizes Awardees Contributions to Basic Fairness



CHICAGO,  -- At a dinner celebrating and highlighting the contributions of seven outstanding honorees, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois members and supporters will gather this week in Chicago to look forward to restoring basic constitutional rights in a new presidential administration. The organization's annual Bill of Rights Celebration takes place on Saturday evening, October 24th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The event is expected to draw hundreds of ACLU of Illinois members and supporters from across the state.

"This annual event reminds ACLU of Illinois members of our deep commitment to protecting liberty and the rule of law," said Colleen Connell, Executive Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "The ACLU of Illinois is working each day to fix broken governmental systems that deny basic freedoms and to redress instances where government denies basic liberty. This event is a chance for our members and supporters to gather together in common cause and celebrate this work."

The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of seven awards, approved earlier this year by the ACLU of Illinois Board of Directors. Among those to be recognized:

  • Philanthropists Ronna Stamm and Paul Lehman will receive the first of two Roger Baldwin Lifetime Achievement Awards for their vision and long-time efforts to support the ACLU's efforts to ensure access to a full range of health care for women, extend equality under law to gay and lesbian couples and confront abuses of basic civil liberties caused by the so-called war on terror.
  • The second Roger Baldwin Award will be presented to Nikki Will Stein, executive director of the Polk Brothers Foundation, for her leadership among foundations to move beyond support of direct social services and focus instead on holding governmental systems accountable for their inability to meet basic constitutional standards.
  • Chicago lawyer Heidi Dalenberg will receive the Edwin Rothschild Civil Liberties Award for her more than two decades of service as a cooperating counsel in the ACLU of Illinois' efforts to repair and reform the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
  • The James P. McGuire Award for excellence in journalism is presented to Peoria Journal Star columnist and reporter Pam Adams. Adams is being honored for her writing about a number of critical issues, including racial profiling, inadequate and discriminatory education practices and other critical issues.
  • State Representative Greg Harris is the recipient of the John R. Hammell Award for contributions to Illinois' lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. As a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Representative Harris has led the fight for assuring equal recognition under law for gay and lesbian couples, and,
  • Colby Kingsbury, a former partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, will receive the Annetta Dieckmann volunteer award. Kingsbury acted as a cooperating counsel in the ACLU's challenge of conditions at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. 

"We are looking forward to a successful Bill of Rights Celebration," adds the ACLU's Connell. "The quality of the awardees, the strength and vitality of our membership and the importance of civil liberties issues in the public consciousness at this time makes this event very special."


SOURCE American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois

STORY TAGS: aclu, american, civil, liberties, union, bill, rights, fairness, dinner,

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