Blog of Rights

John Conyers and MLK

The Civil Rights Act at 50: A Conversation with Rep. John Conyers

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:48pm
Listening to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) speak is like having a real life history lesson. Mr. Conyers is the second-longest serving member of Congress, having been in office for nearly 50 years.  After participating in the March on Washington in 1963, he entered Congress in the middle of the fight for civil rights and, as a leading civil rights activist himself, has played a key role in passing, protecting and expanding the our nation’s most vital civil rights laws.
Claudia Valdez and her kids

The Terrible Toll of ICE Detainers

By Rebecca T. Wallace, ACLU of Colorado & John Krieger, Communications and Outreach Director, ACLU of Colorado at 10:41am

On the evening of June 28, 2012, Claudia Valdez called the police for help. An argument with her husband at the time had turned physical and she feared for her safety and that of her three young children. She ran to her neighbor’s house with…

Communities of Color Remain Underwater While the Tide Rises

Communities of Color Remain Underwater While the Tide Rises

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:07pm

The housing price tide may be rising, but it's failing to lift up many in our communities of color.

That's because lots of homeowners in these communities are underwater, meaning they purchased homes during the real estate bubble and now owe…

Getting Off the Deportation Train, One State at a Time

Getting Off the Deportation Train, One State at a Time

By Domenic Powell, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 10:48am

While the Obama administration's immigration enforcement machine hurtles forward like a runaway train, law enforcement officials in progressive states have been jumping off en masse. Getting mixed up with federal immigration enforcement hasn't gotten…

The Other LGBT Victory This Week - This Time In Idaho

The Other LGBT Victory This Week - This Time In Idaho

By Leo Morales, Interim Executive Director, ACLU of Idaho at 8:18pm

With the flurry of court decisions striking down marriage bans for same-sex couples around the country, you might've missed the story coming out of Pocatello, Idaho, but it's a biggie.

Voters- in a largely Republican primary- in a small, conservative…

Segregation 2.0: America's School-to-Prison Pipeline

Segregation 2.0: America's School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:42pm

This piece originally appeared at

In an iconic image painted after the Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, Norman Rockwell depicted a solitary black girl, dressed in a crisp white dress, walking to class…

Keeping Our Promise: <em>Brown</em>, 60 Years Later

Keeping Our Promise: Brown, 60 Years Later

By Keely Mullen at 10:43am

Sixty years ago this Saturday, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education. This decision, which ruled state-sanctioned public school segregation unconstitutional, was a tremendous victory…

Integrated classroom. Photo: Warren K. Leffler

Mary Frances Berry: 60 Years After Brown, "The students didn't fail us; we failed the students."

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 1:30pm

Within a minute or two of speaking with Mary Frances Berry, you first hear the crackle of enthusiasm and then you notice the matter-of-fact way she can describe something awful, like police intimidation in the South, and chuckle, seemingly at the absurdity…

Kaleb Winston and his parents

In Perverse Equation, Sketches + Skin Color = Gang Tagger

By Carmel Ferrer at 4:26pm

Kaleb Winston loved to draw. A sketchpad never far from reach, he drew constantly, hoping one day to be an architect like his grandfather.

That was before the gang sweep.

In December 2010, two plainclothes police officers approached…

Dontadrian Bruce

Where Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense

By Carmel Ferrer at 5:02pm

The olive branch is universally recognized as a token of peace. In Mississippi's DeSoto County however, Olive Branch's high school embodies zero tolerance at its worst.

Dontadrian Bruce, a student at Olive Branch High School, didn't know what…