NASHVILLE – The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee will honor former State Representative Johnnie R. Turner and advocate Sally Levine with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's 50th anniversary edition of its annual fundraiser, The Constitution Uncorked, on November 29.
The Honorable Johnnie R. Turner recently retired from the Tennessee General Assembly after working for eight years as a state representative and serving as the long-time executive director of the NAACP-Memphis Chapter. Her work to promote equality and justice stretches back to her participation in sit-ins and marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. Representative Turner has championed numerous issues during her career, including education equity, voter restoration, LGBTQ equality, criminal justice reform, access to abortion, police accountability and the fair treatment of immigrants and refugees.
"Throughout her life, from the streets to the capitol, Johnnie Turner has fought for the ideals of justice and equality," said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director. "We are excited to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to such a standard-bearer for the rights of all people in our state."
Sally Levine’s community engagement and advocacy efforts include early involvement with the League of Women Voters and active participation in Tying Nashville Together and Nashville Organized for Action and Hope. Most recently, she co-founded the Drivers’ License Reinstatement Fund, which provides interest-free loans to help limited-income individuals whose licenses have been suspended pay the fees required for reinstatement. She has worked on a wide array of social justice issues – from education to reproductive rights to criminal justice reform.
"Throughout her life, Sally Levine has engaged in the hard work of turning social and economic justice from ideals into an everyday reality for Tennesseans," Weinberg continued. "Sally continues to be a persistent changemaker who seeks concrete solutions to critical human rights concerns, and we are delighted to honor her achievements."
Ari Afsar, singer-songwriter and star of the Chicago production of "Hamilton," playing Eliza Schuyler, will offer a special performance.
ACLU-TN works in the community, in the courtroom and at the Tennessee General Assembly on a range of issues, including voting rights, criminal justice reform, reproductive justice, fair treatment of immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ equality and more.
ACLU-TN's annual celebration will take place on Thursday, November 29 from 6-8 p.m. at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Nashville. The cocktail party will include hors d'oeuvres, music, a silent book auction and a brief awards ceremony. Tickets for the event are $150 per person and are available here, along with sponsorship opportunities. Tickets and sponsorships may also be purchased by calling the ACLU-TN office at 615-320-7142.