FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Next week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah will host its 2012 Bill of Rights Celebration, featuring special guest and keynote speaker Spencer Overton of George Washington University Law School.
The event will take place on Wednesday, May 2, at the Rail Event Center (235 N. 500 W) in Salt Lake City, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. All proceeds will benefit the ACLU of Utah Foundation.
The theme of this year’s Celebration is “Power of the People.” As keynote speaker, Mr. Overton will address several obstacles to participatory democracy in this election year, including all manner of voter suppression tactics and manipulations of the voting process.
Mr. Overton is the author of STEALING DEMOCRACY: The New Politics of Voter Suppression, which has received renewed interested in light of the 2012 presidential election. Mr. Overton has been a nationally-prominent voting rights expert and advocate for several years; he served on the Jimmy Carter – James Baker Commission of Federal Election Refund, in the wake of the 2000 presidential election and subsequent Supreme Court decision, Bush v. Gore.
“Since its inception, the ACLU has been a champion of the people’s right to be involved at every level of the democratic process – from protesting on the Capitol steps, to punching a ballot in the voting booth,” says Anna Brower, Development Director of the ACLU of Utah. “We’ve invited Professor Overton to join us this year, to remind us what is at stake, for our nation, when entire groups of people are pushed out of that process.”
Also featured at the Bill of Rights Celebration will be the three recipients of the ACLU of Utah’s 2012 Youth Activist Scholarship awards. Each of these three winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship in recognition of their: commitment to the protection and advancement of civil liberties; pursuit of academic excellence; displays of leadership in their schools and communities, and their triumph over personal challenges.
The ACLU of Utah will also award its Cliff Cheney Memorial Journalism Award to the “Capitol Hill Press Corps,” a group of dedicated print journalists whose thorough and dogged reporting during the 2012 Utah State Legislative Session helped to inform and empower everyday Utahns. This group includes: Robert Gherke and David Montero of The Salt Lake Tribune; Marjorie Cortez, Lisa Riley Roche and Dennis Romboy of The Deseret News; Charles Trentelman of the Ogden Standard-Examiner; Josh Loftin of the Associated Press; and Billy Hesterman of The Provo Daily-Herald.
Complete event information is available online at www.acluutah.org/bor2012, or by contacting Anna Brower at (801) 521-9862 ext 100.