ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri Executive Director Steps Down to Pursue Law Career

March 23, 2007 12:00 am

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KANSAS CITY, MO – Brett Shirk, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, announced today that he will be stepping down from his post to pursue a career in law. Shirk, an attorney, will be employed with a local law firm as a legal analyst while he prepares to take the Missouri bar exam.

“I feel great about my time at the head of the local ACLU,” Shirk said. “Our affiliate is made up of an energetic group of dedicated, patriotic citizens who are always ready and willing to protect the constitutional liberties of all Americans and work to preserve the Bill of Rights in our region.”

During Shirk’s tenure as Executive Director, the local ACLU has been extremely active in both Kansas and Missouri. The affiliate has been in the thick of social and legal battles ranging from gay and lesbian foster care, reproductive rights, voting rights, religious liberty, and criminal sentencing reform. The affiliate has also garnered criticism and praise for protecting the free speech rights of anti-gay activists who protest outside funerals, war protesters and panhandlers.

“Standing up for what is right is not always popular, and it is often controversial,” said Shirk, “but that is the nature of the work. The ACLU has never backed down or turned away from the cause of social justice, and it never will.”

“We’ve really accomplished a lot during Brett’s tenure,” said Board President Susan Perry. “Our membership is growing daily, and we are financially secure. Our affiliate’s enthusiastic activism is also attracting young, dynamic people who want to join an organization that is willing to fight the good fight and make a positive difference in the future of our region.”

“I’m very proud and honored that I was able to serve as director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri,” said Shirk. “This affiliate has a reputation for doing great things, and I truly believe it has a very bright future ahead.”

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