ACLU To Open Office In South Dakota
American Indian Rights Advocate Selected As Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it will open a new office in South Dakota, enabling a significant expansion of its work on civil liberties in the state. Robert Doody, a longtime advocate of American Indians’ rights who has extensive experience in tribal, state and federal courts as well as nonprofit management, will lead the South Dakota National Chapter as Executive Director beginning October 7.
“I am deeply honored to lead the ACLU of South Dakota National Chapter and to continue to expand the ACLU’s work here preserving the principles contained within the Bill of Rights,” said Doody. “Since making South Dakota my home and serving its marginalized groups, I have learned that defending the United States Constitution is the key to protecting ourselves against the over-encroachment of government, institutionalized racism and the disenfranchisement of the citizens of the state.”
Most recently, Doody was the Vice President of Programs and Operations of St. Francis Mission, which serves the Lakota people, and he acted as a Special Judge for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He also worked as an attorney for the Dakota Plains Legal Services where he represented indigent American Indians. Doody attributes his dedication to civil liberties to living in Belfast, Northern Ireland where he witnessed a political system that did not respect the fundamental rights of its citizens.
For the past several years, the ACLU has defended South Dakotans’ civil liberties through its office in North Dakota. The new South Dakota office will be better equipped to tackle the central civil liberties issues currently facing the state, like protecting voting rights of American Indians and reproductive freedom.
“We are very excited to be opening an ACLU office in South Dakota, which will only enhance our vibrant and ever-growing presence nationwide,” said Geri Rozanski, Director of ACLU Affiliate Support. “While an ACLU National Chapter has been servicing both Dakotas, South Dakota residents are sure to benefit from finally having their very own office working day in and day out to protect their rights and liberties.”
As part of its campaign, “Leading Freedom Forward: The ACLU Campaign for the Future,” the ACLU has been building its presence and effectiveness in every state in the union by significantly increasing programmatic and institutional capacity, particularly in states where civil liberties violations are most egregious and opportunities for change most promising. The ACLU now has a presence in every state of the United States as well as Puerto Rico.
Doody’s bio and photo are available online at: www.aclu.org/about/36631res20080903.html
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.