ACLU's First-Ever College Freedom Tour Visits Hunter College, 9/18 and New School University, 9/26

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
September 18, 2003 12:00 am

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Leading Hip Hop Artists and Comedians Entertain
While Activists Engage Students in Political Forums

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK – Provocative performances, cutting-edge music and outspoken exchanges about the civil liberties issues of the day are all part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s first College Freedom Tour, at Hunter College, September 18 and at New School University, September 26. The seven-city, eight-campus tour is part of the ACLU’s new youth communication initiative, established earlier this year to mobilize young people to promote and protect civil liberties and civil rights.

According to ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, “”Young people are increasingly aware of the issues the ACLU has championed for more than 80 years. While the tour will be fun, we are also taking this opportunity to update students on critical issues like the government’s crackdown on civil liberties in the tense post-9/11 climate as well as racial justice, individual privacy and freedom of speech.””

“”Fighting the erosion of our fundamental freedoms is this generation’s mission, and the ACLU is ready to help them carry it out,”” Romero added.

Romero noted that 30 percent of participants at the ACLU’s first national membership conference in Washington earlier this year were youth registrants between the ages of 16 and 27. As Executive Director of the ACLU since 2001, Romero has led an aggressive campaign to increase membership and to articulate the ACLU’s response to current issues affecting civil rights and civil liberties, especially among youth. Under his direction, membership in the ACLU has increased from 300,000 to 400,000.

Each stop of the Freedom Tour combines live concerts with political forums that focus on local civil liberties issues as well as on ACLU’s national programs in support of racial justice, individual privacy, and privacy of information.

The Hunter College tour stop features a political forum chaired by Sway Calloway of MTV News followed by performances by nationally-acclaimed rapper, singer and song writer Mystic, along with DJ Revolution, Don Divino, and Art Start Project. A ten-minute video focusing on ACLU youth activists past and present will kick off the evening at Hunter College. Other participants include: Donna Lieberman, Executive Director, NYCLU; Yanilda Gonzalez, 19-year-old founder of an NYCLU chapter at New York University and project assistant for the NYCLU Bill of Rights campaign; LeeChe Leong, Director of the Teen Health Initiative at the NYCLU; Julie Ebenstein, Legislative Associate at the NYCLU; and Dalia Hashad, Arab, Muslim, South Asian Advocate at the ACLU.

Other stops on the ACLU Freedom Tour are: New School University (Sept. 26) in New York City; Harvard University in Cambridge, MA (Sept. 29); University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Sept. 30); University of Wisconsin in Madison (Oct. 7); and University of Washington in Seattle (Oct. 11). Concerts are free of charge with advance tickets available at campus ticket box offices. Tickets are limited and entrance will be on a first come, first served basis. A complete list of tour dates and participants is available online at www.aclufreedomtour.org

Following the tour, the ACLU will be releasing a Freedom CD in conjunction with Pulse EMP music. Artists confirmed for the CD include dead prez and Mystic.

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