Kimberly Craven Joins ACLU as Legal Director for South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming

January 30, 2020 2:15 pm

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Kimberly Craven has joined the ACLU as the new legal director for the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Craven will lead and expand the ACLU’s legal program across the three states and provide strategic leadership on both litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy in the ACLU’s priority areas of indigenous justice, LGBTQ and Two Spirit equality, criminal justice reform, immigrants’ rights and First Amendment issues.

“Kimberly has spent her entire career advocating for justice and championing the ideals we fight for each and every day,” said Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. “Her unique skill set and exemplary legal background will allow us to be even more vigilant in defending the rights of everyone living in our region.”

Craven is a passionate, highly motivated Indian law and policy expert with a wealth of experience when it comes to assisting tribal peoples in protecting their rights, saving their homelands, and dramatically improving their standards of living. She has worked with the Eastern Shoshone General Council in Wyoming, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Colorado, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court in South Dakota and the Hopi Tribe in Arizona. Craven also served as the executive director for the Washington State Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs. There she was responsible for managing the intergovernmental relationship between Washington and the 29 federally recognized tribes within the state’s boundaries.

“Now more than ever, the ACLU’s unrelenting commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of all people is vital to the future of our democracy and the well-being of our most vulnerable communities,” Craven said. “I’m honored to be joining this essential organization at such a pivotal time.”

Craven is a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribal member. She earned her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law and her master of laws degree in indigenous peoples law and policy from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

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