This originally ran in the Topeka-Capitol Journal.
On behalf of the board of directors, staff, volunteers and membership of the ACLU of Kansas, I’d like to thank the Topeka community for helping us host our recent “Free State Forum” event.
We convened panels on the continuing effort to ensure eligible citizens have access to the polls, the opportunity for bipartisan criminal justice reform to lift us out of our prison overcrowding crisis, and the kind of immigration reform that honors our Constitution and the humanity of people seeking refuge from terror.
Nearly 200 people from across the state attended the event, designed to highlight our work and to inspire community involvement.
We honored Dodge City voting rights heroes and Shawnee Mission school district First Amendment heroes. We also announced a new summer legal fellowship named for our client Munir Zanial, a Malaysian Spirit AeroSystems engineer who donated his entire settlement to the affiliate to support our continuing work defending civil liberties and civil rights.
We’re appreciative of our panelists, our award winners, our volunteers, and especially of Topeka, for rolling out the red carpet.
Nadine Johnson (executive director of the ACLU of Kansas), Mission