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The ACLU of North Carolina's 2015 Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner
Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015
Location: Chapel Hill, NC 

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Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will come to North Carolina in February to deliver the keynote address at the 46th annual Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 28, 2015, in Chapel Hill.      

Romero took the helm of the organization just seven days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Keep America Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis, achieving court victories challenging the USA Patriot Act, uncovering thousands of pages of documents detailing the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filing the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration's illegal NSA spying program.

An attorney with a history of public interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's history and a large increase in national and affiliate staff. This extraordinary growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying and   public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on human rights, racial justice, religious freedom, technology and privacy, reproductive freedom, criminal law reform and LGBT rights


RALEIGH – A coalition of organizations that promote equal rights and offer support for transgender North Carolinians today released Reporting on Transgender Issues: A Reference Guide for North Carolina Media, a guide intended to provide North Carolina media outlets with proper terminology, North Carolina sources, and story ideas that can assist editors, producers, and reporters with their coverage of transgender individuals and issues.

The guide is being released the week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, an annual observance that honors the memory of people whose lives were lost in acts of transphobic or anti-transgender violence.

The guide provides contact information for eight organizations with knowledge of transgender issues in North Carolina, as well as background on issues affecting the transgender community, including challenges with ID cards, workplace discrimination, bullying and social stigma, prisoners’ rights and housing discrimination.


Solitary Confinement is Torture, Says UNC Report

Posted on in Due Process

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Solitary confinement is a cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment that amounts to torture and must no longer be used in the United States, according to Solitary Confinement as Torture, a new report released by the Human Rights Policy Seminar at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

The report, made in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, North Carolina Stop Torture Now, and the law firm of Edelstein and Payne, uses research and interviews with prisoners to shine a light on the cruel and ineffective use of solitary confinement in prisons, with a particular focus on North Carolina. It explains how solitary confinement cannot be squared with state, national, and international human rights laws, and offers a series of recommendations for reform.

“Solitary confinement violates the boundaries of human dignity and justice and should no longer be tolerated in North Carolina or anywhere else,” said Deborah M. Weissman, the Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, who served as faculty adviser for the report. “The evidence shows that solitary confinement is not only ineffective at decreasing violence, preserving public safety, or managing scare monetary resources, but more importantly, it often arbitrarily subjects inmates to circumstances that can be described only as torture.”

By Andrew Beck, ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project

Another day, another attempt by politicians to shame and humiliate a woman seeking an abortion. Yet again, the government intrusion pushes right into the exam room.

Today the state of North Carolina is asking an appeals court to reinstate a medically unnecessary, intrusive, and mandatory ultrasound law, which a federal judge blocked earlier this year. North Carolina's law would require a physician to show every woman who seeks an abortion an image of the fetus, describing the image in detail during the procedure. The physician has to do this even if the doctor thinks it would be psychologically harmful and even if a woman says she doesn't want to see it or hear it.

In fact, the state's position is that if a woman doesn't want to see the ultrasound screen and hear the detailed description, she should just put on eye blinders and headphones.