About the ACLU of Rhode Island - Who we are & what we do


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years

About Us

Who We Are

The American Civil Liberties Union is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to upholding and protecting the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Founded in the 1920s by a small group of devoted civil libertarians, today the ACLU is comprised of more than 1,500,000 members and more than fifty affiliates and chapters nationwide.

The ACLU of RI was founded in 1959 and is comprised of two separate corporate entities: the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island.  Learn more about this distinction.

What We Do

The ACLU of RI performs its work in three major ways: litigation, legislation and public education. The cases that we take, the bills we lobby on and the public education activities that we sponsor, are designed to help preserve and protect the civil liberties of all Rhode Islanders against government infringement. As a general rule, the issues with which the ACLU of RI gets involved break down into the following categories:

  • First Amendment rights (freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion)
  • The right to due process of law
  • The right to equal protection of the laws
  • The right to privacy
  • Government transparency

File a Complaint

If, after reading through the information on this website, you believe you have a complaint that the ACLU might be able to help you with, you can send us information about it for review. Learn how to file a complaint with the ACLU of RI.