I joined the Rhode Island ACLU in 2011. In addition to my Rhode Island ACLU membership, I have been a member of the Brown University chapter of the ACLU since matriculating to Brown in 2009 and I served as the chapter's president for two years. I have also worked as an intern at the ACLU National Prison Project in Washington, DC, a Texas-based non-profit law firm that represents many of Texas' death row inmates, and a Washington, DC-based advocacy group that works on juvenile sentencing reform. As a public policy student at Brown, many of my academic interests involve issues that are the subject of the ACLU's work, such as criminal justice policy.
Like many ACLU members, I grew up in a family where the importance of civil liberties was imparted from a young age. My father worked as a public defender and community organizer before I was born, and he often regaled me with stories of how his work improved the lives of those he served. As I grew older, I developed my own understanding of and staunch support for the protections that the Constitution affords all members of American society, including those potentially unpopular groups such as racial, religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities and those charged or convicted of crimes. With those interests, joining the ACLU was a natural decision. There is no organization quite like the ACLU; the ACLU stands alone in its concern for so many of the issues that matter to me, its ability to act on the national, state, and local level, and its multifaceted approach to defending civil liberties. I am proud to be a card-carrying member of the Rhode Island ACLU.