Interactive Conference on Civil Liberties & Human Rights ~ Saturday, December 1 ~ VenueSIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Panelists and Speakers


ACLU:ENGAGE will feature attorneys and activists, political leaders and artists, speaking to how we can engage ourselves and our communities to advance civil liberties in the years to come.

Speakers include:

Lori Andrews- Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at IIT Chicago – Kent College of Law

The American Bar Association Journal describes Lori as “a lawyer with a literary bent who has the scientific chops to rival any CSI investigator.” She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Her path-breaking litigation about technologies caused the National Law Journal to list her as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” Lori writes mystery novels and is also the author of eleven nonfiction books. In her most recent book, I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy, she explores how what you do on the Web can be used against you—and what you can do about it. She says that unlike Vegas, what happens in Facebook doesn’t stay in Facebook. Find her on twitter @LoriAndrewsJD.

Frank Baiocchi and Robert Hunt

Frank Baiocchi and Robert Hunt have been a couple for nearly ten years and were joined in a civil union on June 2, 2011, the 2nd day they were legal, in a celebration hosted by the City of Chicago at Millennium Park that included Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn. Since December, 2012, they have been foster parents to two beautiful girls, now ages four and five, and have recently commenced the adoption process. They are the first LGBT couple to work with their foster care/adoption agency.Frank is a Senior Program Officer at the Polk Bros. Foundation, an adjunct faculty member of Loyola University Graduate School of Social Work, and a board member of the ACLU of Illinois, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and Ingenuity, Incorporated, which he helped co-found. Robert is an actor and director with Broadway, off-Broadway, national tour and regional credits. He was most recently seen in “A Little Night Music” at Writers’ Theatre and “Assassins” at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Khadine Bennett- Legislative Counsel for the ACLU of Illinois

Khadine Bennett is a Staff Attorney and Legislative Counsel with the ACLU of Illinois. She began her ACLU of Illinois career as a Legal Fellow with the Reproductive Rights Project where she was involved in the Project’s litigation and advocacy efforts, including the federal and state court challenges to the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act and the Campaign for Reproductive Health and Access.Khadine began her social justice career in the California Bay Area where she worked as an organizer, program director, consultant and director of various human rights, juvenile justice, youth development and reproductive justice organizations including WILD for Human Rights, Youth Force Coalition and the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Khadine has served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, WILD for Human Rights, Exhale and is currently the co-chair of the Chicago Abortion Fund.

Marca Bristo- President & CEO of Access Living

Marca Bristo, is President & CEO of Access Living, one of the nation’s leading disability rights organizations. She has helped craft local, national and international reforms to protect the rights of people with disabilities and equip them with tools to lead independent lifestyles.In 1994, President Clinton appointed Bristo to head the National Council on Disability.  Today, she serves as Vice President of North America for Rehabilitation International and as President of the United States International Council on Disabilities, through which she is leading a campaign to promote the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the United States.

Will Burns – 4th Ward Alderman

William D. “Will” Burns is currently serving in his first term as 4th Ward Alderman of the City of Chicago. In February 2011, he was elected Alderman of the 4th Ward after being elected two terms for Illinois State Representative for the 26th district. As alderman of the 4th Ward, Will is committed to attracting quality commercial and residential development, improving neighborhood public schools, enhancing public safety, and increasing transparency, efficiency, and accountability in city operations. He belongs to the following committees: Finance, Workforce and Audit, Transportation, Traffic Control, and Housing and Real Estate. A strong commitment to social justice and civic engagement is demonstrated through Burns’ participation on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations, including the ACLU of Illinois.

Maude Carroll - Online Advocacy Coordinator for the ACLU of Illinois

Maude Carroll arrived at the ACLU of Illinois with seven years of experience in non-profit marketing and communications. With a passion for using new media to promote and amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard, Maude is responsible for managing the website, advocacy alerts and social media presence for the organization. A 2004 graduate from Antioch College (BA Communications and a focus on documentary video) she developed strong humanitarian values, and is honored to be able to use her skills to be of service for the greater good.

Kelly Cassidy- State Representative of the 14th District

Rep. Cassidy’s district encompasses the neighborhoods of Rogers Park and Edgewater. Prior to joining the state legislature in 2011, she worked as the Legislative Director for the Chicago National Organization for Women, District Director for State Senator John Cullerton, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs with the Cook County State’s Attorney.In these positions, Kelly has worked on a variety of areas including sex trafficking, immigrant rights, political engagement, women’s rights, and marriage equality. Most recently, she has sponsored a comprehensive reform of anti-bullying policies in Illinois schools.

Lorie Chaiten- Director, ACLU of Illinois Reproductive Rights Project

Ms. Chaiten has been the Director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU of Illinois since June of 2001, but has been involved in reproductive rights litigation throughout her 26 year legal career.The ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project seeks, through litigation, public education and legislative advocacy, to make certain that all in our society have access to safe and effective contraception, sexuality education, reproductive technologies, prenatal care, childbearing assistance and safe, legal, and accessible abortion.Prior to joining the ACLU, Ms. Chaiten was a partner at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Ms. Chaiten joined Sonnenschein in 1985 where her practice focused on complex commercial litigation and reproductive rights litigation. Ms. Chaiten graduated with honors from Wells College and The Ohio State University College of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Grace Chan- Director of Administration at the Chinese American Service League

Grace oversees human resources, information technologies, and facilities management and leads special initiatives. Prior to her present role at CASL, she has held executive level positions in the higher education, government and corporate sectors. She was also co-owner of a boutique consulting firm focusing on strategic planning and program evaluations for small businesses and non-profit organizations. She has been a board member of the Illinois ACLU since 2007, and is also currently a board member of Chicago Chorale and an advisory board member of the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. She is a 2005 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow and holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Business, an MA in Linguistics from The University of Chicago, and a BA in Linguistics and Sociology, also from The University of Chicago.

Colleen K. Connell- Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois

In January of 2001, Colleen Connell became the first female attorney to lead the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, an organization Ms. Connell joined in 1984.Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Ms. Connell served as the ACLU’s Associate Legal Director and Director of the Reproductive Rights Project. In that capacity, she directed the organization’s litigation efforts involving constitutional rights of privacy and protecting the rights of Illinois citizens to make decisions concerning reproductive matters and child-bearing, without undue governmental restriction. Find her on twitter @ACLUColleen.

Barbara Flynn Currie - State Representative of the 25th District

Barbara Flynn Currie represents the 25th District, which includes portions of the Chicago communities of Woodlawn, South Shore, Hyde Park, Kenwood, and South Chicago. The conviction of her beliefs is one of the assets that make Barbara Flynn Currie so valuable in Springfield. She has served the people of the 25th District since 1979. In 1997, she became the first woman Majority Leader in the history of the Illinois General Assembly.

Heidi Dalenberg - Partner at Schiff Hardin

Heidi Dalenberg is a partner at Schiff Hardin who concentrates her practice in class actions and complex civil litigation. She has assisted in the defense of clients in numerous class actions involving a variety of claims, including federal and state antitrust claims, RICO claims, product liability claims under environmental laws, consumer fraud claims, and alleged civil rights violations. She has also assisted in the defense of non-class product liability litigation in Illinois, New York, and Wisconsin, and in various other commercial litigation matters.Her experience at trial includes prosecution of a design defect construction claim brought by a municipal authority, defense at trial in a case involving alleged theft of trade secrets and confidential information, and defense of a multi-million dollar breach of contract case. In addition, she has participated in evidentiary proceedings opposing class certification in several jurisdictions. She presently chairs Schiff Hardin’s Professional Personnel Committee.

Mary Dixon- Legislative Director for the ACLU of Illinois

Ms. Dixon has served as the Legislative Director for the ACLU of Illinois since June of 1992. Her duties include testifying before Illinois House and Senate committees, bill analysis, working in coalition to advance or defeat legislation, drafting affirmative legislation and amendments, and coordination with legislators and staff on an array of issues, including criminal and juvenile justice, HIV/AIDS, racial justice, LGBT equality, reproductive rights and First Amendment freedoms.Prior to working for the ACLU of IL Ms. Dixon worked for six years as an Assistant Public Defender in Kane County, Illinois. She is a member of the Illinois Bar, a graduate of Purdue University and Valparaiso School of Law.

Edward Feldman – Partner, Miller Shakman & Beem LLP

Mr. Feldman has practiced in a wide range of general commercial litigation, with substantial experience defending legal malpractice and other professional liability matters. He also has experience in health law, securities litigation, antitrust litigation, RICO litigation, consumer fraud litigation, partnership and corporate disputes, professional responsibility matters, employment discrimination, construction law, environmental law and contractual disputes. Mr. Feldman also has represented clients in defamation, civil rights and constitutional law cases. He has an extensive background in alternate dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, and has taught trial practice and professional responsibility for many years.

Karl Fogel- Executive Director of questioncopyright.org

Karl Fogel is an open source software developer, author, and copyright reform activist. In 1999 he wrote “Open Source Development With CVS” (Coriolis OpenPress, online at cvsbook.com), and in 2005 “Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project” (O’Reilly Media, online at producingoss.com), based partly on his experiences in the Subversion project. He has worked at CollabNet, Google, Canonical, O’Reilly Media, and Code for America / Civic Commons, all as an open source specialist. He is now a partner at Open Tech Strategies, LLC, where he helps organizations launch and engage with open source projects, is an Open Internet Tools Project Fellow at the New America Foundation, is a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom. He writes and speaks regularly on copyright, open source, and the application of open source principles both inside and outside the area of software. His home page is www.red-bean.com/kfogel, and he is @kfogel on Identi.ca and Twitter.

Harvey Grossman- Legal Director, ACLU of Illinois

Mr. Grossman has served as legal director since 1980. He supervises the work of ten attorneys and also provides direct representation in complex impact litigation in both state and federal courts. These cases cover a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights matters, including free speech and association, voting rights, privacy, institutionalized persons, reproductive freedom, and class-based discrimination. Mr. Grossman is an experienced United States Supreme Court litigator.From 1973 to 1980, Mr. Grossman served, first as an attorney, and for the last two years of his tenure as the program-wide litigation coordinator, for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation – a Legal Services Corporation funded program with 13 offices in southern Illinois.He graduated, Member of the Coif, from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1973.

Lorraine Kenny - Senior Program Strategist, ACLU Center for Liberty

As the Senior Program Strategist for the Center for Liberty, Lorraine Kenny plays a pivotal role in the work of the Center, including helping to develop and implement cross issue initiatives for the Reproductive Freedom Project, Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Project, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Women’s Rights Project, and HIV/AIDS Project.She brings to the role ten years of experience in the Reproductive Freedom Project, most recently as its Public Education Director. In that capacity she developed strategic communications plans, developed and managed innovative research projects addressing sexuality education and abortion communication, managed the Project’s relations with the media, ran the Project’s sexuality education advocacy program, and oversaw the Project’s Web site and other public education materials, and coordinated outreach to coalition partners and ACLU affiliates. She is also a co-author and editor of the Project’s report, Religious Refusals and Reproductive Rights (2002), as well as author of articles on sexuality education and access to reproductive health care in prison, among other reproductive rights publications.

Michael McConnell- Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee

Michael McConnell is co-creator of “Eyes Wide Open: A Memorial to the Human Cost of the Iraq War” which consists of one pair of combat boots for each U.S. soldier and marine killed in the war.He is the former coordinator of the Chicago Religious Task Force on Central America, the organization that coordinated many aspects of the U.S.-based Sanctuary Movement from 1982-1988.He graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary and is ordained in the United Church of Christ and was on the staff at Wellington Ave. UCC.Michael is co-author of Sanctuary: The New Underground Railroad (1985), Dangerous Memories: Invasion and Resistance Since 1492 (1992). Presently, he is working on a multicultural people’s history of the United States, entitled Lost Voices.

Aasif Mandvi - The Daily Show Correspondent

The ACLU of Illinois proud to present Aasif Mandvi as our keynote speaker for ACLU:ENGAGE.

Aasif has been a correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show since 2006, serving as Senior Muslim Correspondent and Senior Middle East Correspondent, amongst other roles. His work frequently serves to highlight the absurdities in our political system, and shining a light on injustices and intolerance perpetrated by the powerful against powerless individuals and groups.

Aasif often discusses civil liberties issues in his work on the daily show, including ACLU cases. Watch the clip where he covers an ACLU of Florida client, Luis Lebron, in a challenge against Florida’s law mandating drug-testing for welfare recipients.

Pamela Merritt- Writer, Blogger and Organizer

Pamela Merritt (Shark-Fu) is the founder and blogger behind AngryBlackBitch.com. Pamela Merritt is a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and is a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership. Merritt is the Statewide E-Organizer for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri. Pamela Merritt is a staff writer for the award winning RH RealityCheck.org and has been a featured contributor to National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin. Merritt contributes to Feministing.comand her writing has been published in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Guardian, and Salon.In 2008 AngryBlackBitch.com was named one of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs by the Guardian.

Chuck Mertz – Host of This Is Hell!on WNUR 89.3 FM

This is Hell airs every Saturday morning live from 9 AM until 1 PM (US central time), in Chicago on WNUR 89.3 FM, streaming live and podcast shortly after at thisishell.com. This is Hell! was named ‘Best Morning Show‘ the past two years and your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz was chosen as ‘Best Journalist’ this year in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago reader survey. Past guest Noam Chomsky called This is Hell!, “sanity in talk radio.” The late Howard Zinn said Chuck “upholds the best standards of independent media — honesty, courage, refusal to play ‘the game.’” Read Chuck’s blogs — The Nine Circles of Hell! and The Network News Re-Cap — every weekday afternoon and evening, respectively, at thisishell.com. Drop by the This is Hell! table! Enter a free raffle and win whatever the hell we’re giving away!

Jill M. Metz- President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Illinois

Jill M. Metz was awarded her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago in 1978 and began her own practice at that time. Ms. Metz is a renowned and experienced lawyer, who is repeatedly engaged to conduct educational workshops in the following areas: estate planning, civil unions, co-parent adoption, and domestic relations law. Ms. Metz serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Illinois and Commissioner of Special Service Area #26. Ms Metz was inducted into the Lesbian and Gay Hall of Fame in 2006 for her outstanding work in the law and in support of and for the LGBT community. She is the past legislative liaison for Lesbian and Gay Rights Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, former Chair of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Project of the ACLU, former President of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, and former Treasurer of Stonewall Democrats. Ms. Metz’s involvement in the gay and lesbian community reaches far beyond providing specialized legal services. Ms. Metz worked tirelessly for the passage of the Illinois Civil Union Act that became effective law on June 1, 2010, and continues to work for equal marriage.

Nicole Ozer- Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director at the ACLU of Northern California

Nicole works on the intersection of new technology, privacy, and free speech and developed the organization’s online privacy campaign, Demand Your dotRights (www.dotrights.org). Nicole regularly tweets @nicoleozer and blogs at www.aclunc.org/tech.Nicole graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, studied comparative civil rights history at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and earned her J.D. with a Certificate in Law and Technology from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California Berkeley.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky- Representative for the 9th District of Illinois

Jan Schakowsky has been a lifelong consumer advocate and a champion for, what she sees as, the disappearing middle class. From her days as a young housewife who led the campaign to put expiration dates on food products to the 2008 passage of legislation she helped write making children’s products and toys safe, Jan has worked to make life better for working and middle class Americans.Jan was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for 8 years in the Illinois General Assembly. She is in her 7th term, serving in the House Democratic leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. She is member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where she is Ranking Democrat on the Oversight Subcommittee.For decades, Jan identified her top priority as winning affordable, quality health care for all Americans. In 2009 and 2010, she played a leadership role in writing and passing the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that finally established health care as a right and not a privilege in the United States.

Adam Schwartz- Senior Staff Counsel for ACLU of Illinois

Mr. Schwartz graduated from the Howard University School of Law in 1995. He served as a law clerk for Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.Since 1996, he has worked as a Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. He works on cases involving racial discrimination, police practices, and the First Amendment.

Steve Shapiro- Legal Director of the ACLU

Steven R. Shapiro is the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s oldest and largest civil liberties organization. He directs a staff of approximately 90 full-time lawyers who maintain a large and active docket of civil liberties cases around the country. Those cases cover a broad range of issues, including: free speech, racial justice, religious freedom, due process, privacy, reproductive and women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, prisoner’s rights, and the death penalty.Shapiro has been the ACLU’s Legal Director since 1993, and served as Associate Legal Director from 1987–1993. During that time, he has appeared as counsel or co-counsel on more than 200 ACLU briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court.

Karen Sheley- Staff Counsel for the ACLU of Illinois

Since 2008, Karen Sheley has worked as an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. She represents the ACLU and its clients in First Amendment and national security cases. She frequently speaks on LGBT rights, including the Illinois’ Civil Union act and the intersection of LGBT rights and First Amendment rights.Ms. Sheley graduated from Columbia Law School in 2004. After graduating, she joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as an associate. She then served as a law clerk for the Honorable David G. Trager of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Prior to joining the ACLU, she was an associate at Meites, Mulder, Mollica and Glink, representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination and ERISA litigation. Find her on twitter @ACLU_Karen.

Randolph N. Stone- Clinical Professor of Law

Randolph Stone directs the Criminal & Juvenile Justice Project of the Clinic at the University of Chicago offering law and social work students the supervised opportunity to provide quality representation to children and adults. He was the Director of the Mandel Clinic from 1991 to 2001 and previously served as the Public Defender of Cook County where he was responsible for management of a $32M budget and leadership for a 750 person law office.He has also served as deputy director for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, partner in the Chicago firm of Stone & Clark, attorney with the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County, and as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow for the Neighborhood Legal Service Program in Washington, D.C.Mr. Stone is a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, and serves on several boards and committees including the Sentencing Project, Inc., the Federal Defender Program, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. In addition to clinical legal education, his teaching and writing interests have included criminal law, juvenile justice, the legal profession, indigent defense, race and criminal justice, evidence, and trial advocacy.

Barry Taylor - Legal Advocacy Director at Equip for Equality, Inc.

Since November 1996, Barry Taylor has been the Legal Advocacy Director at Equip for Equality, Inc., the Illinois Protection and Advocacy system, in which he supervises the legal services, self-advocacy and training programs. Taylor has also overseen many individual and systemic disability discrimination cases including successful federal ADA suits against the National Board of Medical Examiners, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Transit Authority and he is currently counsel in a class action on behalf of people with developmental disabilities living in large private institutions who are seeking community services. He also oversees the agency’s self-advocacy training project, which in its first eight years trained approximately 23,000 people with disabilities on the ADA, guardianship, transportation, voting, employment, and special education. Taylor has also given numerous presentations on the ADA across the country to people with disabilities, employers, service providers and advocacy organizations. Prior to becoming Legal Advocacy Director, he was a Senior Attorney for Equip for Equality, and his primary focus was systemic litigation and education under the ADA.

Fred Tsao- Policy Director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Fred Tsao provides technical support, trainings, and presentations on immigration-related topics to service providers, immigrant community organizations, and others who work with immigrants. He also provides updates and analysis of changes in immigration policies and procedures to ICIRR members and allies, and assists with the coalition’s legislative advocacy efforts. A self-described “recovering attorney,” Fred practiced law at the Rockford office of Prairie State Legal Services, where he worked after receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan. He has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation, and the Missouri Public Interest Research Group. A native of Chicago, Fred is the son of immigrants from China, and has had a lifelong concern with immigration issues.

Lori Turner- Regional Director, Leadership for Educational Equity

Lori Turner is the Regional Director of Leadership for Educational Equity, a partner organization to Teach For America working with corps members and alumni to foster civic engagement and develop effective public leadership in the pursuit of policy changes that lead to an excellent education for all children. Formerly, Lori was a staff attorney in the Institutionalized Persons Project at the Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU of Illinois working to protect the rights of vulnerable persons in Illinois–from children in the child welfare system to adults with disabilities warehoused in nursing homes. Lori spent her first two years at the ACLU as an Equal Justice Works fellow working to ensure that children in foster care had access to an adequate and stable education and receive appropriate mental health services. This work continued and expanded through the ACLU’s efforts to stem the so-called school-to-prison-pipeline, including involvement in the national Dignity in Schools Campaign.Before coming to the ACLU, Lori was an elementary school teacher in public schools in Los Angeles. Her teaching experience was the impetus for her to go to law school to become a more effective advocate for children and to work for equity in public schools.

Stelios Valavanis - Founder and President of Chicago Network Integrator and ISP, onShore

Stelios Valavanis is the founder and President of Chicago Network Integrator and ISP, onShore. He has served on several non-profit boards and currently serves on the boards of the ACLU of Illinois and community outreach and advocate, We the People Media as well as advisory committees for several organizations and educational institutions. He has appeared as a guest lecturer and panelist at Loyola’s Graduate School of Business, IIT’s Stuart School of Business, and various industry events.Prior to founding onShore, Stel had founded various businesses and held a number of technical positions at the Graduate School of Business and other departments at the University of Chicago.

Benjamin S. Wolf- Associate Legal Director for the ACLU of Illinois

Attorney Benjamin S. Wolf has been the Director and chief legal counsel of the ACLU of Illinois’ Institutionalized Persons Project since 1984. The Project provides legal representation to Illinois residents of prisons, jails, mental health centers, developmental centers and institutions for children, such as group homes and foster homes. He supervises the Project’s legal and educational work and provides legal backup on such issues for the ACLU’s lobbyist in Springfield.Under his direction, the Project has consistently challenged the systemic abuse and neglect of the most helpless of our citizens in the courts — the only forum in which they could stand on equal footing with powerful officials and agencies that too frequently fail to provide safe and livable conditions.

Edwin C. Yohnka- Director of Communications and Public Policy

Ed Yohnka began his job at the ACLU in June 1999. He serves as a primary spokesperson for the civil rights advocacy organization. He appears regularly on television and radio programs in Illinois and throughout the nation. Yohnka also is widely cited in newspapers and publications on legal and legislative matters related to the ACLU of Illinois’ priorities.From 1987 until 1999, Mr. Yohnka served on the staff of the American Bar Association, spending most of that time as a Special Presidential Assistant in the ABA’s Office of the President.