Colorado Rights Blog


  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

Intern at the ACLU

Law students interested in public interest work are encouraged to apply for summer clerkships as well as full and part-time spring and fall internships with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado in Denver. Full-time externship positions are also available. Descriptions of available positions can be found below.

Full-time summer clerk positions

Fall or Spring semester internships and externships

2020 ACLU of CO Summer Interns

Kathryn McConnell is a recent graduate from CU Boulder in International Affairs, Spanish for the Professions, and Education. She has worked for over 8 years teaching English as a second language, tutoring in bilingual elementary schools, and more recently in supporting the immigrant community through legal services as an assistant at the Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder. She previously lived in Costa Rica for a year where she attended the University of Costa Rica, inspired by her grandmother who was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. Kathryn has worked in various other programs in Grand Junction, San Jose, and Boulder including the Foundation for Cultural Exchange, Intercambio Uniting Communities, Escuela Domingo Faustino, and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. In her free time, she enjoys cross-country skiing, road biking, hiking, and eating pupusas. Kathryn plans on attending the University of Denver in the fall to specialize in immigration law.

Hello, I’m Kelly Yue, a rising senior at Colorado College majoring in Sociology. Born and raised in Hong Kong, I decided to come to the US for college to learn from this country’s vibrant civil society and its strong culture of activism. I’m so fortunate to be interning at the ACLU of Colorado especially during this time when Americans demand structural changes to long-existing problems with institutional racism. My wish is to one day take everything I learn at my college, at ACLU, and in this country back home to contribute to the fight there.

Kelea Reed is an ambitious senior attending the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is excited to soon graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Women and Gender Studies. Kelea is passionate about advocating for positive change and plans to become an attorney.

Aisha Mahama-Rodriguez is a third-year student at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in Government and English and minoring in French and Political Communications. On her university’s campus, she serves as an Undergraduate Fellow for the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, as a Student Ambassador for the UT Office of Admissions, and served as the co-director for the Student Government’s Diversity & Inclusion Agency. Through her passion for civil rights advocacy, she has interned with the Texas Civil Rights Project and in the Texas House of Representatives under the Office of State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (TX-116) before joining the ACLU of Colorado. Her research and organizing work focuses on creating equitable social policies and defending individuals’ civil rights. She is most passionate about the intersection between reproductive justice and reforming the criminal justice system. Aisha enjoys spending her free time by baking, roller skating, and studying languages.

Hello! My name is Laura Ramirez from University of California, Davis and for this summer I will be interning under Ana Temu in the Immigration Department. I have a passion for Social Justice since I was a young girl without even knowing this was a life-long fight. The global-outlook that I have towards Social Justice has influenced my path in higher education into studying International Relations and Sociology. My interests are wide, but in my 20 years I have found passion in Harm Reduction, Decolonization, and Women’s Reproductive Justice. 

Lindsey Floyd is currently a third-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School. She graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in political science and criminal justice and a minor in social work. She is heavily involved at Colorado Law as the Student Bar Association Event Coordinator, an Admissions and Orientation Leader, and the Black Law Student Association Vice President. She serves as a Fellow for the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law and a volunteer intake coordinator for the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. She is passionate about civil rights and hopes to use her law degree to serve the Black community.

Erika Sisneros Kelley is a rising 3L at University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She grew up in Pueblo, Colorado, but she also has strong roots in the San Luis Valley, where her grandparents and extended family have lived for generations. Erika graduated from CU Boulder in 2014 with a B.A. in Integrative Physiology. She then moved to Southern California and graduated with her master’s in public health in 2016 from Claremont Graduate University. After grad school, Erika moved to Denver to work for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a program assistant for the Board of Health. In fall 2018, Erika started law school at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. After her first year of law school, she and her partner made the decision to relocate back to Colorado. In her future legal career, she hopes to work directly with communities to overcome the social and health inequities affecting them. In her free time, Erika loves cooking, traveling, and trying to find the best breakfast burrito in Denver.

Angela Boettcher is a rising 3L at CU Law School in Boulder. She has spent law school working on behalf of people who have been accused of crimes, spending the summer of 2019 at the Boulder office of the Colorado Public Defender and her 2L year volunteering for the Korey Wise Innocence Project, where she helps track law enforcement compliance with criminal justice reform legislation in Colorado. Angela is also the Executive Editor of Volume 92 of the University of Colorado Law Review. Angela is originally from Bloomington, Illinois and moved to Boulder for law school with her husband, Taylor, and cat, Margo, after living in St. Louis, Missouri for seven years. After she graduates next fall, Angela plans to work as a law clerk for two years before hopefully starting her career working in criminal defense and civil rights.