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.

ACLU of Colorado to Honor Harold Fields, Susan Greene, and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network as 2017 Civil Rights Award Recipients

DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is proud to announce that Harold Fields, Susan Greene, and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) will receive our 2017 Civil Rights Awards, which will be presented at the Bill of Rights Dinner on Thursday, September 28th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver.

Harold Fields, lifelong leader of social and racial justice causes, will be honored with the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award. Fields facilitates the Second Tuesday Race Forum, a city-wide monthly racial dialogue that has been continuously active since 1997.  He was a founder of Multi-Racial Families of Colorado and was the national training director for the documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.  He currently serves on the Board Trustees for The Denver Foundation and chairs the Community Impact Committee.     

“As a social justice advocate, Harold is an accomplished leader, locally and nationally, who brings people together for dialogue and healing,” said ACLU of Colorado Board Member Carolyn Love, PhD. “Harold goes above and beyond the call of duty by consistently showing up in spaces to ignite conversations about difference. He advances civil rights by creating spaces for people to understand the effects of hierarchy, separation, and injustice of all kinds and the resulting consequences. Harold facilitates the healing of wounds resulting from a history of racial intolerance and injustice.”

Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent, will receive the Larry Tajiri Media Award in recognition of her outstanding media and journalism work to further civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado, including her investigative reporting on the trial, incarceration, and eventual exoneration of Clarence Moses-EL, her reporting on solitary confinement, and multiple other stories exposing corruption and injustice.

As we all know, the fight for civil rights isn’t just around big stories, but the daily infringements that happen in our public institutions,” said former ACLU of Colorado Board Member Mari Newman. “In addition to her coverage of the Marvin Booker and Michael Marshall cases, Susan has spent years covering issues of mistaken identity, malfeasance, cronyism, mismanagement, excessive force, increasing violence, cover-ups and lies in the Denver’s Sheriff’s Department and the people in the Safety Department and Mayor’s office who oversee it. No journalist has watchdogged Denver’s wayward jails better than Susan.”

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) will be recognized with the Ralph Carr Award in honor of their essential immigrants’ rights advocacy, which includes offering free legal assistance to people being held in the Aurora ICE detention facility and to those arriving internationally through DIA, as well as providing Know Your Rights trainings and training lawyers to be ad-hoc immigration attorneys.

“RMIAN helped me obtain my residency for the United States as a student on a path for college. Being an undocumented immigrant draws an imaginary, but harsh boundary on your dreams. My dream to become a doctor – my whole life – abruptly stopped my senior year in high school. RMIAN not only helped erased the boundary, but returned the hope I had lost to become a doctor. RMIAN completely changed my life,” said a RMIAN client in their Children’s Program.

The 2017 Bill of Rights Dinner will feature a keynote presentation from Jeffery Robinson, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which houses the National ACLU’s work on criminal justice, racial justice, and reform issues. 

For more information about the event, purchasing tickets, or becoming a sponsor, please visit the event page or contact Rachel Pryor-Lease at 720-402-3105 or

Return to News