Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • 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. 

ACLU of Colorado and Participant Media Team Up for “On the Basis of Sex” Screening and Panel Discussion

January 8, 2019

DENVER —ACLU of Colorado and Participant Media are proud to host a special engagement screening of “On The Basis of Sex” followed by a panel discussion with state representatives and leaders from the gender equality movement.

The screening and discussion will take place on Thursday, January 10 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas – Sloan’s Lake. Check-in and concessions will begin at 5 p.m. ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes will give the opening remarks at 6 p.m. with the film screening to follow. At 8:10 p.m. Jessica Mason Pieklo from Rewire.News will moderate a 30-minute panel discussion with Sen. Faith Winter, Rep. Leslie Herod, and ACLU of Colorado Reproductive Rights Policy Counsel Lizzy Hinkley. A reception will follow.

“On the Basis of Sex” is inspired by the true story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg – then a struggling attorney and new mother – who faces adversity and numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights throughout her career. When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax case with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could change the direction of her career and the way the courts view gender discrimination.

Co-founded by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project made progress by establishing essential protections for women and challenging cultural norms that dictate traditional roles according to gender. Recently, ACLU of Colorado, along with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, filed discrimination charges against Frontier Airlines on behalf of female pilots and flight attendants stating Frontier’s policies discriminate against its female employees by failing to provide accommodations related to pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“Businesses need to create an environment in which both male and female employees can thrive. We’re asking for Frontier to take some common-sense steps to make it easier for pregnant pilots and new moms to return to work,” said ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney Sara R. Neel. “Our clients love their jobs and should not have to choose between their careers and breastfeeding their children.”

To connect audiences with ways to get involved, the ACLU created the “Gender Justice in the Workplace” tool – where anyone in any state can educate themselves on the status of workplace equity in the U.S. and take action at a state and federal level. In addition, ACLU, in collaboration with Focus Features and Participant Media, launched the “All Rise” impact campaign which aims to engage policymakers, voters, and influential public figures to bring the conversation around workplace equity to a new level.

The event is sold out, but limited complimentary tickets are available for members of the media. Please RSVP by contacting ACLU of Colorado Field Director Delana Maynes: (720) 402-3129 or


Gender Justice in the Workplace:

All Rise Campaign:



The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest civil rights organization, protecting and defending the civil rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education and advocacy.




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