Please save the date for our virtual Bill of Rights Event on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
Although we won’t have the opportunity to gather in person, we are excited to come together virtually for the second year in a row to celebrate our victories, honor our leaders, and inspire one another’s work.
All funds raised by the Bill of Rights Event provide crucial support to sustain and expand ACLU of Colorado’s advocacy, communication, and education work throughout Colorado. We hope you can join us!
If you are interested in sponsoring this event, you can find more information here.
2021 Bill of Rights Event Honorees
Sharletta Evans will receive the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award for her lifelong commitment to restorative justice, juvenile justice reform, and healing and forgiveness. After the tragic loss of her three-year-old son, Ms. Evans publicly forgave her son’s shooters and turned her public spotlight both personally and politically towards juvenile justice reform. Ms. Evans’ leadership and activism have been instrumental in passing numerous laws advancing justice within the criminal legal system, including the repeal of Colorado’s death penalty and the expansion of restorative justice for adults.
Hans Meyer will receive the Edward Sherman Award for his outstanding legal work advocating for immigrants’ rights at the intersection of immigration law and the criminal legal system. Hans Meyer is the founder of the Meyer Law Office, P.C., which specializes in immigration law and removal defense, criminal defense and postconviction relief, the immigration consequences of crimes, the civil rights of immigrants, and policy work related to immigration law and criminal justice reform. As a local and national leader on these issues, Hans frequently lectures, publishes, hosts trainings, and appears in the press, as well as serves as an expert on immigration consequences for both the private bar and indigent defense systems.
Lori Lizarraga, Sonia Gutierrez, and Kristen Aguirre will receive the Larry Tajiri Media Award for fighting discrimination in the newsroom.
Lori Lizarraga is an Ecuadorian-Mexican-American bilingual journalist from Texas. The proud daughter of immigrants and one of five children, Lizarraga put herself through college at Southern Methodist University nearly five years ago. She has since become an Emmy and Murrow award-winning television reporter. After reporting internationally on the Ecuador earthquake of 2016, Lizarraga worked in newsrooms in Texas and California before moving to Colorado in 2019. It was here that she fully embraced her role not just as a reporter, but as an advocacy journalist and community partner – championing more representative language and stories at KUSA 9NEWS in Denver for two years. In March of 2021, she published an editorial on that experience. Her piece, “LatinXed: 9NEWS Got Rid of Three Latina Reporters This Past Year, Including Me,” saw tremendous outcomes for the media industry and ignited a national conversation around equity and inclusion in news. As a result of the piece, new standards of immigration coverage were enacted at Tegna, the media company that owns 9NEWS, eliminating the use of “illegal” to describe undocumented immigrants. At 27-years-old, Lizarraga continues her work as a journalist and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Sonia Gutierrez is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated journalist. Her work has changed policy, made a difference in communities across the country, and during several hurricanes, her work has revolutionized how state agencies respond. She is currently working for Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver, CO. Sonia is an immigrant from Parral, Chihuahua Mexico, but grew up in Colorado.
Kristen Aguirre is a journalist with nearly a decade of experience in the tv news industry. She covered the Flint water crisis and its impact on Latino and Spanish-speaking communities and the terrorist attack at Flint Bishop Airport. It was in Flint where she found her passion for reporting on underserved and underrepresented communities. Kristen is a proud Latina and an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. From Flint, she headed west to KUSA in Denver as an anchor and reporter and continued to focus on community-driven journalism. Towards the end of her stay in Denver, Kristen suffered an ischemic stroke that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. It left the entire left side of her body paralyzed. She then left the news world for about a year to focus on her health, and after countless hours of physical therapy and hard work, she is back in the field in Ashville.