What’s At Stake?
Deep-seated systemic racism and inequities that disadvantaged communities of color are still woven into the fabric of our institutions today — from education and housing to our criminal legal system. Systemic racism permeates the starkly segregated world of housing. In our public schools, students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs. Our criminal legal system disproportionately targets and subjects people of color to police brutality, incarcerates them and imposes numerous collateral consequences, and criminalizes poverty. The dream of equal justice remains an elusive one.
ACLU of Colorado works to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to people who have historically been denied them on the basis of race.
The ACLU of Colorado seeks to educate and organize Coloradans on the racial injustices that stand in the way of a fair and equal society, that result in mass incarceration and over-criminalization of communities of color by:
- Centering the voices of impacted communities
- Building trust in the ACLU of Colorado with youth and in impacted communities to create leaders
- Continuing to build our base of supporters and members
- Activating current members and supporters to identify with and champion our policy and legal priorities
We are committed to upholding racial equality and combating racism in all forms through litigation, community organizing and training, legislative initiatives, and public education to address the broad spectrum of issues that disproportionately and negatively impact people of color.
In the News
- When Reform Is Not Enough: Why We Must Reimagine Safety (September 25, 2020)
- ACLU Sues Denver for Police Violence Against Protesters (June 25, 2020)
- ACLU of Colorado Statement on Aurora Protester Arrests
- ACLU Sues Colorado Springs Police, Charges Racial Profiling and Biased Policing (May 15, 2020)
- ACLU Sues Aurora for Brutalizing and Unlawfully Arresting Latino Man (November 20, 2018)
- Aurora Pays 75K to Settle Two ACLU Police Misconduct Lawsuits
- ACLU Sues Colorado Springs Police, Charges Racial Profiling and Biased Policing
- Aurora Pays $110K for Unlawful Detention and Tasing of Darsean Kelley
- Colorado Springs Pays $212K to Settle ACLU Racial Profiling Suit
SB20-217: Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity
Bill Number: SB20-217
ACLU Position: Support
- 06/19/2020 – Governor Signed
- 06/19/2020 – Signed by the Speaker of the House
- 06/19/2020 – Sent to the Governor
- 06/18/2020 – Signed by the President of the Senate
- 06/13/2020 – Senate Considered House Amendments – Result was to Concur –Repass
- 06/12/2020 – House Third Reading Passed – No Amendments
- 06/11/2020 – House Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
- 06/11/2020 – House Second Reading Special Order – Passed with Amendments -Committee, Floor
- 06/10/2020 – House Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations
- 06/09/2020 – Introduced in House – Assigned to Finance + Appropriations
- 06/09/2020 – Senate Third Reading Passed with Amendments – Floor
- 06/08/2020 – Senate Second Reading Special Order – Passed with Amendments – Committee, Floor
- 06/06/2020 – Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
- 06/04/2020 – Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to Appropriations
- 06/03/2020 – Introduced in Senate – Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
HB20-1048: Race Trait Hairstyle Anti-Discrimination Project (CROWN Act)
Bill Number: HB20-1048
ACLU Position: Support
Sponsors: J. Buckner / L. Herod /R. Fields
The bill specifies that, for purposes of anti-discrimination laws in
the context of public education, employment practices, housing, public
accommodations, and advertising, protections against discrimination on
the basis of one’s race includes traits historically associated with race,
such as hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.
- Governor Signed (03/06/2020)
- Sent to the Governor (03/06/2020)
- Senate Third Reading Passed – No Amendments (02/28/20)
- Senate Second Reading Passed – No Amendments (02/27/20)
- Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Unamended to
- Senate Committee of the Whole (02/24/20)
- House Third Reading Laid Over Daily – No Amendments (02/11/20)
- House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor Refer Unamended to House
- Committee of the Whole (02/05/20)
- Introduced in House – Assigned to Business Affairs & Labor (01/08/2020)
Divest from Police. Invest in Communities.
A webinar series to envision a different system of community safety.
Over the summer, our country watched in horror as endless accounts of police violence against Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and the mistreatment of protesters who stood up and spoke out against these atrocities, moved across our news feeds and TV screens. As we bear witness to the pervasive racism that continues to plague our criminal legal system, we must confront the stark realities of racialized policing in our society. We must reimagine our system of police violence and replace it with alternative, civilian-led services that ensure public safety.
Our three-part webinar series discusses the origins of policing and why calls for reform are not enough to eliminate discriminatory enforcement practices. We discuss the need to redirect resources from draconian police departments to services that are responsive to addressing our neighbors’ needs. We also address how advocates can demand revolutionary change from their local officials that promote community safety without the dependence of law enforcement.
As a community, we must move beyond a system of policing, caging, and punishment to keep our neighbors safe. We must reimagine solutions and interventions that promote dignity, anti-racism, and freedom from the fear of state-sanctioned violence.
Fight for Racial Justice
In the midst of the pandemic, we are mourning the murder of George Floyd and are extremely concerned about the aggressive police tactics used on protesters. Mr. Floyd is not the first or the last Black person we will mourn. We have watched the result of hundreds of years of racism, racial terror, and police violence that communities of color across the country experience on a regular basis. Policing in the United States is rooted in white supremacy as it began as a way to surveil enslaved Black people.
As our own Jeffery Robinson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality, said, “No one has to approve of the rioting in Minneapolis and St. Paul to understand why it is happening. The protests in Minnesota and elsewhere are a direct response to the systemic violence that police perpetrate in Black communities across this country. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. The police violence and murder in the Black community in America must stop immediately.”
It’s important that every person feels safe in their daily activities without endangering their fundamental constitutional rights.
Our country is devastated by the frequent deaths and injuries of hundreds of Black people at the hands of the police. Police officers are entrusted to protect and serve the community and should be held accountable to the people they serve. Demand humane, equitable, and constitutional policing in Colorado communities.
Police Encounters (June 4, 2020) click here to watch the webinar
Protesters’ Rights (June 9, 2020) Click here to watch the recording
Ensuring Racial Equity During COVID-19
COVID-19 is not an “equal opportunity” disease. The existing disparities in health care, “essential” workforce, criminal legal system, and other areas make Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities the most at risk of death during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this webinar, Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod joins the ACLU of Colorado to address, through a racial justice lens, the collection and reporting of demographic data of coronavirus cases in Colorado, how to address the racial inequities of the COVID-19 response, and resources available to communities of color during the pandemic.
Ensuring Racial Equity During COVID-19 (and Beyond) (April 30, 2020) Click to watch the video
- We Are Not Ok (September 30, 2020)
- True Justice for Breonna Taylor Won’t Come From Criminal Charges Alone (September 28, 2020)
- Federal Judges are Failing Incarcerated People During the Pandemic (September 15, 2020)
- Should We Abolish the Police? (July 24, 2020)
- Dallas Police Killed My Unarmed Son. Their Brutality is a Global Problem. (July 13, 2020)
- Police in Schools Continue to Target Black, Brown, and Indigenous Students with Disabilities. The Trump Administration Has Data That’s Likely to Prove It. (July 9, 2020)
- Activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham on Building a Lasting Movement (July 2, 2020)
- Why Prosecutors Keep Letting Police Get Away With Murder (June 26, 2020)
- How is Face Recognition Surveillance Technology Racist? (June 16, 2020)
- Reimagining the Role of Police (June 5, 2020)
- Our Vision for Equitable Marijuana Reform (May 7, 2020)
- A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform (April 17, 2020)
- If COVID-19 Doesn’t Discriminate, Then Why Are Black People Dying at Higher Rates? (April 8, 2020)
At Liberty – ACLU Podcast
- REFRAMING AND RE-LEARNING AMERICAN HISTORY WITH NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES (EP. 129) – November 18, 2020
- RACIAL JUSTICE DEMANDS THAT EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED (EP. 126) – November 5, 2020
- WHAT WILL END POLICE VIOLENCE? (EP 125) – October 29, 2020
- PHOTOGRAPHER JOSUE RIVAS ON INDIGENOUS REPRESENTATION (EP. 123) – October 15, 2020
- WHY ARE POLICE THE WRONG RESPONSE TO MENTAL HEALTH CRISES? (EP. 122) – October 8, 2020
- A NOT SO HAPPY MEAL: MCDONALD’S CAN’T FIX AMERICA’S RACE PROBLEM (EP. 116) – August 26, 2020
- THE BLACK WOMEN BEHIND THE ONGOING FIGHT FOR SUFFRAGE (EP. 115) – August 13, 2020
- SHOULD WE ABOLISH THE POLICE? (EP. 112) – July 22, 2020
- HOW REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE IS PART OF AN ANTI-RACIST AGENDA (EP. 109) – July 8, 2020
- ACTIVIST BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM ON BUILDING A LASTING MOVEMENT (EP. 108) – July 2, 2020
- CENTERING RACIAL EQUITY IN THE FIGHT TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA (EP. 96) – April 22, 2020
- COVID-19 RESPONSE: SHRINK THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FOOTPRINT (EP. 93) – April 2, 2020
- “YOUR HAIR IS OKAY. YOU ARE OKAY.” (EP. 87) – February 19, 2020
- LAND, LANGUAGE, AND LIFEWAYS: WHAT NATIVE AMERICANS LOST (EP. 85) – February 6, 2020
- WHY THE FBI IGNORES WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE (EP. 73) – November 19, 2020
- MARRIAGE AS A TOOL OF WHITE SUPREMACY (EP.71) – October 31, 2020
- THE MOST RACIST SUPREME COURT DECISIONS YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF (EP. 68) – October 10, 2019
- A FORMER PROSECUTOR’S ‘RADICAL THOUGHTS’ ON THE SYSTEM SET UP TO CONTROL BLACK MEN (EP. 62) – August 29, 2019
- NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES ON THE 1619 PROJECT’S REFRAMING OF AMERICAN HISTORY (EP. 61) – August 22, 2019
- COMEDIAN W. KAMAU BELL ON MAKING SENSE OF AMERICA (EP. 60) – August 15, 2019
- WHY IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT REPARATIONS (EP. 50) – June 13, 2019
- SCHOOL SEGREGATION 65 YEARS AFTER BROWN V. BOARD (EP. 46) – May 16, 2019
- DISCRIMINATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE (EP. 43) – April 25, 2019
- INDIGENOUS JUSTICE IN MONTANA (EP. 41) – April 11, 2019
- A POET GIVES A 360 DEGREE VIEW OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (EP. 38) – Marh 21, 2019
- THE RACIST REALITY OF VOTER SUPPRESSION (EP. 35) – February 28, 2019
- AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND THE CASE AGAINST HARVARD (EP. 17) – October 11, 2018
- LESSONS FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE (EP. 8) – August 8, 2018
- AMERICA’S CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACKNESS (EP. 6) – July 26, 2018
- PATRISSE CULLORS ON A LIFETIME OF ACTIVISM AND THE FOUNDING OF BLACK LIVES MATTER (EP. 4) – July 12, 2018
- Who We Are: The 1921 Tulsa Massacre by ACLU Attorney Jeffrey Robinson (March 22, 2020)
- Who We Are: A Chronicle Of Racism in America with Jeffrey Robinson (March 9, 2020)
- Racism in Mississippi and America (November 21, 2018)
- History of Racism, Part I (December 5, 2017)
- The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States with Jeffrey Robinson (FULL VERSION) (August 24, 2017)