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. 

Job Announcement: Director of Campaigns

Join the fight for civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. We’re hiring a Director of Campaigns. Find out more and apply today.



If you are passionate about protecting the rights of ALL people, there has never been a more exciting time to pursue a career at the ACLU, the nation’s foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights. As we face unprecedented challenges to civil rights and liberties for immigrant families and asylum seekers, religious minorities, people of color, women, LGBTQ persons, and other marginalized groups, we are taking our organization to the next level by strengthening our legal firepower, building legislative strength, expanding communications methods, and creating a new infrastructure for issue campaigning. This new infrastructure, led by a Director of Campaigns, includes amplified public engagement, organizing tools, policy savvy, and data-driven campaign strategies to fight new threats to freedom head-on—and win.

The ACLU of Colorado, founded in 1952 as the Colorado affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, is a strong, growing organization with tens of thousands of members, supporters, and activists across the state. We are a passionate, highly-motivated group of community leaders and organizers, coalition-builders, lawyers, and public policy and legislative advocacy experts, and we are looking for exceptional talent to join our team and lead our new campaign strategy. The Director of Campaigns will initially focus on goals to protect our immigrant population, while building our strength and capacity for other campaigns in the future.


The ACLU of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and promote an inclusive culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other underrepresented and marginalized groups.

The ACLU of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment.


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Campaigns is a new senior staff-level position charged with developing and implementing effective, non-partisan issue campaign

strategies to achieve defined goals to defend and strengthen civil liberties and civil rights in Colorado. The Director of Campaigns will coordinate with and work alongside other existing senior staff positions including the Public Policy Director and the Director of Communications and Advocacy, along with their staff, while adding new capacities for carrying out and winning campaigns. The Director of Campaigns will initially develop a plan for a primary immigrants’ rights campaign with specific policy goals focused on protecting Colorado’s immigrant population. Future campaigns may be in the same or other areas of the ACLU’s work. Initial campaign plans will include the selective creation of campaign staff positions that will be hired and supervised by the Director of Campaigns. Both creation and implementation of the campaign plan must be done in close partnership with ACLU of Colorado staff, national ACLU staff, partner organizations, and impacted communities.

The Director of Campaigns will meet weekly with senior staff of the ACLU of Colorado and regularly convene a campaign team centered on the organization’s primary campaign. The Director of Campaigns will be based in the ACLU of Colorado’s Denver office, but work will include out-of-office meetings and travel to other parts of Colorado. This position is an extraordinary opportunity for a talented leader with strong strategic acumen and personal relationship skills to play a central role in shaping a new and bold vision to protect the rights and liberties that define our democracy. 

  • Create and implement campaign plans and strategies, initially for a statewide immigration policy campaign, in coordination with other staff, the national ACLU, and community partners.
  • Bring together legislative, organizing, communications, development, and legal strategies to win on campaign goals.
  • Identify capacities and tools that the ACLU of Colorado needs to add in order to build greater power in winning campaigns now and in the future, and ensure those capacities are added or developed.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Public Policy Director and staff on legislative strategies of the primary campaign.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Communications and Advocacy Director and staff in that department on field and volunteer strategies, media, social media, and other communications strategies of the campaign, leveraging traditional and new media to achieve campaign policy goals.
  • Manage, monitor and analyze campaign data and metrics to ensure effective use of data, progress toward campaign goals, and timely campaign reporting.
  • Coordinate with the legal, administrative and development departments to ensure that the primary campaign supports the organization’s full mission and is supported by all departments and staff in the organization.
  • Hire and supervise additional campaign staff in consultation with ACLU of Colorado senior staff and national ACLU campaign liaisons.
  • Develop and manage relationships with mission-critical organizations, networks, partners, stakeholders, and impacted community members.
  • Build upon the current network of ACLU members, donors, supporters, volunteers, and activists to create a more powerful grassroots advocacy force.
  • Develop and maintain deep substantive knowledge of campaign goals and issues and the dynamics of policy change in Colorado.
  • Experience and skills demonstrating expertise necessary to run successful legislative, ballot, issue or political campaigns.
  • A sophisticated understanding of how to be effective in the public policy arena, how organizing works, and how to formulate strategies that tie together research, legal analysis and litigation, lobbying, organizing, and communications.
  • Ability to negotiate relationships effectively and work collaboratively with colleagues and staff in other parts of the organization, in the national office, in other state affiliates, and in partner organizations outside the ACLU.
  • Effectiveness and credibility in impacted communities, particularly immigrant communities in Colorado, along with ability to work collaboratively and successfully with all key external constituencies and policy makers from diverse backgrounds and ideological positions.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and manage staff, and to lead a campaign strategy coordinating the efforts of supervised staff along with unsupervised staff, staff in other organizations, and volunteers.
  • Ability to manage budgets, data analysis, administration and reporting.
  • Strong commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, and ability to use social media effectively.
  • Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • Ability to travel across the state, as necessary, and participate in occasional evening and weekend meetings.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in negotiation, one-on-one meetings, coaching, and working in coalitions.
  • Superb organization and time management skills.
  • Detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to both set and meet deadlines.
  • Creative, persuasive, results-oriented, self-starting, persevering, and willing to learn.
  • High ethical standards and genuine interest in developing authentic relationships.
  • Team player who inspires collaboration, lifts up the work of others, and maintains balance and perspective with patience and a sense of humor.

Approximate salary range is in the low to mid-seventies, in accordance with parameters of the nationwide ACLU and the Denver area nonprofit sector, and taking into account skills and experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, and paid vacation and holidays.


Send a cover letter, resume, and references in an email with “Director of Campaigns, ACLU of Colorado” in the subject line to No phone calls, please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, which will not be before September 10, 2018.

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