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ACLU conference, dinner open to all

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The Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis will host the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Student Conference that will focus on issues faced by students at the high school, college, and law school levels.

The conference, which is open to the public, will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.

The conference will be followed by the ACLU-Indiana Annual Dinner at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Student Center, 4th Floor, beginning at 6 p.m.

The conference’s theme is “The Life of Jane Addams.” It will honor various aspects of Addams’ life, including her time as a social worker, suffragist, anti-war protestor, founding member of the ACLU and NAACP, and first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner, which she won in 1931.

Following breakfast and registration from 8 to 9 a.m., ACLU-IN legal director Kenneth Falk will discuss “The Current Status of Civil Liberties,” followed by breakout sessions.

Susan Curtis of Purdue University’s Department of History will present a “Historical View of Jane Addams” that will explore her 18th century life during the luncheon from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

Workshops in the morning will include Butler University professor Terri Jett and ACLU-IN board member Daryl Campbell presenting a film and discussion, “Know Your Rights When Stopped By Police”; immigration rights and issues will be discussed by Juan Solana of the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis and Sister Marikay Duffy of St. Mary’s Parish in Indianapolis; and social networking and privacy issues will be addressed by Baker & Daniels partner Kevin R. Erdman.

Afternoon workshops include a discussion about religion in schools, which will include Eric Workman, a plaintiff in a case involving Greenwood High School’s decision to have prayer at its graduation ceremony; “How Straight People Can Advance LGBT Rights,” presented by Indiana native, Ball State University graduate, and current Miss New York Claire Buffie, with M. Cripe, former PFLAG board member; and reproductive rights and the national health policy, addressed by Betty Cockrum, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, with ACLU-IN board member Mikki Randolph.

Following the workshops, participants will be able to discuss how to have a successful student chapter, featuring professor Tom Kotulak of Indiana University-Southeast, officers of the ACLU of Indiana IU-Southeast Chapter, and ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Gilbert Holmes.

A public reception will begin at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The dinner will honor Indianapolis attorney Irving L. Fink for his lifelong commitment to protecting civil rights for all Indiana residents, including prisoners, conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War, and the Ku Klux Klan leadership. He also had a hand in helping found the ACLU of Indiana and the organization now known as Indiana Legal Services.

Buffie will be the keynote speaker and will discuss advocacy work for equal rights. Her platform is, “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk.”

Registration for just the conference is $25 and includes parking at Lot 85 on the corner of California and New York streets, a continental breakfast, and a light lunch. Registration for the conference and annual dinner is $75 for students and $100 without a student ID.

More information, including how to register, can be found at www.aclu-in.org. Registration and payment must be received by Oct. 6.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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