ACLU conference, dinner open to all

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight news from law schools in Indiana. While we have always covered law school news and will continue to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we’ll gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alums, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger,, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

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 Registration and payment must be received by Oct. 6.


Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.