We are deeply saddened by the death of our longtime friend Victor Kumin who passed away at the age of 95. For half a century since moviing to Warner, New Hampshire in 1963, Victor and his wife Maxine were avid civil rights supporters and good friends to the ACLU. We remember Victor for his dedication and leadership as a member of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union for many years. Our warmest condolences to his three children and his grandchildren.
Please join us on Thursday, January 26th for this year’s annual celebratory event – Roe v. Wade at 44 – honoring the activists, advocates and supporters who helped to secure the constitutional right for women to control their own bodies.
Tickets are $40 per person. A special price of $15 is available to students and people with limited income.
This benefit event is presented by the NH Reproductive Rights Advisory Council. The Advisory Council was established in late 2016 for the purpose of enhancing ACLU of New Hampshire’s long time efforts to advance women’s right to the full range of reproductive health care, including the right to access abortion services.
Advisory Council: Susan Arnold, Chair, Rep. Sue Almy, Catherine Cavanaugh, Devon Chaffee, Esther Dickinson, Courtney Gray, Linda Griebsch, Elizabeth Hager, Lucy Hodder, Amy Kennedy, Terie Norelli, Laura Thibault, Dalia Vidunas, Mary Westfall, Katherine Wheeler
It is with deep regret that we mark the passing of ACLU of NH co-founder Ann Richardson Stokes on November 20 at the age of 85. She was known for her kind and enthusiastic support of her community and for her passionate interest in politics, women’s issues, civil rights and environmental and world affairs.
Ann was a fierce advocate for civil rights which led her and others to establish the New Hampshire affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1968. Thanks to her staunch support and encouragement, the ACLU of New Hampshire developed into her vision for the Granite State: a strong defender of civil rights in the courts, the state house and in town halls across the state.
She was a talented poet, painter, writer, and thespian. She also created a retreat for women artists on her Welcome Hill property in the 1970s.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.
Executive Director, ACLU of New Hampshire
More than 160 people attended the first-ever TRANSforming New Hampshire Heathcare Summit on Saturday November 19 to engage in private and public conversations about how to access services and navigate the complex world of health care. The day-long event was held at University of New Hampshire Law School in Concord. It was sponsored by the ACLU of New Hampshire and presented by Freedom New Hampshire, which partnered with other state organizations and Freedom For All Americans national campaign,
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, public education director for the Freedom for All Americans, said the transgender community faces barriers to health care access throughout the U.S. that forces them to travel long distances for doctors’ appointments or to relocate entirely. “I know of people who have sought medical care for a health condition, like a broken ankle, and the doctor fixates on the fact that they’re transgender. It shouldn’t matter that they’re transgender. We all have basic human needs” said Heng-Lehtinen. National surveys show that people in the transgender community are more often than not having to educate their doctors about their specific health care needs.
“But maybe one day that’ll be more commonplace” said Heng-Lehtinen, “There are doctors who are eager to learn and who want to do better by those in the transgender community.” This summit was proof of that, he said.
JeanMarie Gossard, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, said one of the goals of the summit is connecting “trans-friendly” health care providers with patients. “There are so many people in the transgender community who feel unsafe in their health care environment and that’s the last place where someone should feel that way,” she said.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, reminded the audience of the progress that’s been made these last eight years and that the trans community “knows how to stop, decelerate and mitigate things…but the most important work is still getting people to know us.”
By Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director
This morning, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, and the ACLU has a message for him. President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation’s highest office, we urge you to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made. These include your plan to amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants; ban the entry of Muslims into our country and aggressively surveil them; punish women for accessing abortion; reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture; and change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.
These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed, they are unlawful and unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments. If you do not reverse course and instead endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at every step. Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers and millions of card-carrying members and supporters are ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.
One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency. And when you leave the Oval Office, we will do the same with your successor as we have done throughout our nearly 100 years of existence. The Constitution and the rule of law are stronger than any one person, and we will see to that. We will never waver.
When threats to liberty are greatest, the ACLU is at its finest. Together with you, we can and we must resist policies that threaten women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, people of color, indigent people and others who are targets of oppression.
We’ve been talking with our allies, our cooperating attorneys, our clients, our volunteers and our donors to reaffirm our commitment to defending their freedoms. In all of these conversations, one message has come through loud and clear: Now more than ever, the nation and the state of New Hampshire needs a strong ACLU.
We will be in the courthouse, in the statehouse, and on the streets, tomorrow and in the days to come defending liberty and justice for all. We will fight to keep our commitment to one another and to the Bill of Rights and our Constitution. Thank you for standing with us.
Join Freedom New Hampshire on Saturday November 19 at a one-time daylong event convening transgender Granite Staters, healthcare providers, and education experts to discuss and learn about health issues facing the transgender community and how to improve care. Click here to RSVP and be sure to share this can’t-miss event with your networks: http://FreedomNH.org/TransHealthSummit
On October 16, the ACLU of New Hampshire honored three extraordinary women for their courage, compassion and commitment. Susan Arnold, Barbara Keshen and Demetria McKaig were presented with the ACLU of NH’s annual Bill of Rights award in front of an enthusiastic audience of 200 friends. Executive Director Devon Chaffee emceed the evening’s festivities which featured remarks by Louise Melling, Director of ACLU’s Center for Liberty. Proceeds for this benefit support ACLU of NH’s Legal Program which provides pro bono assistance to individuals.
ACLU-NH is excited to announce the launch of the new Freedom New Hampshire campaign. Be a part of the nonpartisan campaign of transgender Granite Staters, faith leaders, business owners, and community advocates fighting to raise awareness about who transgender people are and make the case that discrimination has NO place in New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, there are still no statewide laws ensuring the fair and equal treatment of transgender people. But Freedom New Hampshire aims to change that. Join the diverse coalition of transgender Granite Staters and their allies and help fight for fair and equal protections for trans people under the law.
Water Street Bookstore
125 Water Street, Exeter
Opening Commentary by Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, ACLU of NH
Introduction of Books and Readers by Pat Yosha, ACLU of NH Board of Directors
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- THE GIVER by LOIS LOWRY
- Reader – Ben Gorman
- THE KITE RUNNER by KHALED HOSSEINI
- Reader – Ann Scheiber
- KAFFIR BOY by MARK MATHABANE
- Reader – Eleanor Dunfey-Freiburger
- BLACK BOY by RICHARD WRIGHT
- Reader – Kim Casey
- SATANIC VERSES by SALMON RUSHDIE
- Reader – Robert Azzi
- THE BIBLE by numerous authors
- Reader – Rev. Robert Thompson