We comprise three nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations: the ACLU of Connecticut, a 501(c)(4) organization which does legislative and organizing advocacy work; the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, a 501(c)(3) which does litigation and public education work; and the ACLU of Connecticut Rise PAC, a 527 organization which builds the necessary relationships, public awareness, public narratives, and pressure felt by politicians in order to build the political power of people directly impacted by civil rights and liberties issues.
The ACLU of Connecticut defends, promotes, and expands the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Connecticut through litigation, community organizing and legislative advocacy, and civic education and engagement. We are an inclusive, nonpartisan, and statewide organization within the nationwide American Civil Liberties Union network, powered by our supporters, partners, staff, interns, cooperating attorneys, and our board of directors.
The ACLU of Connecticut envisions an equitable, democratic, and anti-racist Connecticut in which all persons are treated with dignity in a thriving society. We believe in, and aspire to incorporate into our actions, the following six core values:
Anti-racism: eliminating racism and promoting racial justice
Dignity: upholding the innate dignity of all human beings
Diversity: valuing the perspective of those with lived experiences different from ours
Equity: understanding power dynamics and creating opportunities for all to thrive
Inclusivity: sharing and building power with historically excluded people
Partners in justice: elevating the voices of directly impacted people while working in partnership with, rather than on behalf of, the communities we serve
Since 1948, we have used our legal and advocacy expertise to protect freedom, justice, and equality. Some of our major achievements include:
- Overturning the death penalty
- Expanding and defending access to abortion
- Creating marriage equality and gender-affirming birth certificates
- Challenging government surveillance and censorship
- Fighting police brutality and racism
Some of our early cases overturned Connecticut’s ban on the use of state funds to provide abortion access for low-income people, cleared the way for the first woman firefighter in New Haven, secured religious observance rights for incarcerated people, and sought racial equality in education.
Our first full-time attorney was hired to assist the legal defense of Black Panther Party leaders in New Haven. Through early organizing and advocacy efforts, we fought back against police violence in Hartford’s North End, helped to successfully pass legislation to end the death penalty, challenged censorship of comic books and classroom textbooks, and fought for racial justice in public education and access to shoreline beaches.