The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is a nonpartisan, non-profit membership organization that defends, promotes and preserves individual rights and liberties under the U.S.
Ben Solnit, President*
Ben Solnit, of Morris, is a graduate of Wesleyan and Yale Law School and serves as president of ACLU-CT. He long practiced law in New Haven and has been a cooperating attorney with the ACLU-CT. He is currently a volunteer lawyer for Connecticut Legal Services in Waterbury and has served as president of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association.
Margie Adler, Vice President*
Margie Adler, of Westport, is Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations at the Yale School of Management. She received a B.A. from Harvard University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics, and earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb in New York and London with a focus on corporate law, international capital markets, and securities regulation.
Rosa Browne, Vice President*
Rosa Browne, of Middletown, is Special and Breast and Cervical Coordinator Programs at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She is the ACLU-CT Affiliate Affirmative Action Officer as well as the affiliate’s representative on the National ACLU Board of Directors. A native of Panama and a naturalized U.S. citizen, she is the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches Treasurer and also served as president of the Middlesex County NAACP Branch. In addition, she is the chair of the City of Middletown Affirmative Action Committee and a board member of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Southern CT Inc.
Zafar Rashid, Treasurer*
Zafar Rashid, of Avon, grew up in Pakistan and graduated from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, before moving to the U.S., where he became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He has held senior executive roles with large insurance companies, including positions as a chief financial officer, chief risk officer, and chief actuary. He heads Enterprise Risk and Value Management, a consulting practice providing risk advisory services. In addition to the ACLU-CT, he serves on the boards of a health center and two insurance companies.
Zach Kohl, Secretary*
Zach Kohl, of New London, the secretary of the ACLU-CT Board, is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was co-president of the UConn Law School chapter of ACLU-CT and served as the chapter’s representative on the board. While in law school, he interned with the National ACLU for two summers, with Greater Hartford Legal Aid in their Education Unit, and with a private law firm on a pro bono prisoner civil rights matter. Mr. Kohl is in solo practice at Kohl Law Firm, PLLC in New London.
David Addams is Executive Director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Oliver Scholars Program. He spent his early career as an attorney and a specialist in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution. Over the last 20 years, he has served in various nonprofit management positions including Executive Director of Associated Black Charities and Vice President of the New York Urban League. He was also Deputy Manhattan Borough President and Chief of Staff at the Manhattan Borough President's Office, Deputy Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Director of Affiliate Diversity and Strategic Initiatives for the American Civil Liberties Union. He served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Brooklyn College and an adjunct professor of public policy and law at Brooklyn College Graduate Center, City College of New York's Center for Legal Education and City University of New York Law School at Queens College. Mr. Addams received his BA magna cum laude from Princeton University, his MSJ from Columbia University School of Journalism and his JD from Columbia University School of Law. Addams was admitted to the bar in the state of Michigan.
Nichole Berklas, of Farmington, is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and NYU School of Law. She has practiced affordable housing law for nearly 20 years representing clients developing low income and/or special needs housing in urban areas. Since moving to Connecticut from California, she has been active with the Hartford Dress for Success Professional Women’s Group, volunteered with local and state campaigns and acted as secretary for the local town committee.
Akia S. Callum
Akia S. Callum is the Director of Community Impact and Marketing at Waterbury Bridge to Success. An avid community organizer, fierce political strategist, and social justice advocate, Akia has devoted her life to implementing transformational policies from the ground level. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and is a product of the New York City Public School system. With nearly a decade of experience in working with & for cross-sector entities, she is committed to advocacy for students of color through the lens of civil rights and education. In 2015, Akia founded the Black Student Union at Post University. She served on the ‘Campus Culture Committee’ to bring students' voices to the forefront around equitable practices on diversity and inclusion. Currently, Akia S. serves as President of the Connecticut State Conference NAACP Youth & College Division and Chair of National Initiatives and Development for the NAACP National Youth Works Committee. In 2021, Akia became a founding member of the Connecticut Black Caucus. Akia is a law access fellow at Yale. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Post University.
Patricia A. Ciccone, of Glastonbury, is Superintendent of Schools in Westbrook, Connecticut, an adjunct supervisor at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, and an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. For more than thirty years, she has served as a teacher, school administrator, and consultant in the community college system, and as superintendent and Associate Commissioner of Education. In 2013, she was named by Education Week as one of 15 national “Leaders to Learn From” for her work to develop positive climates and cultures in schools.
Ginne-Rae Clay currently serves as President of the Greater Waterbury NAACP. Ms. Clay is an accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of expertise in government, organizational management, education, community action and community engagement. Ms. Clay has held several key executive positions, including Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut; State Director of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center; and Assist Executive Director at the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. Ms. Clay has been an adjunct professor at Central Connecticut State University, School of Business and at Tunxis Community College, School of Continuing Education. Ms. Clay received an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of Hartford, Barney School of Business, West Hartford, CT, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication with a focus on media and marketing from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Ms. Clay holds national certifications in Economic Development Finance and Housing Finance from the National Development Council. Additionally, Ms. Clay is a board member of Capital for Change (C4C); a member of Waterbury Mayor O’Leary’s Diversity Committee and Waterbury Voices, a Waterbury Public School District, education think tank. Ms. Clay and her family reside in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Jeffrey Daniels, of West Hartford, is a consultant to nonprofit organizations and state and local governments on public policy, strategic planning, and board governance, with a career that has spanned journalism, public service, and small business ownership. He served more than one decade in the Connecticut government in various roles, including senior policy advisor in the Governor’s Office, as a healthcare regulator, and as a program director for the UConn Health Center. He has worked extensively with foundations on early childhood, justice reform, and health prevention. He is a post-graduate National Endowment for the Arts Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan and has a BS from Miami University (Ohio).
Ren Davidson is a senior at Wesleyan University, where they study Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They came to the ACLU-CT board as the representative from the Wesleyan ACLU chapter but have stayed on long term. They are involved in the Middletown Mutual Aid Collective, working primarily on fundraising for the cash assistance initiatives. They have also worked with Unidad Latina en Accion in New Haven and Norwalk. In addition to their work in CT, They are also involved in the abolitionist movement spaces in New York City.
Ned Farman, Southeast Chapter Representative
Ned Farman, of Old Lyme, is a founding member of ACLU-CT’s Southeast chapter. He taught history in independent schools for 40 years; has received several awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities; conducted field research in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; and has been active in human rights and anti-war campaigns since the early 1960’s. He serves on the boards of the Connecticut Fulbright Association, Camp Hazen YMCA, the Old Lyme Historical Society, and the CT Harbor Management Association.
Andrew Giering, of New Haven, is an attorney with the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut. He graduated Columbia College and Yale Law School. Andrew is a board member of the New Haven Free Public Library and several local non-profit organizations and represents the Hill South/City Point neighborhood on the New Haven Democratic Town Committee. He is a member of the Connecticut Reentry Collaborative Policy Working Group and the Greater New Haven Reentry Roundtable. Andrew serves as Secretary of the Knights of St. Patrick, the oldest continually run Irish society in Connecticut. He also volunteers with CASA of Southern Connecticut as a court-appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Aigné Goldsby is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was UConn Law’s representative on the ACLU-CT board. During her last year in law school, she was an intern in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice assisting attorneys with juvenile justice cases and police misconduct investigations. She is currently working as a Staff Attorney for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority within the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She is active in the Connecticut Bar Association and served as President of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association for the 2019 - 2020 term. She is also the founder of Black Esquire LLC, an organization that provides opportunities and resources for current and future BIPOC legal professionals. She has been a board member since 2016.
Allan Hillman, Greater New Haven Chapter Representative
Allan Hillman, of Hamden, is a lawyer who specializes in franchise, antitrust, and intellectual property law. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Law School. In 2006, he moved to Connecticut from Maryland and joined the Greater New Haven chapter of ACLU-CT, which he has since served as its president.
Tamara Lanier is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she earned dual degrees in English and History. She recently left the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, where she worked for 27 years, most recently as a chief probation officer in Norwich and as manager of the Norwich Adult Supervision unit. As a manager, she developed a harm reduction model requiring probation officers to manage probationers’ risks and use incarceration as an option of last resort. Tamara also serves as vice president of the New London NAACP and as criminal justice chair for the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches. In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Commission on Afro-American Affairs, and her statewide advocacy was acknowledged by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) in 2016. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (CT NOBLE), Connecticut’s Racial Profiling Prohibition Board, and the U.S. Attorney’s working group to monitor federal and state civil rights compliance by educational institutions. Her life’s passion is to eradicate racial and ethnic disparities in Connecticut’s criminal justice system and to put an end to racial profiling.
Andrew Lu is a student at Wesleyan University, where he studies in the College of Social Studies and the College of Film and the Moving Image. He serves as the representative for his college’s ACLU chapter on the ACLU board. Previously, he has been engaged in organizing events surrounding topics of digital privacy and immigration policy on the national and local levels.
Jonathan B. Orleans*
Jonathan Orleans, of Fairfield, is a graduate of Hampshire College, the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and NYU School of Law, where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow. He practices law in Bridgeport and focuses his practice on business litigation, employment law, and the representation of colleges and universities. He has served as cooperating counsel with the ACLU-CT in several cases and has been a member of the ACLU-CT Board since 1990, although not continuously.
Bailey Owen is a student at Yale College, where she majors in political science with a concentration in legal studies. She serves on the board of the college's ACLU chapter. Bailey has previously worked as a legal advocate at the Brave House in Brooklyn, New York and as an intern at the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants in Stamford, Connecticut.
Zachary Phillipps, of Trumbull, is an attorney at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, LLP in Stamford, where he focuses on civil litigation in personal injury, civil rights, commercial litigation, and landlord-tenant matters. He earned his B.A. from Hamline University and his J.D., with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. While in law school he served on the Connecticut Law Review and published two law review notes on First Amendment issues. Since law school, Zach has authored articles on civil rights, the Freedom of Information Act, and Connecticut landlord-tenant law, and he has served as an editor for the ABA Section of Litigation Appellate Practice Journal and the ABA Young Lawyers Division Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee Newsletter.
Robert Post is the Sterling Professor of Law at the Yale Law School. He served as the Dean of Yale Law School from 2009-2017. He is a First Amendment scholar whose books include Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution (Harvard University Press 2014); Democracy, Expertise, Academic Freedom: A First Amendment Jurisprudence for the Modern State (Yale University Press 2012); Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law (Duke University Press 2001); and Constitutional Domains: Democracy, Community, Management (Robert C. Post, Harvard University Press 1995). Prior to Yale, he taught law at the University of California/Berkeley and was a First Amendment litigator in Washington, D.C. He is the affiliate's legal advisor.
[* Executive Committee member]