Board of Directors

Margie Adler, President*

Margie Adler is Co-Head of the Tsai Leadership Program and Executive Director of the Ludwig Program in Public Sector Leadership at Yale Law School. Margie earned a B.A. from Harvard University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb where she worked on domestic and international financial transactions and corporate governance. Margie lived in London and Singapore, each for several years. Margie most recently served as Managing Director of Alumni Relations at the Yale School of Management, where she also served on the Council on Anti-Racism and Equity.


Nichole Berklas, Vice President*

Nichole Berklas, of West Hartford, is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and NYU School of Law. Nichole is a partner with her firm and has practiced affordable housing law for over 20 years representing clients developing low income and/or special needs housing in urban areas.  Nichole is further the chair and founding partner of her law firm’s pro bono practice. Since moving to Connecticut from California, she has been active with local nonprofit organizations, including Hands on Hartford, volunteered with local and state campaigns and on local town committees.


Andrew Giering, Secretary*

Andrew Giering, of New Haven, has served as an attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Connecticut since 2018, representing people facing federal criminal charges who cannot afford to pay for counsel.  Following the passage of the First Step Act of 2018, Andrew wrote many successful motions seeking sentence reductions under that Act, resulting in the early release of many clients, including people serving life sentences.  Prior to this role, Andrew worked as a litigation associate at Wiggin and Dana in New Haven and Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, and clerked for a federal district court judge in Hartford.  Andrew is an inaugural member of the Correction Advisory Committee, an oversight panel for the Connecticut Department of Correction established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2022.  Andrew also serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, the New Haven Free Public Library, and the Canal Dock Boathouse.  Andrew is a graduate of Yale Law School, Columbia University, Hopkins School, and West Haven public schools.


David Addams, Affiliate Equity Officer*

David Addams recently retired as Executive Director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. He is the ACLU-CT Affiliate Equity Officer. 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. 


Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman

Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman, of New Milford, is a labor and community Organizer, as well as a political activist. Eva was the youngest plaintiff in the landmark school desegregation case,  Sheff v. O’Neill. She volunteered for Presidential candidate Al Gore when she was twelve, sparking a lifetime commitment to organizing and activism. The polyglot Boricua used her time away from Hartford to help in humanitarian efforts in Brazil, participate in a student strike in Puerto Rico, and conduct legislative research for Congressman Rangel’s office in Capitol Hill. Eva was a Newtown Councilwoman and was awarded Latina of the Year by LPRAC of the Connecticut State Legislature for her role as an Assister in Connecticut Access Health Exchange, where she enrolled 7,000 people during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act. She also served as the first Latina Secretary for the State Democratic Party. She recently served as the Director for Child Care For Connecticut’s Future, a parent and educator advocacy coalition with its crucial goal of securing significant funding for the early care and education system in Connecticut.  


Akia S. Callum

Akia S. Callum serves as the Director of People & Culture at Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership & is a John P. Burke Professor at Post University. 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. Her knack for effective and personalized communication tactics enhances her ability to connect with others. She developed a love for community, advocacy, and social justice at a young age through her work in the New York City Council. Since then, Akia founded the Black Student Union at Post University in 2015 and served in various leadership roles at premier organizations, including the NAACP on the state and national level. Akia was selected in 2020 as one of 20 inaugural Yale Law School – ‘Access to Law’ fellows. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies and a Master's of Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from Post University.


Ahmad Cantrell 

Ahmad Cantrell, of Hartford, is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Avon Old Farms School. He has over a decade of admission and teaching experience in both public and independent boarding schools. He has been dedicated to implementing policies and initiatives that promote equity and cultural competency. He earned his B.S. in political science from Fairfield University and M.S. in Counseling Education from Central Connecticut State University.


Audrey R. Chapman

Audrey R. Chapman, Ph.D., St.M., is the Healey Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the UConn School of Medicine in Farmington, CT. She also has an appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the UConn School of Law and serves as the Chair of the Stem Cell Research Committee that oversees stem cell research on UConn's campuses. She is trained both as a social scientist and an ethicist and works across these fields in her research and teachings. She is the author, coauthor, and editor of 16 books on health and human rights issues and on ethical issues related to stem cells, genetics, and health equity and more than 85 peer reviewed articles on these subjects. Her two most recent books are Global Health, Human Rights and the Challenges of Neoliberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and The Ethical Challenges of the Stem Cell Revolution (Cambridge Scholars Press, December 2020). She is currently conducting research related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities.


Ginne-Rae Clay

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. 


Stephanie Deceus

Stephanie Deceus is a Vice President with the New England Health Care Employees Union where she’s spent nearly 20 years leading workers, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and running statewide campaigns to end poverty for the long term care workforce.  Ms. Deceus' passion and continued commitment to lead a multi-racial working class people towards social justice has led to her serve as an advisor to students at Smith College and the School for Social Work with a focus on promoting or diminishing racial justice on the organizational and community level.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a Master’s of Science in Labor Studies. 


Allan Hillman

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 helped form a revived Greater New Haven chapter in 2008, which he served as its president throughout. He is co-Chair of J Street CT (a Middle East peace group), and has served as President of his synagogue and Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, an outreach group fostering racial and religious cooperation and social and political reform. He volunteers in dictating books for the blind.  He serves as the National Representative.


Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson, of Meriden, is a Business Controller at Sectra, Inc. He believes in leaving the world changed and is an ardent advocate for civic engagement. For over twenty years, Patrick has served in various community service and civic organizations. He is a servant leader who knows that change occurs by applying consistent pressure over time, and is achieved best when people come together to work towards a common cause.  


Erik Kolstad

Erik Kolstad, of West Hartford, is a designated healthcare actuary working to deliver quality care and lower costs for Medicaid and commercially insured members. Erik's experience includes financial planning, cost projections, and budgeting. He earned his B.S. in economics and mathematics from the University of Iowa and his MBA from Central Connecticut State University.


Jasana Levy

Jasana Levy is a graduate of Post University and the North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is a dedicated public interest attorney with years of experience advocating for children, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families. She has been recognized for her commitment to mentoring youth and enhancing community access to justice. In her current law practice, Jasana represents criminal defendants and petitioners in post-conviction proceedings and represents juveniles in delinquency cases. Jasana is an active community member who volunteers with several organizations. She is also a Legal Studies Professors at Post University. 


Bradford Martins

Bradford (Brad) Martins was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts and grew up in Conway, Arkansas. He attended Hendrix College in Arkansas where he graduated with a BA in biochemistry and molecular biology and a minor in neuroscience. Brad received his MD and PhD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His dissertation work used computational fMRI networks and machine learning to identify unique functional changes that occur in individuals with dual drug use disorders and other psychiatric diagnoses. Brad has served as board president for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Arkansas, founded a local non-profit in Little Rock called the Mind Coalition, and is now a board member of the Connecticut ACLU. He is currently pursuing addiction psychiatry with the goal of using psychedelics to develop longer-lasting and more effective treatments and therapies for individuals with substance use disorders. He is specifically studying the therapeutic potential of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) for alcohol use disorder and its effect on functional neural circuitry. He is an advocate for inclusive and equitable psychedelic therapies so that implementation of these treatments is accessible and affordable to all people. In his free time, Brad enjoys painting, anything sci-fi/ fantasy, collecting old books, and hosting dinner parties. 


Zachary Phillipps

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 J.D., with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his B.A. from Hamline University. He has authored legal articles on the First Amendment, police accountability, and other civil rights issues, as well as on the Freedom of Information Act and Connecticut landlord-tenant law. He chairs the Appellate Section of his local bar association, 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

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.


Wilson Ramos

Wilson Ramos, of Manchester, is a Continuous Improvement Manager at Pratt & Whitney. He earned his B.S in Management and M.S in Technology Management from Central Connecticut State University. Wilson is a passionate advocate for making a positive impact in his community by providing mentorships, coaching, and volunteering for various causes and organizations.


Czarina Yuffa

Czarina Yuffa is a student at Wesleyan University, where she studies in the College of Social Studies and in the Department of Religious Studies. She is on the board as a representative of Wesleyan's ACLU chapter. Her work in her ACLU chapter has included organizing multiple school-wide fundraising events, voter registration initiatives, and speaker events. Her work has primarily focused on education access, immigration policy, and reproductive rights. 

About Us

We comprise of three nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations.

October 2, 2014