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ACLU Director Anthony Romero
to Speak at UW-Eau Claire Feb. 7

RELEASED: Jan. 30, 2008

Anthony D. Romero
Anthony D. Romero

EAU CLAIRE — Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Thursday, Feb. 7. The Forum will present his lecture, "Leadership: Stand Up for What You Believe in No Matter What the Difficulty," at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center.

A pre-Forum hors d'oeuvres reception with Romero, hosted by Eau Claire residents Mildred and Brian Larson, will take place in The Dulany of Davies Center from 6 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance or at the door.

A provocative speaker deeply committed to American rights, equality and freedom, Romero is the sixth executive director of the ACLU and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. He took the helm of the 87-year-old organization in September 2001, a week before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Under Romero's leadership, the ACLU has gained court victories on the Patriot Act, filed landmark litigation on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filed the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration's illegal spying program.

An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's history, more than doubling its national staff and tripling its budget. This growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying and public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on racial justice, religious freedom, privacy, reproductive freedom and lesbian and gay rights.

Born in New York City to parents from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. In 2005, Romero was named one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.

Romero is co-author of "In Defense of Our America: The Fight for Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror" (2007), a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most important civil liberties cases in America. Booklist called the book "a critically balanced yet hard-hitting analysis of the threats to our civil rights as perceived by individuals on the front lines of each issue. With the clock running out on the current administration and 2008 presidential campaign rhetoric already in full swing, this cautionary tale of humanitarian missteps and misdeeds makes for timely — and timeless — reading."

The Forum program will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing. Romero's presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and an informal reception.

Tickets for The Forum are $7 for the public, $5 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for The Forum.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, The Forum is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

-30-

JS/NW

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