The American Civil Liberties Union is the nation’s foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights. Our role is to be a principled visionary — not just to respond to crises but also to create openings for change, to imagine and build a future that is better than what came before. It is an exciting time at the ACLU of Oregon: we are envisioning our organization with values and approaches to center Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), low-income, and other marginalized communities and voices, to expand our fundraising so that it is community-centered and based, to strengthen our legal and advocacy endeavors with a focus on integrated and community-based advocacy, and to amplify public engagement and support for our work to fight threats to freedom head on — and win.
In addition to fulfilling our strong mission and high-profile work, we aspire to create and nurture an internal culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and to dismantle white supremacist structures and practices. The values of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, anti-racism, anti-misogyny, anti-transphobia, anti-homophobia, anti-ableism, and all other types of anti-oppression are our core values in our internal and external work.
As well, we are committed to creating and nurturing an internal space that supports and prioritizes the well-being and safety of team members, our work-life balance, and our ability to engage in the hard work of justice while flourishing as individuals, family members, parents, spouses, partners, friends, and community members.
The ACLU of Oregon is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the defending and advancing civil liberties and civil rights.
We believe that the freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.
We advance and defend civil liberties and civil rights through activities that include litigation, education, and lobbying.
Who We Are
We are organized as a private, nonprofit, membership organization with more than 30,000 members and a staff of 10.
What We Do
Our role is to be a principled visionary – not just to respond to crisis but also to create openings for change, to imagine and build a future that is better than what came before.
How We Do It (Strategies & Tactics)
When you hear about the ACLU in the news, it is often related to our work in the courts. That work, while important, is only part of what we do. We also:
- Lobby actively at the local, state, and national levels to prevent the passage of laws that would undermine civil liberties and civil rights, and we support the passage of laws that would enhance civil rights and civil liberties.
- Review all proposed ballot initiatives filed in Oregon and monitor those that would have an impact on civil liberties and civil rights. We have helped coordinate many ballot measure campaigns.
- With the assistance of volunteer lawyers, we provide legal assistance in cases that will establish precedent on important civil liberties and civil rights principals. This most often involves the filing of “friend of the court” briefs in cases that are already on appeal. We occasionally provide direct representation to individuals or organizations whose rights are jeopardized by government actions.
- We do educational outreach designed to sway public opinion on civil liberties and civil rights issues. We do public speaking, publish briefing papers on specific issues, work with the news media, and maintain a website and social media presence with updates about issues we are currently working on.
American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon vs. ACLU Foundation of Oregon
Understanding the difference
Newsletters & Annual Reports
Library of ACLU of Oregon publications