New York, NY — Deborah Archer, a civil rights attorney and professor at New York University School of Law, has made history as the first-ever Black person to be elected as President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) since the organization was established in 1920.
Archer has been elected in a virtual meeting of the organization’s 69-member board of directors. She will then serve as chair of its board of directors, overseeing organizational matters and coordinating policies aimed at racial equality and civil rights.
After graduating from Yale Law School, Archer joined the ACLU as the Marvin M. Karpatkin Legal Fellow before becoming a member of the board in 2009.
Archer is replacing Susan Herman who had served as president for the past 12 years. Herman led the organization’s board through Trump’s 4 years in the office, in which the ACLU filed a whopping 413 lawsuits and other legal actions against.
“There is no one better equipped, who best personifies or is more capable to helm the future battles for civil rights, civil liberties, and systemic equality than Deborah Archer,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero told AP News.
Moreover, Archer is expected to continue ACLU’s lifelong fight against injustices related to immigrant rights, LGBT rights, racial rights, and other issues. Her appointment is also one of the proofs that Black people, especially Black women can undoubtedly break barriers across organizations.