American Civil Liberties Union Elects First Black President In 100+ Year History


February 3, 2021

The fight for civil rights continues!

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) just elected the first Black president in the organization’s 100+ year history, HuffPost reports. 


Deborah Archer is a New York University School of Law professor specializing in civil rights and racial justice. A Yale Law graduate, she got her start as a legal fellow with the ACLU from 1997-1998. In 2009, she became a member of the ACLU board and has been on the board’s executive committee since 2017. Archer is a clinical law professor at NYU School of Law and serves as the Civil Rights Clinic director. She was former assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and chair of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, investigating police misconduct. Now, she is making history as the first Black president of the ACLU in 101 years, having been elected by the 69-member board.

Archer is the eighth president of the ACLU and will be taking over for Susan Herman, a Brooklyn Law School professor who has served as president since 2008. In her new role, Archer will serve as chair of the board of directors, oversee organizational matters, and set civil liberties policies. She will work closely with executive director Anthony Romero who runs the day-to-day operations. They will continue fighting for immigrant rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, racial justice, and other issues. 


While former President 45 was in office, the ACLU filed an unprecedented number of lawsuits against the administration, 413 to be exact. The organization received nearly $175 million in donations in the first three months after 45’s election, allowing them to expand their operations and staff, launching an all-out war on the discriminatory policies rolled out by the administration. Archer plans to continue that work.

“The ACLU has proven itself as an invaluable voice in the fight for civil rights in the last four years of the Trump era, and we are better positioned than ever to face the work ahead,” Archer told reporters.

Romero echoed those sentiments, saying, “President Trump may be gone, but his toxic legacy on civil rights and civil liberties is still very much with us. It will take years to clean up. 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.”


The organization plans to focus on rolling back 45’s immigration policies and focus on thwarting anti-abortion legislation. “At the top of our agenda is the effort to redouble this nation’s nation’s longstanding but frayed commitment to civil rights and racial justice. The country needs a president who will be transformational when it comes to these issues,” Romero told AP.

Congratulations, Deborah!

Photo Courtesy of Philip Greenberg/Associated Press


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content