Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show to keynote

CHICAGO –Seeking to turn the interest and energy of the 2012 elections into an agenda for action in 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is hosting a conference in Chicago on December 1, 2012. The event, titled ACLU:ENGAGE, features discussions of specific issues of concern to ACLU members and supporters and the announcement of a specific civil liberties agenda for 2013, featuring issues for consideration by both the Illinois General Assembly as well as the Congress. The day begins with a roundtable discussion on the results of the 2012 elections featuring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Chicago Alderman Will Burns. That discussion begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Feinberg Theatre. More than 400 ACLU members and supporters will gather at VenueSIX10, located at 610 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

ACLU:ENGAGE’s keynote address will be presented by Aasif Mandvi, best known as a correspondent for the Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Mr. Mandvi’s remarks begin at 3:00 p.m. in the Feinberg Theatre. Mr. Mandvi currently is starring in “Disgraced” at the Claire Tow Theatre in New York. He will share his perspectives on the 2012 elections with the audience.

“The election is now over,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “We need to capture the excitement and energy of the election and focus it toward creating positive change in Illinois and across the nation. Together, we can win the freedom to marry for same sex couples, protect and expand access to reproductive health care and protect personal privacy from intrusions by government.”

The day-long program also features a series of panel discussions on issues of interest and concern to the ACLU and its members, including surveillance, privacy and technology, racial justice, free speech and public activism and working with elected officials. A number of prominent experts have agreed to join the panels, including Professor Lori Andrews of the Kent College of Law, Professor Randolph Stone of the University of Chicago Law School and Marca Bristo, CEO of Access Living. A lunchtime program discussing the current term of the Supreme Court of the United States will feature Professor Geoffrey Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago School of Law and Professor Stephen Sanders, who in January 2013 will join the faculty at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University.

More information about the entire program is available at http://engage.aclu-il.org/.

“We are looking forward to an exciting day, filled with discussion and sharing ideas,” added the ACLU’s Connell.

Editor’s note: All programs at ACLU:ENGAGE are open to the media. Video and audio recording is permitted.