Founded in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation's foremost guardian of liberty. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending and protecting our individual rights and personal freedoms.
Through advocacy, education and litigation, our attorneys, advocates and volunteers work to preserve and promote civil liberties including the freedom of speech, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, and equal treatment under the law. We stand in defense of the rights of women and minorities, workers, students, immigrants, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and others who have seen bias and bigotry threaten the rights afforded to all of us in this country by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
A Legacy of Liberty
The ACLU has a long history of fighting to protect the rights and freedoms of people throughout the country.
- 1920s the ACLU acted on behalf of newly arrived immigrants victimized by the Palmer Raids;
- 1930s the ACLU advocated for workers protesting deplorable labor conditions;
- 1940s the ACLU protested the forcing of Japanese-Americans into internment camps;
- 1950s the ACLU supported those who fought the witch hunts of the McCarthy era;
- 1960s & 1970s the ACLU defended those who spoke out for equality and civil rights.
Today the ACLU continues its defense of individual rights on many fronts. Some of these are recurring battles, such as fighting racial and gender-based discrimination and securing reproductive freedom. Others are newer groundbreaking battles like freedom of speech on the Internet.