Tuesday, October 22, 2013
As walls fall in the fight for marriage equality and news leaks of the government's vast data collection efforts, a leader in the effort to expand and defend civil liberties will speak at Rider University next week.
Presented by the Law & Justice Program of Rider University, the lecture is part of a luncheon and award ceremony that will be held Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Mercer Room Daly Dining Hall, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ. The public is invited to hear Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ), give the 18th annual Distinguished Contributions to Law & Justice Award Lecture, "50 Years After the Dream: The Struggle for Equality Continues." The event is free and open to the public, though RSVP is required by Thursday, October 24. Lunch will be served.
Ofer's distinguished career in advocating for civil liberties and civil rights includes supporting efforts to obtain marriage equality in New Jersey. That decades-long legal battle recently culminated in a court ruling that allows gay couples to marry. "The governor made the right call to step aside and allow loving and committed couples to marry," Offer said in a press statement on October 21, referring to Gov. Chris Christie's decision to withdrawl his appeal of the state Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. "After so many years of hard work, today begins a new era for equality in the state of New Jersey."
Ofer got his start with the ACLU in 2003, working as the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Bill of Rights Defense Campaign. That campaign focused on what the organization saw as eroding civil liberties in the wake of heightened national security measures. The founder of NYCLU's advocacy department, Ofer led the organization to many victories in areas such as police accountability, racial justice and students’ rights. In 2004, Ofer was honored for his outstanding service to the city and state by the New York City Council.
His work has also focused on defending immigrant rights and protecting individuals from discrimination based on such traits as religion and national origin.
Ofer began his legal career in 2001 as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at My Sisters’ Place, a domestic violence organization in Westchester County, where he represented women on their immigration and public benefits matters. He has published more than a dozen law review articles and reports in the Columbia Law School Journal of Race and Law, Fordham Law School Urban Law Journal and New York Law School Law Review, among other publications. He has been a frequent commentator on civil liberties and civil rights issues on local and national media, including in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and The Star-Ledger.
Ofer graduated from Fordham University School of Law and the University at Buffalo. In 2007, he received the “Distinguished Graduate Award” from the Stein Scholars Program at Fordham Law School" and, from 2009 to 2012, served as an adjunct professor at New York Law School.
To RSVP for the luncheon, email Cristina Orlando by Oct. 24 at firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is free and open to the public.