Sioux Falls, S.D. – The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota announced today the expansion of their office with the addition of four new positions. Jen Petersen has been promoted to Communications Director, Adam Jorgensen has been named Communications Associate, Noah Smith-Drelich has been named Staff Attorney, and Kadyn Wittman has been named Administrative Coordinator. The addition of staff nearly doubles the ACLU’s presence in the state.

All positions report to Heather Smith, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Dakota, which has had an office in the state since 2008.

“People are tuned in and understand there are very real threats to civil liberties in South Dakota. As an organization the ACLU recognizes the need to invest resources in our state and region,” said Smith. “Our capacity to create change in South Dakota is bigger than ever, and we’re poised to fight back against attempts to undermine our rights or target any class of people for discrimination. We’re focused on creating a fair criminal justice system, fighting attempts to restrict abortion, and protecting the rights of immigrants and people of minority faiths in our state.”

The ACLU of South Dakota is the largest civil rights organization in the state and the fastest growing chapter of the ACLU nationwide.

Based in Sioux Falls, the South Dakota chapter of the ACLU is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.

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For more information, contact Jen Petersen, Communications Director of the ACLU of South Dakota at 605-332-2508 or email chaptermedia@aclu.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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