Sioux Falls, South Dakota - The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota announced today the expansion of their office with the addition of two new positions. Jen Petersen has been promoted to Communications Associate and Stacey Burnette has been named Administrative Coordinator.
Both positions report to Heather Smith, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Dakota, which has had a presence in the state since 2008.
"Jen has been an indispensable part of the ACLU of South Dakota for the past four years and is the type of person that you want on your team," said Smith. "She's a creative and talented communicator with a knack for quickly building relationships."
"Stacey comes to the ACLU with a wealth of experience and we're lucky to have a person of her caliber join our organization," added Smith.
As Communications Associate, Petersen will be responsible for establishing and maintaining contacts and relationships to promote ACLU initiatives to members, media, and partner coalitions in South Dakota. In addition, Petersen will develop marketing and awareness messaging for online, print, and social media.
"My goal for this position is to develop a communications strategy that strengthens our voice and expands our presence throughout South Dakota," said Petersen. "I want South Dakotans to know that the ACLU is here protecting people's civil liberties and rights, and I want them to know why they should care about our work in a way that inspires them to get involved."
The expansion of the South Dakota chapter of the ACLU is critical at this time, as individual rights and liberties in our state are in jeopardy now more than ever. The staff additions make the ACLU of South Dakota the largest civil rights organization in the state, and the fastest growing chapter for 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.