Media Contact

Janna Farley 

December 20, 2018

What’s on your mind politically these days?

If you’re like many Americans, the answer is probably the latest Trump tweet, the newest details in the Mueller investigation or what Sarah Sanders said in her most recent press briefing.

That’s not surprising, considering it’s what dominates much of the political news cycle these days.

But heightened political awareness is spiking a greater interest in state and local politics, too, as evidenced by the 63 percent of South Dakota voters who turned out in the November midterm election. More people than ever are interested and eager to get involved, but aren’t sure where to start.

That’s why the ACLU of South Dakota is holding its first Activist Academy, a series of comprehensive trainings across the state to show South Dakotans ways to make a difference in their community on a local and state level. The Activist Academy trainings will be held in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City in January.

Activist Academy attendees will develop their skills as advocates and activists at all levels. With an eye toward South Dakota’s upcoming legislative session, attendees will learn about the legislative process and how they can best influence elected officials as well as how they can be year-round advocates of the issues they care most about.

“We know people are interested in political and social activism, so we want to engage people to take action, get ready for the upcoming legislative session and hold our elected officials accountable,” says Libby Skarin, ACLU of South Dakota policy director. “So many decisions that are made during the legislative session have a deep and lasting impact on our state’s people and communities. That’s why it’s so important to get involved and hold our elected officials accountable.” 


ACLU Activist Academy Sioux Falls

  • 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 3
  • Ronning Library; 3100 E. 49th St., Sioux Falls

ACLU Activist Academy Pierre

  • 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 15
  • South Dakota Education Association; 411 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre

ACLU Activist Academy Rapid City

  • 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 17

  • Dahl Arts Center; 713 7th St., Rapid City

For information or to register, go to our events page. 

Based in Sioux Falls, the South Dakota chapter of the ACLU is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is the largest civil rights organization in the state and one of the fastest growing chapters of the ACLU nationwide. 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.