Facing the Truth and Connecting the Dots: when freedoms are limited for one, freedom is harmed for all.
As a country we are facing many threats to full freedoms for people, especially those people who have been marginalized by exclusions and oppressions over the generations. Threats to reproductive rights, voting, the dangers of mass incarceration and militarized policing are just a few. Foundationally there is a deep connection between all these issues and threats to our civil liberties and civil rights. Once we understand these connections and intersectionalities, and address them thoughtfully and strategically in concert, we will have the chance to truly achieve freedom for all.
Michele E. Storms is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU of Washington), former Deputy Director of the ACLU of Washington, and previous Assistant Dean for Public Service and executive director of the William H. Gates Public Service Law program at the University of Washington School of Law. Preceding those roles, she served as a statewide advocacy coordinator first at Columbia Legal Services and later at the Northwest Justice Project where over a combined five-year period she coordinated civil legal aid advocacy in the areas of family law, youth and education, housing, elder law, Native American and right to counsel issues. She was also previously on faculty at the University of Washington School of Law where she founded what is now the Child and Youth Advocacy Clinic and taught several other courses. In addition to her service on numerous boards and guilds both locally and nationally, Michele served on the Washington State Access to Justice Board for six years and the board of One America. Michele is concerned with equity and justice for all and has dedicated her professional and personal attention to access to justice, preservation of freedom and democracy for all and ensuring that all humxns safely reside in the “circle of human concern.”