Black women have historically been on the frontlines fighting against systemic injustice and Deborah Archer is on a mission to continue to drive change. According to The Hill, Archer was recently elected to serve as president of the American Civil Liberties Union; making her the first Black person to be at the helm of the organization in its 101-year history.
Archer has dedicated her entire career to civil rights advocacy. She worked as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union where she focused on cases in the areas of employment discrimination, school desegregation and voting rights. Archer has been a member of the ACLU board for over a decade and has been on the organization’s executive committee for four years.
Archer—who is a Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Faculty Director for the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at New York University—says she is humbled by the honor. “After beginning my career as an ACLU fellow, it is an honor to come full circle and now lead the organization as board president,” she said in a statement. “The ACLU has proven itself as an invaluable voice in the fight for civil rights in the last four years of the Trump era, and we are better positioned than ever to face the work ahead. This organization has been part of every important battle for civil liberties during our first century, and we are committed to continuing that legacy as we enter our second.” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, says there is “no one better equipped, who best personifies or is more capable to helm the future battles for civil rights, civil liberties, and systemic equality.”
Archer succeeds Susan Herman who served as president of the ACLU for 12 years.