April 10, 2023
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 20, 2018) — Ninety-five years ago, writer and activist Upton Sinclair was pulled off a podium, arrested, and thrown in jail for reading aloud the First Amendment to the Constitution at a rally. This violation of the bedrock of American democracy led to the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, now a legal and activism powerhouse.
At the organization’s annual Bill of Rights Dinner, this year on Nov. 11, artists and activists will be presented with awards for their work that amplifies the mission of the ACLU SoCal.
“Our Bill of Rights Dinner allows us to pay tribute,” said ACLU SoCal Executive Director Hector Villagra, “to those whose work has enriched our lives and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be informed and engaged.”
In addition to the honorees, this year’s event on Veterans Day will honor service members, including non-citizen veterans who were deported by the government after serving in the military. On hand will be veterans the ACLU SoCal was proud to aid in returning to the U.S. and being granted citizenship.
Academy Award- and Grammy-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson will be the guest performer.
The ACLU SoCal is proud to announce this year’s honorees:
Kenya Barris | Bill of Rights Award
Emmy-nominated Creator, Producer, Writer, and Activist
Kenya Barris’ groundbreaking show, “black-ish,” explores what it means to be Black in this country. His willingness to go to difficult places with the show has earned him and the show countless honors, including a Peabody Award. He has been strongly committed to providing opportunities to young and emerging talent, particularly women and people of color.
Tarana Burke | Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award
‘me too.’ Movement Founder & Activist
Civil rights activist Tarana Burke created the ‘me too.’ movement that has had a profound impact on the worlds of government, politics, business, entertainment, religion, sports, and many others. Her groundbreaking work encouraged women to confront their abusers and find strength and community in shared experiences.
Eva Longoria | Bill of Rights Award
Actress, Producer, Director, and Philanthropist
Eva Longoria was an instigator of one of the most important developments in Hollywood, the Time’s Up movement. Her commitment to young Latinas through her foundation is cultivating a new generation of empowered women. She also strongly advocated for #KeepFamiliesTogether, supporting the work of the ACLU and others in reunifying separated families.
Alyssa Milano | Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award
Actress and Activist
Alyssa Milano has been a driving force behind the #MeToo movement that, in many headline-making cases, toppled abusers from power. She has also worked tirelessly as an advocate for police accountability, the preservation of Roe v Wade, voting-rights, and the reunification of separated families. She was named a Founding Ambassador by the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
Rita Moreno | Ramona Ripston Liberty, Justice & Equality Award
Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar- and Tony-winning Actress, Best-selling Author and Activist.
Rita Moreno has been an outspoken and lifetime advocate on behalf of civil rights, Hispanic rights, immigration reform, and access to health care. From the beginning of her career, she has been a powerful voice for diversity and equality in Hollywood. Her longtime support of the work of the ACLU speaks to her commitment to social justice and equality.
Constance Wu | Bill of Rights Award
Actress and Activist
Constance Wu has been a strong advocate for women, immigrants, refugees, and people of color. She has fought Hollywood racism by advocating for inclusion and visibility, empowering others to speak out.  Her activism in support of #KeepFamiliesTogether — including joining protests outside detention centers — helped rally opposition to the government’s policy.
Tickets: The ACLU of Southern California’s 2018 Bill of Rights Dinner will be held Sunday, November 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Tickets are available at www.aclusocal.org/billofrights. Last year’s event sold out and the same is expected for this year. For additional information contact Christian Lebano at 213-977-5229.

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