Toward Liberty: Celebrating 70 Years of Action

September 29, 2022 @ 6:00 pm

ACLU Colorado invites you to join us as we celebrate our 70th year as the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Returning to an in-person event, we are pleased to announce Toward Liberty: Celebrating 70 Years of Action on September 29, 2022 at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver. Formerly the Bill of Rights Event, Toward Liberty will be an evening of inspiration you won’t want to miss!

We are recognizing individuals and organizations who are making a profound and lasting impact protecting civil liberties and advancing civil rights for all Coloradans. Your support ensures that the ACLU of Colorado continues to remove barriers and advance equity during these unprecedented times in the history of our democracy. Now, more than ever, our work is to close the gap “between the America that was promised and the America that is.” 

We are now sold out of tickets for this event but, you can still make an additional donation to Toward Liberty. Learn more here or contact Deanna Hirsch at [email protected].

2022 Keynote Speaker

ACLU of Colorado Executive Director, Deborah Richardson

Deborah Richardson became the Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado in January 2021, bringing a 30-year track record guiding nonprofit organizations in advancing transformational social change. She is the first African American to lead the 70-year-old affiliate. During her first year as Executive Director, Deborah launched a statewide listening tour, Expanding the Table for Justice, to hear firsthand what issues are of concern to Coloradans, and to inform the priorities of the affiliate’s 3-year strategic plan.

“In this pivotal moment in the history of our democracy, the work of ACLU is most urgent. Together, we have the opportunity to ensure the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado are honored, respected, and upheld."

Event MC

Portrait photo of Simone Ross

Simone D. Ross is originally from Colorado and grew up in Northeast Denver. Simone is passionate about building sustainable, educated, empowered communities. She demonstrates this through volunteering with youth, and serving on nonprofit boards. Assisting nonprofit organizations in achieving their fundraising goals is a passion of Simone's.

She enjoys supporting nonprofits in building fundraising strategy that contributes to organizational sustainability. Simone has a nine-year-old son, and four-year-old daughter, and she is passionate about supporting causes that will make the world a better place for them.


Take Note! is the select auditioned ensemble of the Denver Women’s Chorus. Take Note! specializes in a cappella music and is comprised of 12-15 treble voices. Their repertoire includes pop and choral works and original a cappella arrangements. The ensemble provides vital outreach and community collaborations through their numerous performances per concert season. These talented singers lend their voices to partner with other nonprofit organizations and causes, build community relationships and promote DWC performances. They can also be booked for private events. Formed in 1985, Take Note! has been performing for concert and community audiences for more than 30 years.

2022 Honorees

Carle Whitehead Memorial Award 
Awarded to Coloradans whose lives reflect the philosophy of its first recipient, Carle Whitehead; a founder of the ACLU of Colorado, attorney, and tireless champion of protecting civil liberties.

Senator Pete Lee
Senator Pete Lee, retiring after eight years in our state’s legislature, is honored for his transformative work on advancing criminal justice reform and restorative justice.


Ralph L. Carr Award 
Salutes an individual, firm, group, or organization that tirelessly devotes time and resources to address an important contemporary issue.

The Harm Reduction Action Center logo
Harm Reduction Action Center is recognized for their work educating, empowering, and advocating for the health and dignity of Denver’s community members through syringe access, overdose prevention, health testing, and more. 

Edward Sherman Award 
Recognizes those who demonstrate the spirit and heart in their gifts of time and talent to the work of the ACLU of Colorado.

Logos for Arnold & Porter, and Loevy & Loevy law firms

Timothy Macdonald, Matthew Douglas, Diana Sterk, Ed Aro, and the rest of the Arnold & Porter LLP team and Elizabeth Wang of Loevy & Loevy are recognized for their respective roles that led to a landmark decision in the first lawsuit to go to trial on behalf of George Floyd protestors. 

Martha Radetsky Award
Given to a person who has dedicated years of exceptional service to the ACLU of Colorado. 

Dan Recht
Dan Recht will be honored for his enduring dedication to the ACLU of Colorado during his tenure as a member of the Board of Directors, and for his many years as Legal Panel Chair.



To our outstanding sponsors for making this event possible and furthering our work to protect, defend and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people.

Presenting Sponsors

Circle of Libery Sponsors

Recht Kornfeld

Justice Council Sponsors

Arnold & Porter

Marilyn Dana, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Realty

Dan Recht

Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP

Dr. Maurice Scott

Freedom League Sponsors

Rathod Mohamedbai LLC

Johnson and Klein Law

Palmer Polaski P.C.

Kebaya Coaching & Consulting

Mendez, Barkis & Associates

Optimize Consulting Group, Inc.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105

The Advocates

The Gemini Group

The Sawaya Law Firm