Nominees and presenters for the Oscars graced the 2017 Academy Awards with a touch of blue.
Stars were seen walking the red carpet wearing bright blue ribbons on their formalwear to show their bold support for the American Civil Liberties Union. Launched a week ago, the campaign encourages renowned personalities and professionals of the industry to don the ribbon as a sign of alliance with the non-profit organization. The modest accessory is reminiscent of the red ribbon that many stars wore in the early ‘90s to promote HIV and AIDS awareness.
From 1920 to this day, the ACLU has provided untiring and nonpartisan dedication towards the protection of civil rights and liberties as provided for under the Constitution and laws of the United States. This includes taking a stand against the overextending executive order issued by President Donald Trump that prohibits refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries; fighting relentlessly for LGBT equality, which includes transgender students who are in search of protection and equal access; and keeping the right of suffrage when confronted with gerrymandering as well as felony disenfranchisement.
This untiring support for the freedom of speech along with the right of assembly extends even to organizations such as the Ku Klux Clan, the Washington Redskins, and the Westboro Baptist Church. The ACLU has backed the rights and liberties of these groups in court — given that the rights of groups regarded as extreme or questionable are usually attacked first, if such attacks are ignored then it endangers freedom for the rest of us.
Over $79 million has been raised by the ACLU online from over a million donors since the election in 2016. This includes a $24 million upsurge in over a couple of days following the declaration of the refugee ban. Given this boost in budget, the ACLU plans to increase its operations at both the local and state levels, hire more attorneys in New York and Washington, DC, and allocate $13 million for citizen engagement, which includes protests.
If you would like to volunteer or make a contribution, you can get in touch with your local ACLU chapter.