LOS ANGELES ? Gary Williams, ACLU of Southern California board member and professor at Loyola Law School was elected president of the ACLU of Southern California's Board of Directors on January 22, 2002. A civil rights and civil liberties litigation professor, Williams began his involvement with the ACLU/SC in 1979 as a Staff Attorney. Williams has served as vice president of the ACLU/SC since 1997 and is also a sitting member of the ACLU's national board of directors.

"Gary has been with us since 1979," said Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU/SC, "first as a Staff Attorney, then as Assistant Legal Director, he has been a lifelong advocate for civil rights and equal justice under law and we are proud to have him as our president."

Williams lent his expertise to the ACLU's "Driving While Black" (DWB) litigation that focused on racial profiling and was appointed to the state's bipartisan panel on federal judicial appointments by Senator Barbara Boxer. Williams also contributes to ongoing ACLU/SC lawsuits against the state such as the historic class-action suit Williams v. State of California (no relation) case which seeks to improve public education for students throughout California.

"It is an honor to serve as president of the ACLU/SC board of directors," said Williams. "From our involvement in improving public school conditions throughout the state to protecting the right to free speech, the ACLU can be counted on to defend the Constitution for every new generation."

Williams, received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his J.D. from Stanford University. He was Staff Counsel for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 1976-79. He joined the ACLU/SC as a Staff Attorney in 1979 and was appointed Assistant Legal Director in 1985, a position he maintained until joining the Loyola Law School faculty in 1987. Williams is also a member of the Board of Directors, and Finance and Personal Committee of the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic.

The American Civil Liberties Union is the nation's foremost advocate of individual rights and equal justice, and the leading guardian against government interference and abuse. Since 1920, the mission of the ACLU has been to preserve the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Located in downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Law School is California's largest law school. World-renowned architect Frank Gehry designed its campus, one of the most distinctive in the country. Its program and facilities are ranked among the top 25% of American law schools in the latest Princeton Review Gourman Report. Loyola's faculty is nationally known for teaching and scholarship, its graduates for their effective practical training.