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ACLU SoCal Communications & Media Advocacy, (213) 977-5252,

March 27, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Today, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) announced the establishment of the Audrey Irmas Director of the LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project. This position will be funded by a five-year, $1 million grant from the Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice, and will be held by the current director of the project, Melissa Goodman.

"I am honored to serve as the Audrey Irmas Director of the LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project," said Melissa Goodman. "This generous support comes at a critical time when we must work doubly hard to continue to make California the national model for inclusion, equity and reproductive health care access while also vigorously resisting a federal rollback of rights."

The ACLU SoCal is gearing up to respond swiftly and strongly to the new administration that has already proven to be hostile to protecting the rights of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people, and intent on eliminating access to reproductive health care.

"The support by the Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice will be critical to the ACLU's ability to effectively respond to the recent unprecedented attacks on women and the LGBTQ community," said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.

In addition to rebuffing unconstitutional actions from the Trump administration, the project will continue its legal, policy and community engagement work to:

  • Reducing incarceration of LGBTQ people and improving the treatment of LGBTQ people in the criminal justice, juvenile justice and immigration systems;
  • Enforcing and expanding the rights of transgender and non-binary people;
  • Making safe, inclusive and bias free schools for LGBTQ youth;
  • Protecting access to abortion and other reproductive and sexual health care;
  • Curbing the use of religion to restrict access to health care;
  • Expanding access to comprehensive and inclusive sex education;
  • Expanding the rights of pregnant and parenting workers;
  • Enforcing and expanding confidential health care rights, and;
  • Improving health care for incarcerated women.