September 30, 2022

Civil Rights Lawyer Ahilan Arulanantham Will Also Be Honored 

LOS ANGELES – Stars and advocates alike will come together at the ACLU of Southern California’s annual Bill of Rights Awards, in person for the first time since 2019, at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, October 16, at 6 p.m. 

“Since our founding nearly a century ago, the Southern California affiliate of the ACLU has dared to create a world where all people can thrive and enjoy their civil liberties and civil rights,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU SoCal. “We are proud to honor those who break the mold when rights or representation are at stake.” 

The program will include TV host RuPaul Charles, actor/activist Jason George, writer/director Rachel Lee Goldenberg, actor/writer/trans-activist Nicole Maines, actress/writer/social entrepreneur Azie Tesfai, and dazzling performances from acclaimed singer Jennifer Leigh Warren and poet Alyesha Wise.  

This year’s Bill of Rights Awards will be presented to those who have meaningfully challenged the status quo: 

  • Ahilan Arulanantham, for his innovative legal strategies and unrelenting advocacy to protect and expand the rights of immigrant communities. 
  • Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, for their commitment to producing inclusive and diverse stories and hiring casts that reflect that diversity, advancing equity and telling stories that highlight social justice. 
  • Diane Warren, for using her songwriting to advance social justice and bring attention to issues of equity and fairness and for lending her music to causes she believes in. 

Please find below additional information on this year's honorees.  

Ahilan Arulanantham

Lawyer, activist, professor from practice, and co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. 

Ahilan Arulanantham was an attorney at the ACLU SoCal for nearly two decades. He has argued before the Supreme Court three times and won numerous cases, including Franco-Gonzalez, which established the first federal right to appointed counsel for any immigrants—those with severe mental disabilities; Rodriguez, which brought freedom to thousands of immigrants jailed for years while challenging their deportations; and Ramos, which has protected 400,000 immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. Ahilan has continued his innovative work at the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA Law School, which he co-founded. 

In 2016, Ahilan was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. 

Berlanti Productions - Greg Berlanti | Sarah Schechter 

WGA, DGA and Golden Globe- nominated writer, director, producer, and LGBTQ advocate.  

WGA, DGA and Golden Globe- nominated writer, director, and producer. 

Through projects such as the Arrowverse, Unpregnant, and All American, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter have raised awareness on ACLU SoCal issues including access to reproductive healthcare, racial discrimination, and LGBTQIA rights with powerful narratives that center characters who are LGBTQIA, people of color, and other underrepresented groups, making the diversity of our experiences something to be celebrated. 

Diane Waren 

Musician, songwriter, and owner of Realsongs Publishing. 

Diane Warren’s songs have been featured in more than 100 films. Many embrace the human experience that connects us all and have been sung at the Bill of Rights Awards, including: “I’m Standing With You,” “Somehow You Do,” “I’ll Fight,” and “Stand Up For Something,” which has become a clarion call for social causes. She has received Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards, 13 Academy Award nominations and will be the first songwriter to receive an Honorary Oscar to be presented at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards.