Mitra Ebadolahi in the streets of North Park San Diego, Photographed
by Allie Pohl
What inspired you to be a ACLU attorney?
I am a proud immigrant raised by politically-engaged parents committed to the principles of social justice, equality under the law, and fair treatment for all. I went to law school specifically to become an advocate for marginalized communities so that members of those communities could assert their basic human and civil rights successfully.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an ACLU attorney?
During my five years as an ACLU staff attorney, I have had the great privilege of participating in a range of cases highlighting government abuses of basic constitutional rights, including the First Amendment right to free speech, the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of Due Process. I was part of the team of litigators who challenged our federal government’s sweeping warrantless surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications at the Supreme Court in 2012. I was also part of the team of litigators who successfully challenged the federal government’s coercive use of process-free deportation procedures in Southern California, which had resulted in the unfair deportation of scores of immigrants. There is no single “proudest accomplishment.” I am thrilled every day to have the opportunity to do the work that I do and defend the constitutional rights of all.
If we take the President-elect at his word, the Trump administration will be much tougher on America’s immigrant populations. I think it is safe to assume that the ACLU will be at the forefront of ensuing immigrants’ rights battles throughout the United States. What do you expect from Trump's administration and how can people support and further the ACLU's work?
People need to be very clear on the very real threats posed to our most precious freedoms by the incoming administration. My brilliant colleagues throughout the ACLU prepared a constitutional analysis of Donald Trump’s statements and policy proposals back in July 2016. That analysis is publicly available online and is important reading for anyone who cares about safeguarding our fundamental rights under the Trump Administration.
It is absolutely critical for people to continue to educate themselves (relying on credible news sources and non-governmental organizations with issue-area experts). An informed citizenry is a prerequisite to meaningful action for change. If you’re trying to figure out what sources are credible, take a look at the organizations, reporters, activists, and academics I follow on my Twitter feed @MitraEbadolahi.
Non-profit organizations, including the ACLU, need public support now more than ever. Become an ACLU member today. To do so, and to make either a one-time donation or establish a recurring monthly contribution, visit our website.
What is an ideal woman to you?
An Ideal Woman to me is a person of conscience who is committed to taking action every day – however small – to promote sisterhood and equality.
What do you like most about being a woman?
I’m a big fan of nail polish.
Who are your crushing on right now and why?
Today’s crush is Katie Orenstein, Founder and CEO of the Op-Ed Project and author of “Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale.”
Ms. Orenstein founded the Op-Ed Project in 2008 with the goal of increasing the number of women thought leaders contributing to key public commentary forums. Her work highlights the following facts:
- Men are 80-90% of contributors to key opinion forums, 84% of TV pundits on Sunday morning talk shows, 87% of Wikipedia contributors, 85% of Hollywood producers, and 83% of Congress.
- Because of this, women—who constitute half the population—are left out of most public debates.
Innovative leaders like Ms. Orenstein and the Op-Ed Project are absolutely critical to changing the way we as a country think about and discuss pressing social problems. I admire her vision and applaud what she is accomplishing!
30% of the 14k Rose Gold Mini Stud will go to ACLU throughout the month of December