Tonight, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri
hosts its 40th annual Bill of Rights Celebration
. Three local activists will be honored for their work in diverse areas of civil liberties.
Lois Jean Turner
will be receiving the Distinguished Citizen
Award. Scott Emanuel, development associate for the ACLU of Eastern
Missouri, calls her a "fireball."
"She's a longtime social justice advocate. She came to the board
more than ten years ago," says Emanuel. "She's at every protest, every event.
She just gets it."
The Civil Liberties Award, which Emanuel says recognizes a
lifetime of devotion to bettering communities around civil liberties,
goes to attorney Thomas Blumenthal
And the Roger Baldwin
Award, named for the St. Louisan who founded the ACLU, goes to Murray Underwood
, who has been a presence in activism for a lifetime.
"Underwood has been unapologetically active for 60 years. He
was one of the first straight guys to be out about support of gay people," Emanuel says.
event promises to be a great party, too, with an impressive-looking
array of snacks from local restaurants, an open bar and valet parking.
Put on your fancy pants, and head to the Soulard Preservation Hall
at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75, and you can RSVP online
or by calling 314.652.3111.