ACLU-NJ Adds Four New Trustees

June 30, 2016

CJ Griffin, S. Nadia Hussain, Valerie McCarthy, and Amardeep Singh Are Elected to ACLU-NJ Board of Trustees

The ACLU of New Jersey has announced that its Board of Trustees has elected four new members.

Joining the ACLU-NJ’s 17-member board are Pashman Stein Walder Hayden attorney CJ Griffin of Jersey City, Andrew Goodman Foundation Program Director S. Nadia Hussain of Paterson, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden family law attorney Valerie Jules McCarthy of North Bergen, and Open Society Foundations National Security & Human Rights Campaign Program Officer Amardeep Singh of Hoboken.

“The Board of the ACLU of New Jersey is privileged to welcome these four accomplished and passionate advocates for civil liberties and civil rights,” said ACLU-NJ Board President Debra Guston.

CJ Griffin, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden Attorney, ACLU-NJ Cooperating Attorney, Vaunted Open Government Litigator

CJ Griffin

Before joining the board, CJ Griffin was well-known at the ACLU of New Jersey as a cooperating attorney, working on behalf of the organization in a case concerning custody decisions based on a parent’s use of “offensive” language, along with several others. She works as a litigator in Pashman Stein Walder Hayden’s Access to Public Records and Employment & Labor Law practices, and she is the immediate past president of the New Jersey Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Section.

My work with the ACLU of New Jersey as a cooperating attorney has been some of the most rewarding of my career, and I feel honored that I can work to strengthen our rights in a different capacity as a trustee. I know firsthand that the ACLU of New Jersey is an open government powerhouse, and I’m excited to lend my knowledge on the subject. At the same time, I am just as excited to make an impact on the broader array of pressing civil rights and civil liberties issues currently facing New Jerseyans.

S. Nadia Hussain, Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Program Director, Longtime Human Rights Advocate

S. Nadia Hussain

S. Nadia Hussain’s drive to fight for human rights led her the ACLU-NJ’s Board of Trustees, as well as to her current position as the Vote Everywhere program director for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, an organization created in memory of the civil rights activist who lost his life working to register Black voters in the South. Hussain founded the Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative to empower and organize women in under-served Bangladeshi communities in NJ and blogs for EmbraceRace, an online community focused on raising children with racial justice values.

My core belief was articulated by Martin Luther King Jr.: That the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice. Everything I do follows in that spirit, and it has brought me to the ACLU of New Jersey. Few places have fought as doggedly, or as successfully, as the ACLU and its New Jersey affiliate. I hope to use my experiences as a human rights activist to strengthen the rights of New Jerseyans.

Valerie Jules McCarthy, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden Attorney, Esteemed Family Law Practitioner

Valerie Jules McCarthy

Attorney Valerie Jules McCarthy, who has appeared as a resource on family law issues in the media, practices family law as an associate with the law firm Pashman Stein Walder Hayden.

I am incredibly passionate about the ACLU of New Jersey’s work in the legal, legislative and public education arenas, and I have always been impressed by the organization’s consistent success in any form of advocacy it takes. Right now, as women's rights and reproductive freedom are under attack nationwide, I feel particularly driven to protect those rights with the ACLU of New Jersey. I feel motivated as a board member to build on the organization’s past accomplishments by helping secure new successes in the present and in the future.

Amardeep Singh, Open Society Foundations Program Officer, Co-Founder of the Sikh Coalition, Renowned Civil and Human Rights Advocate

Amardeep Singh

Amardeep Singh is one of the most respected human rights advocates in the country. He co-founded the New York City-based Sikh Coalition, an organization formed to confront anti-Sikh prejudice and violence after September 11. He currently works as a program officer for the Open Society Foundations and served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the past, he has worked for Human Rights Watch and taught at Columbia University’s Center on the Study of Ethnicity and Race.

As a civil rights advocate, I have worked in partnership with the ACLU for years, and the principles that guide my own life are the same ideals that define the ACLU. Joining the ACLU of New Jersey as a member of the board feels almost like a homecoming, particularly since I am a lifelong and proud New Jersey resident. It’s an organization that stands for the most fundamental principles we share as Americans, and I consider it an honor to help move its priorities forward.

The four new members started at the April meeting.

“The ACLU of New Jersey has an extremely talented group making up its board, and the collective experience of our four new Trustees will help advance the work of the organization even further,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Udi Ofer. “Our four new board members embody what the ACLU of New Jersey is all about: channeling talent and a commitment to civil rights and civil liberties to make New Jersey a place that promises justice for all, not just for some.”

Learn more about the ACLU-NJ’s dedicated board and staff members.

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