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Dickson chosen to lead state ACLU

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | August 12, 2020 at 1:00 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has chosen Holly Dickson as its permanent executive director.

Dickson has served as interim executive director since the retirement of Rita Sklar in 2019 and is a civil rights attorney with a long record of accomplishment defending and advancing the civil rights and civil liberties of Arkansans.

"Our founders, board members, staff, volunteers, donors, clients and supporters -- past and present -- have devoted time, heart and soul as a labor of love to make a more just state and nation for all people," Dickson said in a news release. "To caretake that investment is a responsibility I will honor by continuing to work with our team, our supporters and our allies to push for the change we want and need to see."

Dickson is a native of Batesville and has spent 14 years as the legal director of ACLU of Arkansas, directing the legal program for the organization, advocating for rights and overseeing a wide range of cases.

"From protecting free speech and access to the ballot to challenging the treatment of incarcerated people amid covid-19, Holly has fiercely and compassionately worked to advance the civil rights of everyone in our state, especially the most vulnerable," ACLU of Arkansas Board President Christine Althoff said. "For 50 years, the ACLU of Arkansas has defended and advanced the civil liberties and civil rights of all Arkansans, and under Holly's leadership we're poised to make an even greater impact in the future."

Dickson studied political science, sociology and criminal justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock before earning her juris doctorate with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Bowen School of Law. Prior to joining the ACLU of Arkansas in 2006, she worked in private practice litigating civil rights and employment cases on behalf of clients whose rights were violated.

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