FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2022
Lindsay Kee, 615-320-7142
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is excited to announce that after a nationwide search, Nashville attorney Kathy Sinback has been selected to lead the organization as its new executive director, beginning September 6.
“From her work seeking clemency for Cyntoia Brown Long to her role in the remarkable transformation of the Davidson County Juvenile Court, Kathy is a proven leader and well-respected advocate in our state,” said ACLU-TN board chair Paula Williams. “We are tremendously excited for Kathy to bring her vision, talents and energy to the helm of the ACLU of Tennessee at this critical time in our nation.”
Sinback has served as the Davidson County Juvenile Court administrator since 2014, where she ensures that juvenile court procedures are aligned with evidence-based best practices and collaborates with Metro and community agencies to promote criminal justice policy reforms. The Davidson County Juvenile Court is looked to as a model across the state and throughout the nation for its implementation of a trauma-informed youth justice system with supports in place for court staff and the youth they serve.
Sinback began her career with the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office, where she represented youth facing transfer to the adult system. She also served as a senior attorney with the Metropolitan Department of Law. She was a 2017 member of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice and currently serves on numerous state and local committees, including serving as co-chairperson of the Alignment Nashville Action Team on Student Discipline. She is a 2019 recipient of the Founder’s Award from End Slavery Tennessee for her work in bringing attention to the problem of human trafficking in the state.
Sinback is also well-known for her work as Cyntoia Brown Long’s juvenile court attorney and clemency advocate. Brown Long, whose case received international attention, was trafficked during her early teen years, then arrested at age 16 for killing a man who had solicited her for sex. She was sentenced to life in prison until her sentence was commuted by then Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Sinback worked closely with Brown Long throughout the process and continues to partner with her to advocate for change to the criminal legal system.
“The ACLU of Tennessee’s work is more important than ever as we are faced with multiple attacks on our civil rights and civil liberties here in Tennessee and across our country,” Sinback said. “ACLU-TN has long defended the rights of Tennesseans, particularly those who have been historically marginalized, and I am profoundly honored to build on this great work and to lead the organization at this time in its history.”
Sinback will replace Hedy Weinberg, who stepped down from her role as ACLU-TN executive director on July 8, after leading the organization for more than 37 years.