The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) is dedicated to translating the guarantees of the Bill of Rights into reality for all Tennesseans. We are an enduring guardian of justice, freedom, fairness and equality, working to protect and advance civil liberties and civil rights for all Tennesseans. Our goal is to preserve the Bill of Rights for future generations.
We also work to extend rights to individuals and communities who have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; LGBTQ people; women; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.
What We Do
ACLU-TN uses a mix of strategies – community engagement, legislative lobbying, litigation and public education– to protect and advance your rights. We work proactively to pursue policies, practices and laws that protect Tennesseans against unfair and unequal treatment. ACLU-TN’s key issues are:
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Fair Treatment of Immigrants
- Free Speech
- Gender Equality
- LGBTQ Equality
- Privacy, Surveillance and Technology
- Racial Justice
- Religious Freedom
- Reproductive Justice
- Voting Rights
- Youth & Student Rights
Who We Are
First organized in 1968, ACLU-TN is a statewide, private, non-partisan, non-profit membership organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the enduring values of freedom, fairness, justice and equality.
The thousands of ACLU-TN supporters in Tennessee include clergy and musicians, doctors and lawyers, farmers and factory workers, retirees and students, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, citizens and non-citizens, and people across the spectrum of geography, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, income and religion.
We represent the diversity of beliefs that the Bill of Rights was written to protect. While we may not always agree, we share a commitment to the defense of civil liberties and a dedication to freedom and fairness under the Constitution.
Headquartered in Nashville, ACLU-TN’s work is conducted by a staff of eleven, as well as volunteers, interns and cooperating attorneys. Our statewide board of directors sets policy, raises funds, and provides fiduciary and legal oversight.
We pursue our mission with the financial support of generous private donors, dues-paying members and foundation grants. We do not receive any government funds.
ACLU-TN is composed of two separate organizations. Both the ACLU of Tennessee and its affiliated ACLU Foundation of Tennessee are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting the liberties and rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution and local, state, and federal human rights laws.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Tennessee (ACLUF-TN) is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization and contributions to it are tax-deductible. The Foundation funds our advocacy, litigation and public education activities.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) is a 501(c)(4) organization which is tax-exempt, but contributions to it are not tax-deductible. Known as the Affiliate, ACLU-TN engages in legislative lobbying and is supported mainly by membership dues.
Individual contributions to ACLU-TN and ACLUF-TN provide the resources necessary to support a vigorous defense of liberty and justice.
For purposes of simplicity, ACLU-TN is used to refer to both the activities of ACLU-TN and ACLUF-TN.